Thank you for wanting to get your spreader settings right! We'll explain how to calibrate a spreader because a miscalibrated spreader is a waste of your time and resources. Not to mention, it can have negative effects on your lawn.

Super-Sod's Yellow Spreaders

 
We have our own high-quality yellow, broadcast spreaders, both a walk-behind and hand-held version. A team of our in-house experts developed this settings chart for every granular lawn care product we sell. Having our own spreaders allows us to thoroughly help you with spreader settings for the granular products in stock at our stores.
 

Walk-Behind Yellow Spreader Settings

Fertilizer Rate Setting
5-10-30 plus Iron 10 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 23
16-4-8 plus Iron 6 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 18
18-24-12 plus Iron 5 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 17
Pre-Emergent Rate Setting
0-0-7 with Barricade Pre-Emergent 6 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 18
16-4-8 with Barricade Pre-Emergent 6 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 18
Fungicide Rate Setting
Azoxystrobin & Propiconazole (such as Headway G)* 2-3 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 10-11
Insecticide Rate Setting
Imidacloprid (such as Grub-No-More) 2 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 12
Bifenthrin (such as Talstar)** 2-5 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 12-15
Soil Amendment Rate Setting
Fast Acting Lime 6 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 18
Seed Rate Setting
Elite Tall Fescue - Overseeding 6 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 18
Elite Tall Fescue - New Lawn 8 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 20
Zenith Zoysia Seed 1 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 5
TifBlair Centipede Seed .5 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 4

*Fungicide rates differ depending on whether you are applying preventatively or curatively. Please refer to bag for specific amount of product to be applied.
**Bifenthrin rates depend on the target pests (armyworms, fire ants, etc.). Please refer to the bag for specific amount of product.

Hand-Held Yellow Spreader Settings

Seed Rate Setting
Zenith Zoysia Seed 1 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 1.5
TifBlair Centipede Seed .5 lbs./1,000 sq.ft. 1.1

The settings listed are intended for general reference only for our yellow spreaders. This reference list doesn't apply to settings for other spreader brands. The setting numbers listed should be used as a starting point and adjustments might need to be made based on each user’s walking speed and machine; for the hand-held spreader it also depends on how fast the handle is turned and how high the spreader is held. Spreaders can wear and fertilizers change density over time so always double check your settings. Super-Sod makes no warranty to the uniformity of coverage and cannot be held responsible for misapplication or damage caused by the products listed. Products we offer may change and be replaced in this list.

Yellow Spreader Features

 
Walk-Behind Spreader

The price for our walk-behind yellow spreader is $129.99 and it comes with a 5-year warranty. It's the best choice for lawn care and its features include:

  • 80 lb. capacity hopper with rustproof poly construction
  • 10” pneumatic tires on rustproof poly rims for smooth operation
  • 3-hole drop shut-off system and heavy-duty gearbox to ensure an even application of all granular materials
  • SideSpred-ControlTM can be engaged to block part of the distribution pattern for better control along edges such as driveway and flower beds.
Hand-Held Spreader

Our hand-held spreader is $19.99 and is the spreader size we recommend for planting Zenith Zoysia and TifBlair Centipede seeds. For all other granular products we recommend the walk-behind spreader.

yellow spreader

Armed with the Super-Sod walk-behind yellow spreader, the spreader setting reference (above), lawn treatment products from your local Super-Sod store, and our monthly lawn tips email providing advice on what to apply and when - you can have a beautiful, livable lawn!

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Other Spreaders

 
We often get asked about settings on the Scotts brand spreaders (the green ones). Scotts has many different models, so they have an on-line tool you can use to look up settings by model and product bar code: https://www.scotts.com/en-us/spreader.
 
Plus, there are a handful of entirely different brands out there. We simply cannot test all of them in order to learn their recommended settings. That's why we developed our own spreader.

How-to Calibrate Other Spreaders

 
The following instructions are provided by Brad Hubinek, Regional Manager, Super-Sod of Raleigh, NC.
 
With so many spreader options on the market, it's impossible to tell someone exactly what setting to put their spreader on for applying products. So I'll tell you how I personally calibrate a spreader and spread products on my lawn. I used this method before we had our own yellow spreaders in stores, and we also used this method for verifying the Super-Sod spreader settings chart above.
 
