What is a Drop Spreader?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Drop spreaders are handy farming devices that are used to evenly spread seeds and fertilizer in a garden area. Smaller models work very well in home gardens while larger designs can be attached to tractors and used to cultivate larger tracts of land. Because of the function of a drop spreader, the equipment can also be used to sow grass seeds when cultivating a lawn.

While the design will vary somewhat from one drop spreader to another, the basic operation remains the same. As the spreader is moved forward, seeds or other matter are released from a hopper. The release is measured, ensuring an even coat at the machinery progresses. It is possible to control the quantity of seeds or fertilizer released by adjusting the drop spreader settings prior to beginning the spreading procedure.

While it is possible to purchase a drop spreader that is designed for spreading one particular element, many of the spreaders are multipurpose. This means the same equipment can function as a fertilizer drop spreader, a drop seed spreader, or a lawn drop spreader with equal ease. As long as the proper setting is selected to control the type and frequency of the dropping action, the spread will remain evenly spaced and produce the desired effect.


As with many types of equipment, it is important to maintain a drop spreader properly. This means cleaning the hopper and other components after use. Since fertilizer can sometimes promote rust, it is especially important to wash any residue off the spreader. Often, this can be accomplished by simply washing down the spreader with the garden hose.

Lubricating the moving parts from time to time is also important. Proper lubrication will help to ensure the moving parts on the hopper base continue to release elements evenly and prevent any failure of the mechanics of the tool.

In general, it is a good idea to become familiar with all operation and care information provided by the manufacturer of the drop spreader. The information often includes specific details on how to properly clean the individual components, the type of lubricating agents to use, and other important data that will help extend the life of the spreader.

Many home stores offer spreaders in several sizes, ranging from a push model drop spreader that is appropriate for use in backyard gardens to large equipment that can be used to cultivate large areas of farmland. It is also possible to find the smaller spreaders at lawn and garden shops and some hardware stores.


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