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Spreader 101: The Essential Guide To Applying Fertilizer

Aug 17, 2007
A spreader is a garden tool used in applying and distributing either seeds or fertilizer. The spreader can be very useful because it allows equal distribution of seeds or fertilizer to your lawn.

Fertilizers are chemicals given to plants. Fertilizers promote growth and proper development. A spreader is the essential tool in making the most out of your fertilizer.

Make sure that you load your spreader where spilling can occur. It's not that fertilizer is that dangerous of a substance- you just don't want to ruin your beautiful lawn with an overdose of fertilizer.

But the trick in using it in your lawn is really in its execution. A spreader, if used properly will guarantee a very nice lawn.

There are basically two types of lawn spreaders. There's the drop spreader and the broadcast spreader. Each type of spreader was designed specifically for your garden needs. Be it a home lawn, a backyard garden or a full-on farm, there's a specific spreader which you will require.

The drop spreader is a very familiar sight at garden centers and your local hardware stores. If you're lawn area is less than 5,000 square foot, this spreader is all that you need.

It's inexpensive as well. The drop spreader is more maneuverable in tight, awkward spaces. The drop spreader is also relatively easy to use compared to the broadcast spreader which is for commercial use.

Broadcast spreaders throw the material out in a wider swath, sometimes as wide as 8'. If you have a large area to cover, they can make short work of it. They are, however, a little trickier to use, since you need to keep up a steady walking speed.

You also need to be moving when you activate the spreader. It's also harder to get a clean edge, although some broadcast spreaders come with side deflectors.

These side deflectors let you get close to sidewalks, beds and driveways without spreading material on these adjacent areas. If you have trouble working with the big broadcast spreaders, there are also small, hand-held broadcast spreaders available in the market suitable for smaller areas.

On using it, just follow the specific instructions which come with your spreader. All machines come with manuals- so make sure that you read it before you head out to your garden.

The best way to run your spreader is around the area you are treating. This will guarantee an even application around the edges of your lawn. Just go around the edges of your lawn first.

Next, you run it back and forth within the area of your first run. Allow your spreader run an overlap to avoid missed patches. You're supposed to run your spreader twice in the whole lawn to ensure a consistent coverage and this will also compensate for any uneven patches.

A spreader is a good tool. Make sure it lasts you for years by cleaning it up and maintaining it.

Professionals usually say that, after using a spreader, a thorough dry cleaning beats a sloppy wet cleaning any day. It's certainly a good idea to empty your spreader completely and shake out or remove with a brush any remaining material. Keeping moving parts lubricated helps too.

With proper care of your spreader, and correct application, you're sure to have the most beautiful lawn in your block.
About the Author
James Monahan is the owner and Senior Editor of
SpreaderGuide.com and writes expert
articles about spreaders .
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