Drop Spreader VS Broadcast Spreader: Which One Should I Use?

a broadcast spreader

There are a lot of fertilizers that you can use for different kinds of plants. One of the most common types is the granular fertilizer. Granular fertilizers are dry fertilizers that have been formed into small granules so that they can be easily distributed on your lawn.

In order to apply granular fertilizers, you will need to use spreaders. Spreaders are tools that can help you distribute dry fertilizers effectively on your lawns through a mechanism. These spreaders can also be used to spread grass seeds and even insecticides depending on how they are built.

The two most commonly used spreaders is the drop spreader and the broadcast spreader. Both of these spreaders can be used effectively in your lawn or garden and they both have their advantages and disadvantages. Read on and know which one you should use for your specific needs.

What Is A Drop Spreader?

fertilizer spreader

A drop spreader is designed to spread the fertilizer in rows. It can evenly distribute the granules in between the wheels, this allows you to have accuracy when it comes to fertilizing your lawn or garden. Since it can only distribute fertilizers in between its wheels, you will have to overlap your rows.

This can be quite tedious for some, and it can also cause you to miss certain areas. This is why most gardeners recommend that you try to make a cross hatch pattern when using spreaders. This technique will allow you to spread the fertilizer more evenly and it can also help you avoid striping.

broadcast spreader

Drop spreaders are heavy but easy to operate and it is highly recommended for new home gardeners who are still try to learn. This device allows you to have coverage control and it can work really well in lawns that are under 5,000 square feet. The wind will also not affect the performance of this spreader.

If you want more manageability, I highly recommend that you use one with a wide wheel base. This will allow you to make sharp turns as well as avoid obstacles. But because its design is meant for accuracy, you cannot cover a lot of ground with each lap. More time therefore is needed for fertilizing your lawn.

What Is A Broadcast Spreader?

drop spreader

Broadcast spreaders will use a fan like pattern when it comes to distributing granulated fertilizers. The faster the user is, and the bigger the hole of the spreader is, the bigger the area of distribution in each lap. And just like the drop spreader, you need to overlap each pass so you can have an even distribution.

You will also have to make a cross hatch pattern with the spreader so you will be able to spread the fertilizer properly. Although it can help you cover a wide area without having to spend a lot of time, you need to understand that the further the fertilizer is spread out, the thinner the distribution.

a drop spreader

Since it can easily spread out the fertilizer, it is not recommended for small lawns since you will just end up making a mess in your property. It can however, be used to fertilize wide areas with ease. Most broadcast spreaders can also contain more fertilizer so you won’t have to keep on refilling it.

The broadcast spreader can also be used to fertilize hard to reach areas of your property where the drop spreader cannot typically go to. Since it is designed for convenience rather than accuracy, it can be very easy for you to waste fertilizers through this tool especially if they keep flying beyond your property.

Drop Spreader VS Broadcast Spreader


When it comes to deciding which one you should use, you need to look at your property first instead of all the features that products from each type of spreader can provide. If you have a large property or a wide lawn, then you should definitely choose the broadcast spreader so you can save time.

But if your lawn needs a lot of care and attention, then you should choose the drop spreader so you will have full control since you will be able to put fertilizer exactly in areas that need it. The drop spreader should also be used in small lawns or in areas where there are very few obstacles.

If your property has walkways and if you have water features or plant beds, then you should make sure that the fertilizer is dropped at the right spot. But if you need to cover a large area and if you do not want to spend too much energy fertilizing it, you can then opt for a broadcast spreader.


a fertilizer spreader

When it comes to drop spreader VS broadcast spreader, you need to be mindful about what your lawn needs and how big your lawn is. If you want the fertilizers to be placed precisely on the lawn and not on other areas, then choose a drop spreader. Just keep in mind that they can be very heavy.

But if you want to easily spread the fertilizer without having to spend a lot of energy, then opt for the more efficient and lighter broadcast spreader. You should also choose this option if you need to fertilize tall grass or if you are not particular about fertilizing the lawn evenly and uniformly.

Whichever type you choose, make sure that the spreader is properly maintained and that it is used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid loading the spreader with seeds or fertilizers on the lawn, do it instead on cemented areas for easy cleanups and always make sure to clean the spreader after each use.

About the Author Emily Taylor

My name is Emily Taylor, gardening is my passion and I’m looking forward to sharing it with everyone. I know that there are millions of people out there want their backyard and garden be attractive just like their front yard, so I am here to help you create your own backyard paradise.

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