6 Best Lawn Feed Spreaders Reviewed [Summer 2020 Review]
Creating the perfect lawn takes time and effort. It’s not just a case of planting grass seed and waiting for the sun and rain to do their jobs.
You’ve got to prep the soil, keep on top of lawn aeration for which we can use a decent scarifier or raker these days, you need get rid of any unwanted weeds before they become a problem, and many more tasks just to have a chance at that dream patch of grass.
One of the most important factors, is to make sure you are feeding your lawn all the necessary things it needs to grow into something to make a bowling green would be jealous of. And to do this right, you should really be using one of the best lawn feed spreaders to ensure that your lawn weed and feed is getting evenly distributed and giving your grass the best chance to flourish.
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The type of garden feeder you will need will depend a lot on the size of your garden and what you intend to do within it. People with the smaller lawns can easily get away with one of the best handheld lawn feed spreaders as there isn’t too much ground to cover, but those of you who are lucky enough to have much larger properties will probably need a rotary spreader or even one that you pull behind a tractor or ATV.
We took a selection of the best lawn feed spreaders and put them to work to test out for ourselves if they are really worth the money. You can find out what we thought by reading our selection of in depth reviews below. For those seeking more information and guidance, please check out our buyer’s guide to get a better idea about what to look out for in a top lawn feed spreader product.
1. Scotts EasyGreen Rotary spreader
If you have a larger lawn, a rotary spreader (sometimes called a broadcast spreader) is definitely one of the ways to go about your lawn feed distribution, and the Scotts EasyGreen model is one of the most popular products in this category.
These kind of spreaders will automatically throw out and granular feed as you push the tool along across your lawn, and will increase the width of this the faster you walk. At an average pace, the spreading width is around 150-180cm, but it can be as much as 340cm with a little effort.
Scotts EasyGreen rotary spreader arrives ready to use with no assembly required on your side. All that’s needed is to fill the tank with feeder, adjust the variable settings using the controls on the handle, and you are ready to feed your lawn.
The manual that comes with this spreader isn’t the best quality but it does give you the best settings to use for various products, which is very helpful if this is your first lawn feed spreader.
Throughout our tests this model didn’t get jammed a single time, I think due to the hole where the feed goes through onto the spinning component as it is larger than what you sometimes see with these kinds of products.
The construction is a mix of metal and plastic, with plastic wheels and tank fixed onto metal handles. The handles can be folded down for storage purposes but unfortunately the height of them can’t be adjusted. Having said that, they come up about a metre tall, so it’s not like they are overly short to begin with.
Completely empty the spreader weighs in at 3.4kg but even with a full load of feed it doesn’t feel cumbersome and my wife found it very easy to use despite being only 5.5ft and being a dainty little thing.
I think the plastic wheels do a good job of keeping the lawn feed spreader rolling along. I would have preferred to see pneumatic wheels but I know that that would have almost certainly increased the price, so I get why Scotts chose what they did.
There is an on/off trigger that comes in very useful when negotiating the corners of your lawn and if used properly will prevent you accidentally dumping too much feeder in one spot which could have adverse effects.
This product isn’t perfect, and there are a couple of little niggles such as it being hard to get the last bit of feeder to fall through the hole due to the shape of the feeder, not being able to use it for spreading road salt, and the fact that it takes a while to get the settings and walking speed right.
However, it is still a very good lawn feeder spreader for the price and if used as intended, it does a great job.
2. Gardena Hand-Held Spreader
From a lawn feed spreader designed for bigger gardens, to one for those smaller lawns now with the Gardena hand-held spreader.
As you probably guessed by the name of the product, this spreader has been designed to be held in the hand and so has compact dimensions and very little weight. To be perfectly accurate, it measures 29cm high, 22cm long, and just under 20 cm wide, and weighs in at 610 grams.
Because of its small size, it can’t hold large quantities of fertiliser so even a full tank would only add about another 1.6 kilograms to the weight you need to carry, and even young kids could handle that easily.
The gardena features a good sized carry handle that has two of the main controls situated on it. On top is a button you press with your thumb to open up the hole and allow the contents to flow through to the spreading mechanism, and on the front of the handle is a selector switch with four settings that controls how much fertilizer will be allowed to pass through when the thumb button is pressed.
On the right side you will find a crank handle which you turn to operate the rotating disc housed under the tank. The spread isn’t overly far (1-3 metres depending on the crank speed I would guess), but it isn’t meant to be, and what it does do very well is distribute it nice and evenly in all directions (except backwards of course).
And it’s not only fertiliser that can be used with this spreader. You can also use it for distributing road salt on your drive and path in winter, for spreading seeds, and even sand.
Gardena products are known to be well made and this lawn feed spreader is yet another robust and durable gardening tool to add to that list. The plastic used is nice and thick and feels very strong, and there is a 2 year warranty to give you peace of mind just in case.
If you only have a small lawn, and don’t mind walking around a little to spread your fertiliser, you could do a lot worse than spending twenty pounds or so on this hand held Gardena lawn feed spreader.