Using Headway G (a lawn fungicide) as an example . . .
  • Calculate how much product you will need:
    • I figure out how many square feet my total lawn area covers.
    • Determine the application rate for the product - how many pounds per 1,000 square feet.
    • For this example, the recommended application rate for preventing fungus is 2 lbs. of Headway G per 1,000 square feet.
    • Do the math! My yard is 3,000 square feet, so I will need to apply 6 lbs. of Headway G. (3,000 square feet x 2 lbs. per 1,000 sf. = 6 lbs.)
    • Head to a local Super-Sod store and purchase the lawn treatment product.
  • Perform a 1,000 square foot test:
    • Measure out a 1,000 square feet area of yard for applying product as your initial calibration test.
    • Measure out how many pounds of lawn treatment product are needed. You can use a kitchen scale or stand on your bathroom scale with a bucket of lawn product and then subtract your weight with just an empty bucket.
    • Then I "choke down" the opening of my spreader to allow just enough of the product to pass through. I don't want to apply too much to one area. The opening size really depends on the granule size of the product being spread. Since Headway G is a fine granule, you'll want just a slight opening. Another example is our 0-0-7 fertilizer with pre-emergent herbicide which is a larger granule, so you'll want the opening to be a bit wider to allow the product to pass through.
    • Apply the product to the 1,000 square feet test area.
  • Adjust the spreader setting:
    • Is there any product left in the hopper after completing your pass over the 1,000 square feet? If yes, you will have to go over the area again to disperse the rest of the product.
    • Now you will have a feel for how much more you can increase the opening in the hopper of your spreader to apply the remaining product that you measured out for the rest of your yard.
    • If you ran out of product before you completed the 1,000 square feet test, then reduce the size of the opening.
  • Record your final calibrated settings:
    • After you calibrate for and apply a granular product, make a note so the next time you apply it you'll have your setting already. Make sure to note the product name and the corresponding number setting on your spreader.
    • Record the information in your phone, hang it on a note board in your garage, write on a piece of tape you stick directly on your spreader – whatever method works for you.
 

As you can see, the calibration process can be quite tedious! That’s why we have done the work for you with our yellow spreaders.

 

Pro-Tip: For Even Application, Use two half-rate passes

Best practice to ensure even coverage on your lawn is to apply the product in two passes: first half is applied in north-south direction and the second half in a pass going east-west. Once you know the settings for your spreader, make sure you are using the setting for applying half of the total recommended amount of lawn treatment product for each pass.

For the above example, my goal is to spread 2 lbs. of Headway G per 1,000 square feet to the entire area. If I am using the half-rate or two-pass method, then I need to apply 1 lb. per 1,000 square feet each time. So I need to remember to adjust the spreader setting for half of the recommended product application rate. Earlier we calculated that I need to apply 6 lbs. in total for my 3,000 square feet lawn – I will apply 3 lbs. in one direction and the other 3 lbs. in the opposite direction to get uniform coverage.

Half-Rate Spread Path Diagram by Earthway Products, Inc. 

EarthwaySpreader-Path-Steps

Avoid Cheap Spreaders

 
Like a miscalibrated spreader, a cheap or faulty spreader is a waste of your time and potentially damaging to your lawn.
 
This picture shows how a faulty spreader spit out fertilizer only once per revolution, as shown by the rich green line on one side. The entire path should be rich and green. Thankfully this neighbor recognized something wasn't working right and quit after one strip.
 
faulty spreader

Purge Broken Spreaders

 
Do you have two (or more!) broken spreaders in your shed? Are you thinking you'll fix them one day, but the reality is you keep buying cheap new ones that over a few years surpass the price of a quality spreader?
 
The clutter, plus the sight of the unfinished project is not peaceful. Sometimes it's hard to let go and throw things away without some help, so ask a family member or friend to help you purge your broken spreaders. They will gladly lend you a hand because decluttering is a positive experience for everyone.
 

Go with Super-Sod's yellow spreader!

Now that you know more about broadcast spreaders than you ever thought possible, you can consider yourself a pro on this topic. Help "spread" the word about quality spreaders and proper calibration by sharing and bookmarking this page for future reference.

Our yellow spreaders can be purchased at all Super-Sod stores.

Find Your Local Super-Sod Store

 
 
link to Lawn Maintenance Guides
 
Super-Sods Yellow Spreader Settings

Topics: fertilizer, How-To, FAQ

Did this help you out? Have any questions for clarity? Leave a comment below!