Broadcast spreaders are manual or motorized tools, set on wheels and pushed or pulled over a surface to distribute dry, pelleted fertilizers or soil amendments. They are designed to cover a wide area in a single pass, thereby saving time and labor. According to Richard L. Parish at Louisiana State University, all broadcast spreaders contain a hopper, a metering unit and a distribution mechanism with a rotary or pendulum action.
Fill the hopper of the spreader with the amount of fertilizer recommended for your particular square footage of lawn.
Set the rate of distribution on the spreader control knob or lever to correspond with the number or letter setting recommended on the fertilizer label, for your type of fertilizer and type of lawn grass.
Start at one corner of your lawn. Engage the handle to begin release of the fertilizer product from the hopper and walk at a steady and consistent pace in a relatively straight line over the length of the lawn.
Disengage the hopper when at the end of a row, make a turn with the spreader and start a new row, being sure to overlap the farthest edge of fertilizer spread by an inch or two. Re-engage the hopper mechanism and complete another pass.
Repeat this process until the entire area of lawn has been evenly coated with the proper dose of fertilizer.