3. The Handy 50lb Wheeled Lawn and Fertiliser Spreader
Looking for something a bit more heavy duty? The Handy 50lb wheeled lawn and fertiliser spreader is among the most solid and sturdy models I’ve ever come across and would suit someone who has a medium to large sized lawn, particularly if your lawn is on a slope or you have uneven terrain to negotiate.
This is because of this lawn feed spreader’s most outstanding features, the large and wide pneumatic wheels. They do an excellent job of keeping the weight balanced as you move along, and really do a good job of making working up slopes a much less labour intensive task.
The largely steel construction has been powder coated to fight off adverse weather effects, and has been done to a high quality and should last. The frame itself feels very strong too, so you can forgive the extra weight that comes with it, and with those pneumatic wheels doing their job, you don’t notice it that much anyway.
Just in front of the wide, rubber gripped, handles there is a good sized, and clearly marked, spread rate adjustment lever. This too is made of strong steel, but with a plastic grip for comfort, and is highly unlikely to become damaged or worn any time soon.
With a hopper that can hold 23 kilograms of feed, you shouldn’t have to keep stopping to refill too often, nor do you have to worry about clog inducing contaminants getting mixed in there thanks to a hopper screen and hopper cover being included in the price. This means you can even use it in wet weather, as long as you have a good set of wellies and raincoat.
The hopper has been made out of polypropylene for durability reasons and is a very resilient and hard wearing material in of itself, so there’s no reason why it shouldn’t last as long as the rest of this robust tool.
The maximum spread width of The Handy lawn feed spreader is around 3.6 metres, so you could quite feasibly cover a good sized lawn without it taking all day. This would mean keeping up the walking pace though, as you probably know.
So, what are the negatives? Well, I can only really find one, but it might be enough to put some people off.
The thing is, that this lawn feed spreader comes in quite a lot of different parts and takes a while to assemble. Not only that, but the instructions aren’t the clearest on some of the assembly points and it does lead to a little frustration.
A little perseverance and patience saw me through it though, and I was very pleased with the fully assembled product at the end and thought it was worth the effort.
4. Scotts EvenGreen Drop spreader
If, after reading the end of that previous review, you think you would prefer something that is much simpler to put together, the Scotts EvenGreen drop spreader might be something that peaks your interest.
Arriving almost fully assembled, you can have this lawn feed spreader out of the box and on your lawn in a matter of minutes.
Unlike our other Scotts product review, this one is a drop spreader and works in a slightly different way. Where a rotary spreader will use a turntable to throw the fertiliser, weed killer, etc. out in multiple directions, a drop spreader distributes the contents of the hopper straight down.
This has both advantages and disadvantages when compared with a rotary spreader. The downside is that you won’t cover as much ground as quickly as a rotary spreader and that’s why most people don’t recommend using drop spreaders for large areas. Having said that, this one is 61cm wide and would be able to cover a decent bit of ground.
The advantage of a drop spreader is that you have much more control over where the contents are being put down, and this makes them better for using on the edges of lawns or near garden ponds so you don’t contaminate the water accidentally with chemicals.
Apart from the spreading function, the Scotts Evergreen drop spreader is very similar in design to its sibling, with a large plastic hopper and plastic wheels mounted on a metal frame and handles.
The trigger to operate the tool are situated on the centre of the handlebar and below that are the variable distribution controls that are clearly marked, if a little on the small side, just like the rotary model by the same makers.
This model also features the folding handlebar to make storage easier and to get a comfortable working angle, but again, the height can’t be changed.
However, don’t let those little things put you off, as this is a great little drop spreader and priced very reasonably.
The spreading mechanism works really well and there is no feed getting flicked out in unwanted directions and being wasted. Instead, you get a nice uniform distribution of whatever you are using on your lawn, and that’s where it goes, on your lawn, just where you want it.
5. Gardena Spreader XL: Universal Spreader for Delivering Fertiliser
There are some of us who would prefer to use a rotary spreader but only have a small garden and are worried about getting unwanted chemicals in places we don’t want them. Even when walking at the slowest pace, the larger broadcast spreaders still distribute the contents of the hopper and some distance and it can be hard to control where it goes in a small or narrow yard.
This is where the Gardena Spreader XL comes into its own, giving you the ability to control the spread width to a high degree and allowing you to tackle both small and medium sized gardens alike.
It features an adjustable guard on the rotary table that you can easily slide around and this blocks any lawn feed from being sent out in that direction. This makes it a great tool for using on the edges of lawns that are next to flower beds and such.
The feeder hole in the bottom of the 18 litre capacity hopper is opened and closed using an ergonomically designed trigger found on the handle bars. I really liked the way this worked and felt very natural when you used it.
I was not so happy with the controls to adjust the spreading quantity though, which is something you have to grab and slide across the bottom of the trigger. It’s not that it doesn’t work, or is particularly that bad, I just think it could have been done better, as it is in many other lower cost products, and I expected more from a brand like Gardena.
