If you're wanting to spread out granular fertilizer, here are some machines that can help ensure you get even distribution quickly and easily. If you need more information, use the circle numbers provided at the end of each product description.
Who: Adams Fertilizer Equipment
What: Estate Fertilizer Spreader
Description: The Adams Estate Fertilizer Spreader has a 750-pound capacity and is made with 304 stainless-steel construction. Other features include a remote on/off engaging lever, adjustable fan and blades and an adjustable hopper for more accurate spread pattern (18- to 20-foot spread pattern). The spreader also has a one-stop rate setting and a large agitator.
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Who: Dakota Peat & Equipment
What: 410 Turf Tender
Description: The 410 is a pull-type machine that can be pulled by a utility vehicle or tractor and holds 23-cubic feet of material. Special spinner discs enable the Turf Tender to spread a variety of materials including fertilizer. The Turf Tender provides accurate spreading whether on a golf course or athletic field. A tarp is available.
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Who: EarthWay Products, Inc.
What: C24SS spreader
Description: EarthWay's C24SS spreader offers height adjustment on the handle and rate-setting control high on the handle. It features Direct Connect Linkage, a stainless-steel shut-off plate and jumbo 13 × 5 pneumatic tires. The hopper holds up to 100 pounds.
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Who: Gandy Co.
What: Drop spreader
Description: For spreading fertilizer, a Gandy drop spreader provides quality applications, placing granules uniformly without separating particles of different density. The Turf Tender series in 24-, 36- and 42-inch push and tow models are versatile for fertilizer, seeds or chemical applications with stainless-steel bottoms and slides. Mid-sized models are also offered in 4-, 5- and 6-foot tow and push models, featuring 1 cubic foot capacity per foot of hopper.
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Who: JRCO, Inc.
What: Fertilizer spreader
Description: The JRCO stainless-steel frame electric broadcast spreader fits commercial mowers and is available with either a foot-operated gate or push/pull cable. The broadcaster has electronic speed control. The polyethylene hopper has a capacity of 2.2 cubic feet or 120 pounds. It improves productivity with increased ground speed and a controlled 5- to 24-foot spread. The heavy-duty spreader can spread all types of granular or palletized fertilizer, seed, fire-ant bait and ice-melting products.
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Who: Land Pride
What: Broadcast spreaders
Description: Featuring an all-steel frame, frontal splashplate and three available hopper sizes, Land Pride broadcast spreaders fit most landscape, nursery and municipality uses. The 14-gauge hopper is manufactured using a spin process for sturdy one-piece construction. The smooth, seamless inner wall allows material, ranging from fertilizer to seed and sand, to flow freely for complete clean-out. Application rates range from 44 to 890 pounds per acre and hopper capacities of 350, 563 or 673 pounds enable you to keep filling and clean-out to a minimum.
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Who: Lely USA, Inc.
What: WFR spreader
Description: The Lely WFR spreader uses a ground-driven spreading mechanism, and its wheels drive independently for uniform application, even on turns. It can be operated behind a tractor, truck or any vehicle with a hitch at speeds from 3 to 10 mph. The spreading mechanism can be disengaged for towing. Hopper capacities range from 690 to 748 to 805 pounds.
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What: Roto/Drop Spreader
Description: LESCO's new spreader combines the accuracy of a drop spreader with the efficiency of a rotary. It lets turf professionals trim next to drives, sidewalks or beds, or in narrow areas using the drop function. Then is provides the productivity of rotary application for wider expanses. The patent-pending Roto/Drop Spreader applies granular fertilizer, control products, grass seed, ice melt products and more. It features an 80-pound capacity injection-molded broadcast hopper and stainless steel frame and hardware.
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What: MG10 spreader
Description: Designed for 18-foot coverage with adjustment for left- or right-side-only coverage, the MG10 granular spreader features a unique rotor that has guide ridges and ribs to provide even distribution. It handles seeds, fertilizer or other dry chemicals and is suitable for uneven terrain. An agitator arm prevents clogging, and the gearcase is fully enclosed for long life.
