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Broadcast vs. Drop Lawn Spreaders

To apply granular lawn products like fertilizers, fungicides and seed, you’ll need a lawn spreader, available in broadcast, drop or hand-held types. Choosing the right spreader depends on the specific application needs.

Broadcast spreaders fling granules in all directions, which are ideal for covering large lawns efficiently and allowing for adjustable dispersion rates by changing walking speed. On the other hand, drop spreaders release products directly between their wheels, providing precision ideal for minimizing waste near sensitive areas such as driveways and sidewalks.

What is a Broadcast Lawn Spreader?

A broadcast lawn spreader operates by casting granules broadly to cover expansive areas effectively. These spreaders are generally equipped with a guard to protect the operator and feature pre-set dial settings to control the amount dispersed, ensuring uniform lawn coverage.

A broadcast spreader disperses granular product or grass seed at your walking pace—slower walking leads to slower spreading, and faster walking increases the dispersion rate.

Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader

The Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader is excellent for applying granular lawn care products or seed. Holds up to 5,000 sq. ft. of product Ideal for smaller areas Keeps lawn product off landscaping, driveways, and sidewalks Comes fully assembled with a fold-down handle for easy storage

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What is a Drop Spreader?

Drop spreaders, distinct from broadcast spreaders, release products directly between their wheels at a rate set on the dial, independent of walking speed. They are handy for precise application, ensuring no product is wasted.

A drop spreader is ideal for use around sidewalks and driveways where precision is necessary to avoid staining the pavement with granular fertilizers. It ensures that the edges of the lawn receive adequate nourishment without wasting product on the driveway.

However, a challenge with drop spreaders is their need for visible markers, making it hard to ensure no areas of the lawn are missed, unlike broadcast spreaders that provide even coverage. Consider using a drop spreader if precision matters more for your gardening needs.

Broadcast or Drop Lawn Spreaders? – Answered

A broadcast and drop spreader are valuable tools for different landscaping needs. Ideally, having both allows for efficient lawn coverage with the broadcast spreader and precise application near sidewalks, driveways and flower beds with the drop spreader.

Both spreaders are durable investments. A broadcast spreader is generally more versatile if you can only choose one. Consider using makeshift barriers like cardboard boxes to contain the spread for precise applications in sensitive areas.

Regardless of the spreader type, ensure you set the distribution rate according to product instructions to apply the correct amount.

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