There are times when a simple hand spreader (Figure 1) is the best tool for applying granular fertilizer or pesticides. A hand spreader has no moving parts and is inexpensive. It can be molded entirely from plastic.
How to Use
A hand spreader can be used in two ways. First, it can be held in a horizontal orientation and shaken from side to side to spread granules. Alternately, it can be held at a downward angle so granules just flow over the lip without shaking.
A hand spreader has many uses around the home and garden. It is ideal for fertilizing rows in a garden when used in either mode. If shaken while walking down the row, the fertilizer is broadcast over the row; if held down at an angle while walking, the fertilizer can be banded on or beside the row. A hand spreader can also be used to spread fertilizer or granular pesticides on flower and shrub beds. It is very effective for treating individual shrubs and trees since it allows broadcasting under the drip area of the plant(s).
One unusual use of a hand spreader that has been reported is spreading fertilizer on a grave in a cemetery. It should not be used for lawn fertilization, even on small lawns, since it is difficult to obtain a uniform broadcast pattern.
Since a hand spreader can be made entirely of plastic, corrosion is not a problem, but it should still be washed after each use since some of the solvents in granular products can partially dissolve and damage the plastic.
A hand spreader is a very simple and inexpensive tool, but it can be ueful around a home or garden.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture