Fertiliser spreader buying guide

Spreader Buying Guide

We've used them all - this is what we found?


There are basically four types of fertiliser and seed spreader that you can use around the home, lawn, or garden. We list three of them below; the fourth is the handheld spreaders, which Lawnsmith do not rate at all.

Shoulder or Bag Spreader - Rating 10/10


  • Bag spreader for fertiliser, grass seed and salting hard areas
  • Perfect for all lawns regardless of size, shape, slope or obstacles
  • Very easy and quick to use
  • Even coverage
  • Perhaps the best value spreader on the market today


Can't think of one!

Rotary or Broadcast Spreaders - Rating 8/10

Rotary lawn spreader


  • Great for fertiliser, grass seed and salting hard areas
  • Easy and quick to use
  • Even coverage
  • Ideal for medium to large lawns
  • Great on relatively smooth simply shaped lawns


  • Can tip on steep slopes
  • Not as easy as the Shoulder Spreader on irregular shaped lawns
  • Not as easy as Shoulder Spreader around obstacles – trees, play frames, shrubberies

Drop Spreaders - Rating 3/10

Drop fertiliser spreader.


  • Ideal for 'Weed and Feed' and Grass Seed
  • Best with fine or powdery products
  • Suited to flat lawns with straight sides


  • Needs practice to use, start or stop
  • Will leave stripes if not used very accurately
  • Can be problematic with pelleted or larger granular feeds
  • Slow and tricky on large lawns
  • Virtually impossible on sloping or bumpy lawns
  • Impossible around obstacles – trees, play frames, shrubberies etc

See the Spreader Range

Common Q&A's

Can I use the spreader for grass seed?

Yes, you can, but because of the elongated shape of grass seed, it does not 'flow' consistently through rotary or broadcast spreaders. This means that though a spreader is an excellent method for spreading seed, its settings are unreliable. That is why we suggest starting with a one-third open setting and applying in several lots, starting from a different side of the lawn each time to ensure consistent, even coverage.

Why can't I use 'weed and feed' in some spreaders?

You can, but rotary or broadcast spreaders fling the fertiliser out, which, if not controlled carefully, can go on to non-target plants. If you are, therefore, using a combined 'weed and feed' product, the weed killer element could kill your border plants.

In addition, some fertilisers contain Ferrous Sulphate, which can stain hard surfaces, so once again, the same issue arises.

Lawnsmith Fertilisers do NOT contain weed killer so all our feeds can go through the spreader of your choice and should some go on border plants then they'll just grow a little bigger! The only Lawnsmith Fertiliser that has a potential stain issue is Winter Green so once again your property is safe with all our other fertilisers.