How to Spread Lawn Fertilizer

How to Spread Lawn Fertilizer

Yes, this week we’re devoting an entire blog to spreading fertilizer. You may be thinking, “But Lawn Love, that seems so easy!” Well, friends, looks can be deceiving. There’s definitely a method of spreading fertilizer to your lawn and we think it’s so important that we’re going to go over each and every step. Here’s how we think you should apply fertilizer to your lawn!

Do You Need a Spreader?

If you’re going to spread fertilizer on your lawn then you really shouldn’t do it without a spreader. There are two types of spreaders: broadcast and drop.  Drop spreaders are for more targeted applications, while broadcast spreaders are good for covering a large area quickly. You can rent these or even get your local nursery to loan you one if you can sweet talk the right person.

Why do you need a spreader? Well, getting an even coating of fertilizer over your lawn by hand is next to impossible. If you have no other way to do it, you can certainly spread it by hand. Just make sure to use gloves and apply it very carefully. Walk backward, throwing fertilizer out as you go in a sweeping motion.

Of course, you can use water-soluble or liquid fertilizers with a hose too. These types of fertilizers are more difficult to handle and apply evenly because you have to refill them often when covering a large lawn. When using liquid fertilizers with sprayers, you must follow the instructions on the label very carefully.

How to Use the Spreader

Back to those spreaders! Once you have one picked out and ready to use, make sure to set the spreader setting to the right level – the level that corresponds to the amount of fertilizer that needs to be applied. These instructions usually come with the spreader. If the setting isn’t right, then you’ll need to calibrate it.

When you go to fill the spreader, don’t do it over the grass. If any spills out you risk burning your lawn and that is not an attractive look. Fill your spreader over the driveway or walkway. Make sure to sweep up any fertilizer that spills.

When you begin applying the fertilizer, start at the edges of your lawn first. You don’t have to go slow or fast, your normal walking speed will do just fine. Avoid missing any areas by moving back and forth between the edges and overlapping the path you are following with the wheels of the spreader.

At the end of each strip, turn the spreader off. This is an important step because if you stop, the spreader may continue releasing fertilizer. This will cause an uneven application and could have disastrous consequences for the look of the lawn!

After You Spread

When you’ve completed the application of the fertilizer with the spreader, water the lawn thoroughly. This helps the nutrients to penetrate the soil so the roots of the grass can soak them up. Watering also helps to wash the fertilizer off the leaves of the grass to help keep it healthy.

As for the spreader, when you’re done using it then you should wash it with a hose. Neglecting to clean the spreader can cause corrosion, so don’t skip this step before returning it to its owner or storing it until you need it next time.

See? That wasn’t so hard! The most important thing to remember is to follow the directions on the fertilizer for the application if you want everything to turn out OK!

Sara Butler

Sara Butler has written scores of articles for Lawn Love -- everything from how to revive your dead lawn to how to start to lawn care tools every homeowner should have.