How to Fertilize With a Drop Spreader


Drop spreaders are labor saving garden tools that help to spread fertilizers and soil amendments at the recommended rate uniformly over a planting surface. They typically consist of a hopper or reservoir for the fertilizer granules with an adjustable aperture at the bottom of the hopper, two to four wheels and a push handle with a lever to control the flow of fertilizer out of the hopper through the aperture.

Step 1

Determine the recommended rate of fertilizer distribution for your specific product by consulting the fertilizer package label. Adjust the aperture to the proper setting for your fertilizer. Make sure the aperture on the hopper is in the closed position.

Step 2

Fill the hopper with the recommended amount of fertilizer for the square footage you intend to cover, consulting the product label to make this determination.

Step 3

Align the drop spreader along the edge of the area to be fertilized, starting at one corner with a long straight stretch in front of you.

Step 4

Engage the lever to open the hopper aperture and walk at a consistent pace along the long edge of the area. Disengage the hopper control lever at the end of a pass while you make the turn and re-engage the lever when you start the second row, overlapping it slightly with the first.

Step 5

Walk over the entire area pushing the spreader in slightly overlapping rows. Do not walk on the previously distributed fertilizer. When the proper amount of fertilizer has been distributed, disengage and close the hopper.

Step 6

Rinse out the hopper and dry it before storing for the next use.

Things You'll Need

  • Drop spreader
  • Fertilizer


  • Texas A&M University: Fertilizer Spreaders
Keywords: how to use a drop spreader, fertilizing with a drop spreader, distributing lawn fertilizer

About this Author

An omni-curious communications professional, Dena Kane has more than 17 years of experience writing and editing content for online publications, corporate communications, business clients, industry journals, as well as film and broadcast media. Kane studied political science at the University of California, San Diego.