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Lawn Spreader Operating Tips

Useful hints to avoid costly mistakes

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Lawn Spreader Operating Tips
photo © Jamie Burke

These useful tips will hopefully prevent accidents or spills and provide some insight on the proper operation of a lawn spreader.

  • Be sure the lever is closed before filling the hopper
  • Always fill the hopper on a hard surface, never on grass
  • Do not overfill the hopper
  • Ensure the screen is in place, to prevent clogging
  • Always push the spreader, never pull
  • Push the spreader at a consistent speed, the same as when calibrated
  • Always start walking before opening the lever, and close the lever before stopping
  • Walk in straight lines with the handle in the same position as when calibrated
  • To avoid gaps or dark stripes, be sure to adequately overlap if using a rotary spreader
  • Do not spread material while turning. The distribution is concentrated towards the inside of the turn, causing striping or burning
  • Do not apply granular products in windy conditions; product could blow into sensitive areas, upset neighbors, and be ineffective
  • Keep material dry to prevent caking and clogging of opening
  • Be cautious on slopes to prevent tipping and spillage
  • Always rinse off spreader after use to prevent corrosion and avoid buildup around the opening and on the impeller

A fertilizer spill can be particularly damaging to a lawn by actually burning the leaf tissues beyond recovery. Pesticides tend to be odoriferous and powdery and should be applied on a calm day to avoid drifting. If a fertilizer or pesticide spill occurs, read the label and follow directions.

If in doubt about fertilizer or pesticide applications, there is no shame in letting a lawn care company come a few times a year. It's safer, easier, and takes up no space in the garage.

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