Where Gardena have lived up to their name is with the overall build quality of this lawn feed spreader, which is excellent.
Because of the corrosive nature of the products used in these feeders, the hopper and other parts that come into contact with the chemicals are usually mad of plastic. Gardena only ever use the most durable ABS plastics for their products, and it is the same again with this one.
The durability of this plastic means that you can use many kinds of fertilisers, sand, strong weed killers, yes, even the type of weedkiller for your patio and block paving as we as rock salt without worry.
This product also features an aluminium bracket, a material that is known to be extremely resistant to corrosion and rust, and will help to prolong the working life of the tool.
Another feature I thought was a good addition was the lower stand that made refilling the hopper so much easier, and I never felt like it was going to tip out under the weight of the feed.
A good choice for Smaller lawns where you have to be careful about the spread, and top class quality materials make this Gardena product well worth a look.
6. Greenkey Deluxe Seed and Fertiliser Spreader
Our final review of today is of another handheld lawn feed spreader, this time from Greenkey.
People tend to go for these kinds of spreaders because they are low cost, easy to use and there is less chance of accidentally putting too much fertiliser down and killing off parts of your lawn.
The Greenkey deluxe seed and fertiliser spreader is certainly easy to use, with minimal controls and no tedious assembly required. In fact the only controls you have to deal with are the four aperture settings which are selected using switch on the handle with your thumb, and the crank handle on the side to operate the spreading mechanism.
Holding this spreader for extended periods isn’t a chore as it only weighs around 550 grams, and even when the hopper is filled to its 3 litre capacity, it is hardly what you would call heavy.
However, if you do find that your wrist is getting a little tired, Greenkey have included a handy little design feature to help out. On the back of the handle there is a part that can be pulled out and extended to create a support for your forearm, and it even has a wider flat part at the end so that your arm can sit comfortably on it.
This is a simple but clever design feature, and the type of thing I like to see product makers trying out instead of just making carbon copies of other top selling models.
To avoid damage from corrosion, the Greenkey handheld spreader has been made completely out of high grade plastic that feels very thick, robust, and made me feel that this product would last a fair old while.
As always, there are things I didn’t think were so great. For example, the handle that you turn on the side to operate the spreader is very small and has to be pinched between two fingers. I would have much preferred a decent sized handle like on the Gardena handheld model instead.
There also doesn’t seem to be that much difference between the four different spread settings. I mean, there is some difference, but not enough to make it really worth having it there in the first place.
These are small gripes though, and I shouldn’t complain too much about something that costs under fifteen quid, and overall it is a good little spreader and certainly worth a look.
Best lawn Feed Spreaders Buyer’s Guide
Should you go with a rotary/broadcast spreader or a drop spreader?
Maybe you could just do with a small handheld model?
What are the best features to look out for when choosing a lawn feed spreader?
Read on below and our buyer’s guide will try to provide the answers to these questions and more.
Types of spreader
There are a few different types of spreader but they can usually be broken down into two specific groups- rotary spreaders and drop spreaders.
Rotary, or broadcast spreaders as they are also known, use a rotating table that is located under the hopper to distribute the feed in wide arc, thus covering a large area at once, and this make them a good pick for larger lawns. Here’s a look at a typical garden rotary lawn feed spreader.
If you have a larger than usual lawn, you might want to consider a tow behind spreader that you can pull with a quad or small tractor.
Drop spreaders, as you can guess, ‘drop’ the fertiliser straight down and not out to the sides. While this makes them a little slower to cover the same area as a rotary model, it also makes controlling where the feed goes much easier. This is particularly useful for smaller gardens, and for working on parts of the lawn that are next to vulnerable areas such as flower beds and ponds.
Another variation of the rotary type is the handheld spreader. These are lightweight, low cost, and very easy to use, and if you only have a small space to cover, they can be a great tool to use.
Many feed spreaders these days have controls, usually on the handle, to select how much fertiliser, granules, etc. is allowed to flow through the hole in the bottom of the hopper when the trigger is pressed. Here’s a look at a handheld lawn feed spreader with variable controls.
These selector switched are often varied in design, and will also perform differently from model to model, so I would suggest reading customer feedback and reviews on the products you’re interested in to see if anyone mentions any problems with this.
Ergonomic design, weight, and wheels.
If something is ergonomic, it means that it has been designed to fit with the human body’s shape in the most efficient and comfortable way. Some products have better designs when it comes to this, and it will make a difference to you if you are using the tool for long stretches of time, so look for a good one.
Generally speaking, if something like a handle is too straight, and without any curvature, it tends to be a bad sign. Of course, handlebars are an exception to this, but for handheld spreaders, this is something to look out for.
Weight is another factor to consider, especially if you’re thinking about a handheld spreader. You don’t want something that weighs a ton in your hands all day.
Even walk behind spreaders can be a bit of a struggle to push uphill when their hoppers are full if they don’t have a good set of wheels. Plastic wheels can be just fine but for me, pneumatic wheels are the best choice as they negotiate slopes and uneven ground better.