Guide to Broadcast Seeders: Lawns, Gardens, and Farms

For spreading seed, fertilizer, sand, ice melt, and other materials efficiently over a large area, broadcast seeders are essential tools for lawn care, gardening, and farming.

These implements can distribute materials in a wide fan pattern, covering more ground in each pass than a drop spreader.

With several types available, it’s important to choose the right broadcast spreader for your needs.

Handheld Broadcast Spreaders

Handheld spreaders are lightweight, portable tools that are ideal for small home lawns and gardens. Weighing 5 pounds or less, they can be carried and operated easily with one hand.

The hopper capacity is around 5 to 10 pounds. Hand cranking a lever makes broadcasting quick and easy. Spread width is normally 4 to 8 feet.

Handheld units excel at precisely distributing grass seed, wildflower seed, fertilizers, sand, and other materials over small areas.

They allow the home gardener to cover flower beds, gardens, and patches of lawn efficiently without tiring.

For their simplicity and low cost, handheld broadcast spreaders are useful additions for any homeowner.

Walk-Behind Broadcast Spreaders

For medium-sized landscapes, a walk-behind broadcast spreader is a good choice. Also called “push spreaders,” they cover areas of around 8,000 to 20,000 square feet efficiently.

With hoppers holding up to 100 pounds of material, they can cover larger areas without stopping to refill.

Sturdier than handheld models, walk-behind spreaders roll smoothly on two wheels. Widths up to 10 feet can be covered in a single pass.

Gears provide precision calibration for accurate spreading. Many models allow adjusting the spread pattern from very narrow to wide.

Walk-behind broadcast spreaders work well for lawn seeding, fertilizing, weed control, and ice melters for home lawns and gardens.

They provide a step up from handheld models for efficiency and productivity.

Tow-Behind Broadcast Spreaders

Tow-behind broadcast spreaders attach to the back of lawn tractors, ATVs, or utility vehicles.

Powered by the vehicle, they efficiently cover large areas including sports fields, parks, and residential or commercial landscapes.

With large hopper capacities of 100 pounds or more, tow-behind models can cover over an acre before needing to refill.

They are ideal for spreading seed, fertilizers, pesticides, ice melt, and top dressings over large areas.

Spread widths reach 30 feet or more.

For farms and residential acreages, tow-behind broadcast spreaders improve productivity.

Acre after acre can be covered without repeated refilling. The powered models provide reliability for heavy workloads.

Mounted and Chassis-Mounted Models

For major agricultural jobs, heavy-duty mounted and chassis-mounted broadcast spreaders fit the need. Mounted spreaders attach to a tractor’s three-point hitch and are powered by the PTO.

Chassis-mounted units attach to a trailer or directly to a truck chassis.

Capacities up to 1,000 pounds or more allow covering huge fields efficiently.

Spread widths of 60 feet or greater are possible. GPS auto-steering ensures perfect application with no overlaps or gaps.

Farmers choose mounted and chassis spreaders for fertilizers, seeds, herbicides, and other field applications.

The large-scale models deliver powerful spreading capacity for agricultural needs.

6 Types of Seeders Used in Modern Agriculture


Handheld broadcast spreaders meet the needs of small gardens, while walk-behind models serve medium landscapes well. For larger yards and acreages, tow-behind spreaders provide productivity.

And for major agricultural jobs, heavy-duty mounted and chassis-mounted models are the best fit.

Selecting the right broadcast spreader ensures efficiency for any lawn, garden or farm application.