How to Apply Lawn Fertilizer with a Spreader

You’ll need a quality spreader and the right fertilizer that is made for your lawn. Then follow these easy steps for successful fertilizing. Remember to walk at a steady, but neither slow nor rushed pace, for even, ideal distribution.

  1. Make sure the spreader is turned OFF.
  2. Set the spreading rate on the spreader to the setting indicated on the back of the lawn product you are applying.
  3. Always fill the spreader on a driveway or walkway — not on the lawn, in case some of the product is spilled.
  4. Begin spreading, using the following guidelines.

If you have a rectangular lawn:

  • Start by making two header strips at each end of the lawn. This provides an area for turning the spreader on and off.
  • Go back and forth between the ends, shutting the spreader off when you reach the header strips. When starting back, put the spreader in motion before opening it in the header strip area.
  • If using a drop spreader, make sure the wheels overlap the wheel marks in the grass from the previous swath to prevent missed strips.
  • If using a rotary spreader, be sure to overlap the edge of each swath with the edge of the previous swath to prevent missed streaks.

If you have an irregularly shaped lawn:

  • Apply a header strip around the edge of it.
  • Go back and forth the longest direction, shutting the spreader off when you reach the header strip.