Spreader Settings & Application Tips



The settings furnished in this manual are intended as a guide only. Variations in physical characteristics of materials applied, walking speed and roughness of ground surface may require slightly different spreader settings. Due to these stated conditions, the manufacturer makes no warranty as to the uniformity of coverage actually obtained from the settings listed.  If you do not see a setting for your spreader, more detail may be available from the manufacturer's website. Visit Agri-Fab, Earthway, Red Devil, Sears or Scotts websites for more information on their recommended spreader settings. 

Click HERE for Agway Spreader Setting Manual.

The two main types of spreaders are the Drop Spreader, which drops the material straight down the width of the spreader as you push; and the Broadcast Spreader (also known as a rotary spreader), which throws the material from the spreader.  To apply product with a spreader, please follow the guidelines below to get the most of your application: 



Drop Spreader:  First make two passes along the top of the area you’ll be covering.  Then make two passes along the bottom area.  Then move back and forth along the long part of the lawn.  For uniform coverage, it’s a good idea to overlap wheel marks.  On each pass, as you reach the strips at the top and bottom of the area to be covered, shut off the spreader.  It’s also important to shut off the spreader when you are stopped.    

Broadcast Spreader:  To start or stop the spreader, slide the shut-off lever to the closed position.  You c an avoid misses by ensuring there is some slight overlapping.  Many broadcast spreaders, set 75% open, will disperse approximately 8-10lbs per 1,000 square feet pass. 

Some spreaders may require multiple passes to achieve the desired application rate.  Making multiple passes in a criss-cross pattern will improve uniformity of dispersion and is desirable when practical.  If you are having a difficult time seeing the wheel tracks on your spreader, try applying in the morning.  This is an ideal time because dew is on the ground, making wheel tracks easy to see.  Plus the wind is calm in the morning, making it easy to spread uniformly. 

To determine how much product to apply to your lawn, you must determine the square footage of your lawn.  An easy way to do this is to walk the length of your lawn figuring that one pace equals about three feet.  Do the same with the width of your lawn.  Then multiply the length by the width to arrive at the total.  Make sure you subtract the square footage of your home and driveway when calculating the total square footage of your lawn.

If your lawn has an irregular shape, try dividing it up into a number of square areas.  Calculate the square footage for each area, and then add the figures together to reach your total lawn size.

To provide proper distribution, calibrate spreader before application.  Weigh the correct amount of product needed for 100 sq. ft. Using the spreader, apply the measured amount on a 100 sq.ft., hard, clean surface. Adjust the setting as necessary. Sweep up and return product to the spreader.  

Printable version

Be sure to check back to www.agway.com for more information, projects and tips. Visit your local Agway where you'll find everything you need, year-round, for your home, lawn, garden, farm, pet and wild birding needs. Each Agway location is independently owned and operated and as such products and pricing vary by store.