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Best (and worst) Grass Seed Spreaders – Hand vs Push, Rotary vs Drop

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If your lawn is over 40m2, it’s a good idea to invest in a grass seed spreader to make things more efficient. They come in different forms. Some are hand-held and some you push along with wheels. Some fling the seed out using a rotary mechanism whereas others sprinkle or drop the seed in one spot.

So, The question is:

Which grass seed spreader is best for you and how do you choose yours?

That’s why I’m writing this post. I aim to guide you in the right direction to help you decide which product is best for you. Whether you have a 50m2 lawn of 2,000m2 lawn . There’s a spreader out there for you.

Rotary vs Drop Spreader for Seed

The two most important types of spreader are what’s know n as a rotary or a drop spreader.

A rotary or broadcast one spins round and flings the seed out in a circular form. Whereas the drop spreader will drop the seed in one spot. Both work on the basis of you walking up and down the grass to drop or fling the seed.

Both have their own pros and cons. For example, a rotary is best for getting an even spread. However, if you don’t want seed to be flung into the flower beds, this is harder to control than it is with a drop spreader.

Arguable the most important difference is whether you want a rotary broadcast or drop spreader.

A drop spreader will drop the seed as you walk up and down the lawn. You can start right on one side and work your way up.

A rotary broadcast spreader will fling the seed out of the holder with the view to making it easier to get an even spreader. Much more important when spreading lawn feed.

Seed vs Feed

You can use the same spreader for seed and feed. There’s one thing to note though. Grass seed has a much lower density. This means it takes up a lot more space in the trough for a lot less weight than fertiliser would.

My current spreader set up (60m2 lawn)

Right now I’m using a hand-held Gardena broadcast. It cost just £25. I could get a better one but it does the job.

Granted, at 1.8 litres it’s slightly too small for grass seed to cover 70m2.

The super-low density of seed means it can’t fit as much in it as feed.

Meaning I have to do 4-5 trips during an overseed. I’ve tried drop spreaders but definitely prefer broadcast ones.

Best Grass Seed spreaders for 2024

As we move into 2024 it’s expected that the cordless hand held spreaders will grow in popularity. Not taking over just yet though and that’s mostly because of price. One of these will set you back around £70-90 in 2024.

As far as spreaders go, this isn’t cheap for a hand held one but it will save you the effort of continually turning the handle as you move your way round the grass.

Gardena Hand-held Spreader M (up to 80m2)

You can buy the Gardena Hand Held Broadcast for around £25.

The high quality and reasonable price meet nicely in the middle. After all, you get what you pay for.

  • At 1.8 litres capacity It can hold around 1kg of grass seed and just under 2kg of fertiliser.
  • It has a number of settings but I’ve only ever used it on the fastest due. toa lack of patience
  • It has a broadcast range of around 3m

I’d highly recommended the hand-held Gardena Spreader as a good mid-value product. I’ve used mine for several years, it’s taken a bit of bashing and still works perfectly well.

Gardena Lawn Seed Spreader Range

Ryobi 18V ONE+™ OSS1800 Cordless Seed Lawn Spreader (up to 150m2)

You can buy this from Ryobi tools for around £71.99.

That’s for the bare tool only, so will be more useful if you already have a Ryobi battery

  • The Ryobi offers a variable flow rate or max distribution of 2.5m to 3.5m.
  • It has a 4 litre hopper and can be operated with just one hand. This should hold approx 2kg grass seed (or 4kg lawn feed)
  • It takes an 18v Ryobi battery share

Einhell GE-US 18 Li Cordless Hand-Held Broadcast (up to 100m2)

The Einhell is slightly cheaper than the Ryobi at £49 for the bare tool (or £80 for the battery / charger included).

  • It is however slightly smaller too at 3.3 litres. This should hold approx 1.5kg grass seed (or 3kg lawn feed)
  • It works on the battery power share for all Einhell products
  • You can also buy the Einhell cordless mower and cordless strimmer for around £140 from Wickes

Scotts EvenGreen Drop spreader (70m2 plus)

The Scotts EvenGreen Drop Spreader is available to buy for around £60.

  • It features a release handle, which works as a on/off switch to release the seed after you’ve started walking.
  • At 0.5 kg, it’s pretty light weight and has total width of 45cm, meaning less walking up and down than you would with a standard mower.
  • You can also adjust the height of the handle for a more comfortable feel when using it.

I highly recommend choosing a drop spreader with with a release handle. Meaning you can release the seed when necessary. Otherwise, it just drops out as soon as you open the latch.

Cresco 5 Shoulder Broadcast Seed Spreader (100m2 plus)

This one is available to buy for around £65.

The Cresco shoulder spreader is essentially a hand-held device that comes with a shoulder strap so you can hold more product. It’s recommended for lawns of 10m2 and over

  • It offers a 6m spread width, nearly double of any other hand-held device.
  • It has a capacity of about 4kg grass seed or 9kg lawn feed.
  • The bag zips up so you can be sure not to lose anything as you walk along.

Be careful with the extra spread width though. if you don’t want grass seed or lawn feed in unwanted spaces, you’ll need to stand around 3 metres in from the edge of the lawn.

The Worst Spreader I’ve ever used

Harsh? Maybe, but I feel the need to share my experience.

The Evergreen Easy Spreader is the worst one I’ve tried. Don’t buy it

While it’s easy to put together, using it just. never agreed with me. Especially trying to apply lawn sand. My biggest issue is that as soon as you open the bottom feed just drops out straight away.

Not just that though. The grass seed just wouldn’t drop out. Even on the fastest setting.

I ended up with lines of burn patches on the grass because it dropped so much in a line.

That’s the number one reason I recommend getting a drop spreader with a release handle.

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