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What: RS75 spreader
Description: The Shindaiwa RS75 commercial spreader has a bag-and-a-half (75-pound) capacity, welded frame, heavy-duty axle bushings and a locking spring-loaded on/off lever. It offers a visible and easy-to-adjust rate setting to accommodate many different product uses. With its wide stance and 13-inch wheels, the RS75 is easy to push over rough terrain or through tall grass.
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Who: Spyker Spreaders
What: Fertilizer spreaders
Description: Spyker Spreaders' new Electric 120 and 220 are 12-volt spreaders that you can mount on utility vehicles, zero-turn mowers and, with the three-point hitch platform, any three-point tractor. The 120 holds 150 pounds of fertilizer and the 220 holds 250 pounds. Optional equipment for the 220 includes a hopper extension, which will enable your hopper to hold 500 pounds of fertilizer.
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Who: TrynEx International
What: LG 375 spreader
Description: SpreadEx, a division of TrynEx International, introduces its new LG 375 commercial-duty granular spreader. Designed specifically for lawn, garden and turf markets, the LG 375 is designed to work with multiple service vehicles including tractors, utility vehicles, riding mowers, trailers and pickups. Standard with a 10-foot control cable, the spreader's material flow gate calibrates and controls material flow. This allows the operator to distribute the right amount of materialf or each application. An adjustable deflector allows for spread pattern manipulation. Holding up to 3.25 cubic feet or 275 pounds of dry, free-flowing granular material, the unit's 10-inch, powder-coated steel spinner can spread up to 40 feet in width.
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Who: Vandermolen Corp.
What: Windmill Spreader C510
Description: Vandermolen Corp.'s Windmill Spreader C510 is the smallest of four sizes (the largest has 800-pounds granular capacity) and offers a granular capacity of 400 pounds. It also features a three-point hitch, is PTO-driven and reaches spread width of 50 feet. It spreads salt, sand and all types of fertilizers and seeds. An optional agitator is available for use with materials prone to lumping.
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WHAT'S IN YOUR FERTILIZER?
Total nitrogen (N)*
|1.2% Ammoniacal N
3.6% Water-insoluble N
6.1% Coated slow-release urea N
21.1% Water-soluble N
|Available phosphoric acid (P
|Soluble potash (K
|*Derived from ammoniated phosphates, urea, isobutylidene diurea, sulfur-coated urea and sulfate of potash.|
Among other information, fertilizer labels list total N as well as a breakout of N sources by percent. Labels typically also list the actual sources, which you can match with the percentages given. For example, on this label, the ammoniacal N (1.2%) comes from ammoniated phosphates, the water-soluble N (21.1%) comes from urea, the coated slow-release urea comes from SCU (6.1%) and the water-insoluble is in the form of IBDU (3.6%). Even though it's labeled as a slow-release product, approximately two-thirds of this product's N is in quick-release form.
Sources: Grounds Maintenance, “Nitrogen: Finding the form that fits,” by Elizabeth Guertal, September 2000.
THE pH FACTOR
Fertilizing will do litte good if soil pH (the measure of soil acidity) is too high or too low. pH levels affect how soil releases the nutrients in fertilizers. If levels are off enough in either direction, the result is that nutrients get trapped in the soil and become unavailable to turf and ornamentals. Measured on a scale of 1 to 10, a pH greater than 7 indicates that soil is alkaline. You should treat alkaline soil with sulfur or gypsum. If pH is less than 6, you should treat soil with lime to raise that level. Generally, most plants thrive at a soil pH level of 6 to 6.8.
Source: All About Fertilizer, “Soil & pH,” www.fertilizer.com.
AS A MATTER OF FACT
As a rule, spreader-applied granular fertilizers generally offer you more options than liquid-applied fertilizers in regard to source of nitrogen as well as the ratio of quickly vs. slowly available nitrogen. They provide you with the option of fertilizing ornamental plantings at the same time that you fertilize turf.
The United States is the world's second largest producer of nitrogen. China is the largest. However, the United States does produce the most phosphate in the world, thanks to the large areas of phosphate reserves that are found here.
In 1999, 53.5 million total tons of fertilizer were used in the United States.
Sources: Grounds Maintenance, “A fertilizer program for home lawns,” by Thomas L. Watschke, March 1994; and The Fertilizer Institute, “Statistics,” www.tfi.org.
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