How to Use a Grass Seed Spreader?
May 02, 2023

How to Use a Grass Seed Spreader?

By Adam Chronister

A lush, green lawn is a homeowner's dream, but achieving that picture-perfect landscape requires proper care and the right tools. One essential tool in taking your yard to the next level is a grass seed spreader, which ensures even distribution of seeds for optimal growth.

In this blog post, we will guide you through the different types of grass seed spreaders available, how to prepare your lawn for seeding, and tips on using these handy devices effectively.

Preparing Your Lawn For Seeding

Test your soil to determine its nutrient content and pH level, remove any weeds or debris from the area, and fertilize and water the lawn a few days prior to seeding to ensure optimal growth conditions.

Test Your Soil

Before planting grass seed, it is important to test your soil. This will help you understand the soil's pH level and nutrient content, allowing you to make informed decisions about what kind of fertilizer or soil amendments may be necessary.

Test Your Soil

One crucial thing to note is that different types of grass thrive in different soils. For example, some varieties prefer acidic soils while others do better in alkaline conditions.

By testing your soil, you can determine which type of grass seed will grow best on your lawn and how much fertilizer you'll need to apply for optimal plant growth.

Remove Debris And Weeds

Before using a grass seed spreader, it's important to ensure that your lawn is free of debris and weeds. Sweeping dirt and debris off the driveway can help prevent any unwanted particles from being distributed on your lawn.

Additionally, removing weeds will allow for better soil penetration and absorption of nutrients from fertilizer or seed.

Keeping your yard neat and tidy not only improves its appearance but also promotes healthier growth for your grass. Debris like fallen leaves or twigs can obstruct light and prevent water from reaching the soil beneath them, negatively affecting seed germination rates.

Fertilize And Water The Area

Before seeding your lawn, it's crucial to prepare the area properly. One important step is fertilizing and watering the soil. Fertilization provides essential nutrients for seed germination while adequate watering promotes healthy growth.

Once you've chosen a suitable fertilizer, apply it evenly across the area using a spreader calibrated according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remember to water the soil before and after fertilization to ensure proper absorption of nutrients.

Depending on your location, climate conditions, and soil type, you may need to water more or less frequently than others.

By following these steps for fertilizing and watering your yard before seeding with grass seed spreaders like handheld or drop types as well as broadcast types , you'll be able to create an ideal environment for successful growth of plants!

Using A Grass Seed Spreader

When using a grass seed spreader, it's important to choose the right kind of spreader, fill and calibrate it properly, apply the seed at the correct rate and adjust settings as needed for optimal coverage.

Choosing The Right Kind Of Spreader

Choosing the right kind of grass seed spreader is essential for a successful lawn renovation. Handheld spreaders are ideal for small areas or targeted seeding, while broadcast spreaders are perfect for larger lawns or even distribution.

Drop spreaders, on the other hand, provide more precise coverage and are best suited for smaller yards with irregular shapes. When selecting a lawn spreader, consider factors like the size of your yard, the shape of the terrain, and whether you need to fertilize as well as seed.

Remember that it's better to undergo calibration tests before using a broadcast or drop seeder-both open up when in motion-not only helps avoid wasting resources but also contributes significantly to landscape outcomes.

Sweep dirt and debris off surfaces such as driveways before using a grass seed spreader since sediment can easily get into moving parts causing faults over time; this tip saves time by eliminating mechanical lags during an operation.

Filling And Calibrating The Spreader

The key to evenly spreading grass seed or fertilizer is proper filling and calibration of your lawn spreader. Here's how to do it:

  1. Choose the Right Kind of Spreader

- Make sure you have the right type of spreader for the job. Drop spreaders are best for smaller areas, while broadcast spreaders are better suited for larger lawns.

- Check the back of the product bag for recommended spreader types.

  1. Fill the Spreader Correctly

- Fill the hopper with enough product to cover your intended area without overloading it.

- Use a funnel to prevent spills and make filling easier.

- Sweep any excess product off the driveway or walkway before starting.

  1. Calibrate the Spreader

- Check product packaging for recommended settings and make sure your spreader dial matches.

- Conduct a dispersal pattern test by setting up a tarp or piece of cardboard in your yard and running the spreader over it. Adjust settings as needed to achieve an even spread.

- Test your speed by walking at a normal pace, so that you can maintain consistent coverage throughout your entire yard.

  1. Apply the Seed

- Start at one end of your yard and work backwards, walking in straight lines and overlapping each pass slightly.

- Close the hopper when turning around to avoid spilling extra seed on already seeded areas.

Now that you've properly filled and calibrated your lawn spreader, you're ready to start planting new grass seed or fertilizing your lawn! Remember, keep track of all settings used so that future applications can be consistent with this one. Proper application ensures healthy growth, and prevents wasted time or resources.

Applying The Seed

Once you've properly calibrated your grass seed spreader, it's time to apply the seed. Here are some tips on how to do it effectively:

  1. Begin at one corner of your lawn and walk in straight lines back and forth across the area.
  2. Hold the spreader level and steady to ensure an even distribution of seed.
  3. Avoid over-applying seed, as this can lead to overcrowding and poor growth.
  4. Make sure to overlap each row slightly to ensure complete coverage.
  5. Keep track of the areas you've already covered to avoid missed spots or double applications.
  6. Once you've finished spreading the seed, gently rake the surface of your soil to cover any exposed seeds.

Remember that proper application is just one part of growing a healthy lawn. Make sure to follow through with regular watering, mowing, and maintenance as needed for optimal results!

Adjusting The Settings

Adjusting the settings on a grass seed spreader is crucial to ensure even distribution and proper coverage of your lawn. Before you start, it's important to refer to the bag of seeds or fertilizer for recommended settings based on the type of spreader you have.

