To ensure perfect results on your lawn, it is essential that granular lawn care products are applied evenly and accurately over the whole lawn. If not, there is the chance of under-application and, even worse, over-application, which can lead to burning and damage to the grass.
There are many types of adjustable lawn spreaders on the market, and they range from the more basic drop spreader with a low number of settings, to the more professioanl style drop and rotary spreaders with a wide selection of settings.
The main benefit to a drop lawn spreader is that it will give the most accurate and even distribution of lawn care products. Usually regulated by the pace you walk at and the size of the opening on the base of the spreaders hopper, the best drop lawn spreaders will have a good range of settings and at the top end of the market you will get a control mechanism on the top of the spreader handle, enabling you to shut the spreader off and stop the product from being dispensed - especially useful to avoid over-application at the end of each row and for getting the spreader to and from the lawn.
As you walk up and down the lawn, the product will drop out in a controlled manner between the wheels, you can usually see a wheel line left in the grass enabling you to line up the lawn spreader with the previous row and avoid over-lapping.
A rotary lawn spreader will have a bucket-like hopper sitting higher off the ground than a drop spreader, the product is dropped out of the base of the hopper and it then lands in a spinning distrubution disc which then flings the product out to cover a wider area. This is great for the larger lawns as it can cover several metres of lawn width in a single row, the applciation is not as accurate as a drop lawn spreader, but you will get the job done quicker!
As with the drop spreader the rotary lawn spreader is also regulated by variable settings and the pace you walk at, basically the faster you walk, the faster the disc will spin, therfore the further the product will be spread. So in order to get the right application rate you should walk at the correct speed - in most cases it is about 1 meter a second, an average walking pace.
Many lawn care products will come in containers with lawn spreader spouts attacted, simply fold out the spout and walk up and down the lawn. Do not shake the pack side to side, this will lead to un-even applciation and could leave you with patchy un-even results. Hold the spreader pack down by your side, keeping the pack still, walk up and down the lawn in straight lines. The pack will state how much area it will cover, so just ensure you evenly apply the right amount of the product to the right area.