Most spreaders come with an adjustable dial that allows you to control how much product is dispensed at a time.

For broadcast spreaders, adjusting the setting can help in controlling the spray pattern and prevent overlapping that can cause uneven growth or discoloration.

Remember that different types of products require different settings too. For example, some brands may use numbers while others may use letters to indicate calibration settings.

In summary, taking time to learn about your specific grass seed spreader's proper use and calibration will undoubtedly help improve germination success rates throughout your entire yard when seeding season arrives.

Caring For Your Lawn After Seeding

It's important to properly care for your lawn after seeding to ensure healthy growth and maintenance.

Proper Watering

After successfully seeding your lawn, proper watering is key to making sure the seeds germinate and grow into healthy, lush grass. Watering immediately after seeding will help settle the soil and distribute the seeds evenly.

Depending on your climate, you'll want to water lightly multiple times a day for about two weeks until the grass reaches mowing height.

Over time, you can adjust your watering schedule based on weather patterns and rainfall levels in your area. But be mindful that too much water can lead to fungal diseases while not enough water can stress out the roots and prevent growth.

By following proper watering techniques along with using a quality grass seed spreader at planting time, you'll soon enjoy green carpet-like fields surrounding you!

Mowing And Maintenance

After seeding your lawn, it's important to properly maintain it for optimal growth. Mowing is a crucial aspect of lawn care that should not be overlooked. Set the cutting height of your mower high and gradually reduce it as the grass grows taller.

Mowing And Maintenance

This will promote stronger roots and denser growth.

In addition to regular mowing, proper watering is essential for newly seeded lawns. Water deeply but infrequently, about one inch per week, taking into consideration any rainfall received.

Avoid overwatering as this can lead to disease or damage root development.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Even with proper preparation and the right equipment, problems can arise when using a grass seed spreader. One common issue is uneven spreading, which can happen if the spreader isn't calibrated correctly or if there are clogs in the mechanism.

Another issue gardeners may face is over-application of seed or fertilizer in certain areas, leading to clumping or even burns in extreme cases. This can be caused by improper settings on your spreader or uneven terrain that causes product to accumulate in low spots.

Finally, be aware of weather conditions before you start spreading. Windy conditions can cause seeds and fertilizer particles to drift away from where they're intended, while heavy rain after seeding can wash everything away entirely.

By keeping these troubleshooting tips in mind and following best practices for lawn care and seeding techniques, gardeners should have no trouble achieving a lush green lawn with their grass seed spreader!

Types Of Grass Seed Spreaders

There are three main types of grass seed spreaders: handheld, broadcast, and drop spreaders.

Handheld Spreaders

Handheld spreaders are an excellent choice for gardeners with smaller lawns or those looking to target specific areas for seeding. These compact and lightweight devices are easy to maneuver, making them perfect for navigating tight spaces, flowerbeds, and borders that larger spreaders may struggle with.

One of the great advantages of using a handheld spreader is its precision in seed distribution. This allows you to avoid over-seeding certain areas while providing adequate coverage elsewhere.

Additionally, their smaller size makes for easier storage when not in use. For instance, consider using a handheld grass seed spreader when reseeding patchy spots on your lawn or targeting particular sections during soil preparation stages for more effective germination and growth results.

Broadcast Spreaders

Broadcast spreaders are ideal for covering larger areas quickly and efficiently. These types of spreaders distribute grass seed or fertilizer over a wide area with each pass, making them perfect for larger lawns.

Broadcast spreaders come in both push-style and tow-behind models that attach to tractors or riding mowers. With a broadcast spreader, you can cover up to 10,000 square feet per hour – much faster than using a handheld or drop spreader.

When using a broadcast spreader, remember to set the dial according to the product's instructions and adjust your walking speed accordingly for even distribution.

Overall, broadcast spreaders are an excellent tool when it comes to applying lawn care products effectively across large areas.

Drop Spreaders

Drop spreaders are a great option if you want more precision in applying grass seed or fertilizer to your lawn. They deposit the product directly beneath the hopper as you roll it across your yard, making it easier to control where the product falls.

However, they do cover a narrower area per pass than broadcast spreaders and require more passes to cover larger areas. It's important to note that when using a drop spreader, you need to overlap each pass slightly to ensure even coverage.

Additionally, make sure not to rush when using this type of spreader – moving too quickly can result in uneven distribution of the product on your lawn.

Fertilizer Spreader

Fertilizer spreaders are essential agricultural tools designed to distribute fertilizers, lime, or seeds evenly across a field or lawn, promoting uniform growth and optimal crop yield. These spreaders can also come in the form of liquid spreaders, rotary spreaders, a tow behind spreader, or a push spreader which cater to the specific needs of different farming practices. 

By ensuring precise application, solid or liquid fertilizer spreaders not only improve nutrient distribution and plant health, but also contribute to the sustainable use of resources, minimizing environmental impact and waste. It can even help when trying to make ice melt faster, ensuring that crops stay healthy year-round. The scotts elite spreader and other other scotts spreaders have become very popular amond home gardeners.

The widespread adoption of the best fertilizer spreaders has revolutionized modern agriculture, ultimately enhancing productivity and efficiency for farmers around the globe.


Using a grass seed spreader is an easy and efficient way to plant new grass seeds or apply lawn fertilizer to your existing lawn. By preparing your lawn properly, choosing the right spreader, calibrating it correctly, and following the best practices for seeding and fertilizing, you can achieve great results in no time.

Remember that caring for your lawn after seeding is just as important as the application process itself. With proper watering, mowing, and maintenance techniques, you can ensure that your newly planted grass will thrive and continue to look healthy year-round.

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