Best Compost Spreader for a Lush Lawn and Garden

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Why use hands to spread compost, manure, fertilizers, and other garden products when there are tools designed for that work? Yes, I'm talking about compost spreaders. The best compost spreader is what you need. Besides, maintaining your lawn in good condition is already a time-consuming task.

Spreading compost with hands take longer, gives inconsistent results, and exposes you to potentially hazardous chemicals. While with a compost spreader, besides spreading compost, it is handy when seeding a new lawn, treating a yard for pest infestations, and feeding an existing garden.

You now have reason to invest in the best compost spreaders.

What Is a Compost Spreader?

A compost spreader is a tool that allows you to apply the right quantity of compost, manure, fertilizer, and other garden products to your lawn. To use a lawn compost spreader, fill it with compost and adjust the settings to control the fertilizer applied. Then, push the spreader over the area you want to fertilize.

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The bucket then empties over a predefined area at predetermined intervals, creating fertilizer layers or bands in your yard. Moreover, they are often only required during active growth periods in spring and fall.

Now that we understand what a compost spreader is, let's check out the best compost spreader models.

1. Scotts Elite Spreader

Scotts Elite Spreader for Grass Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt, Durable Push Spreader Holds up to...
  • Scotts Elite Spreader is advanced, accurate and engineered for a 20% faster application (vs. a standard 5 ft....
  • Push spreader can be used for feed, seed, weed, salt and melt while providing the durability you need with the...
  • The dual rotors provide exceptional accuracy while the ergonomic handle comes equipped with a smartphone holder
  • Scotts Elite Spreader comes equipped with EdgeGuard technology
  • The lawn spreader holds enough product to cover up to 20,000 sq. ft. with never-flat tires that can conquer any...

Last update on 2024-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For the best compost spreader that promises top-notch performance at a reasonable price range, count on the Scotts Elite Spreader. This motorized compost spreader features dual-rotor technology, which ensures even compost distribution without randomly spraying it in all directions. Besides, it usually spreads the compost fast and precisely, saving you hours on your composting work.

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I love the overall design of this unit, and when using it, it usually feels quite well-built. Another reason why I love this spreader is that it comes with never-flat tires that aren't affected by adverse weather conditions.

You can't go wrong with this model if you want an easy-to-use, strong spreader with reliable performance.


  • Easy-to-use spreader
  • Spreads the compost fast and precisely
  • It comes with a reasonable price tag
  • Strong and well-built


  • It can get noisy.

2. Scotts Whirl 1,500 sq. ft. Hand-Powered Spreader

Scotts Whirl Hand-Powered Spreader for Seed, Fertilizer, Salt, Ice Melt, Handheld Spreader Holds up...
  • Perfect hand-held spreader for small yards
  • Great for year-round use to weed, seed, fertilize, salt and ice melt
  • Engineered for smooth, even coverage
  • Adjustable arm support helps provide maximum comfort
  • Holds up to 1,500 sq ft of Scotts lawn products

Last update on 2024-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you prefer a handheld spreader, count on the Scotts Whirl 1,500 sq. ft. model. The unit has a compact design and weighs 1.15 pounds, making it easy to carry and store. Besides, it's made of plastic, so you can spread fertilizer, compost manure, ice melt, and other garden products without worrying about corrosion of the spreader, as you would with metal spreaders.

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This lawn compost spreader takes up practically minimal storage space. When using it, I usually fill the hopper, push the trigger, and spin the handle; quite easy. An adjustment dial usually regulates the opening width, and the trigger opens the hopper gate to release the content as I turn the baseplate crank.

Additionally, the spreader comes with slide-out wrist support, which helps keep the hopper stable and reduces user fatigue. Finally, it's worth mentioning that this tool is perfect for seeding barren places, treating small or hard-to-reach grass areas, or distributing ice melt products.


  • It comes with an affordable price tag
  • It has a compact size taking up almost no storage space
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Made of noncorrosive materials


  • Offers inconsistent flow

3. Agri-Fab Push Broadcast Spreader, 45-0462

Agri-Fab 45-0462 Push Broadcast Spreader,Orange & Black,130-lb Capacity
  • 45-0614 has now replaced 45-0462
  • HOPPER CAPACITY: 130 lbs.; 1/2 acre (25,000 sq. ft.)
  • SPREAD WIDTH: 10- 12 ft. spread
  • WHEELS: 13" x 4" pneumatic tires
  • OPERATION: Easy to use direct rod control

Last update on 2024-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are looking for a versatile spreader, we recommend the Agri-Fab 45-0462 model. The unit has various spreading settings that allow you to choose the garden product you want to spread. Besides, it's a sturdy and durable device made of a solid plastic hopper and a high-quality metal frame.

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Whether I want to spread compost, seed, fertilizer, or other garden product, the spreader always gets the job done. Besides, I acquired a hopper grate for a small extra cost, allowing me to use even more garden products in the device.

This spreader comes with pneumatic tires, so you can always spread compost regardless of the state of your lawn-even on uneven surfaces.


  • Versatile compost spreader
  • Effective even on uneven surfaces
  • It is sturdy and durable
  • Easy to use


  • A bit difficult to assemble

4. EarthWay 2150 Commercial Broadcast Compost Spreader

Another spreader to count on for uneven surfaces is the EartWay 2150. The unit has large wheels and a sturdy frame, making it ideal for any terrain. I'm always impressed by how uniformly it spreads compost and fertilizer. And how easily it spread compost over my entire lawn without leaving any sections untouched.

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The spreader has an anti-clog design, making it one of the best compost spreaders I have ever used. When spreading compost, one of the most common issues I encountered was the compost being clogged in the spreading chute. With a unique clog-free setup, this unit resists this issue.


  • Ideal for any terrain
  • Easy to use
  • Spreads compost and fertilizer uniformly
  • Features unique clog-free setup, which prevents clogging of compost


  • A bit difficult to assemble

5. Agri-Fab 45-0288 Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader

Agri-Fab Polypropylene 45-0288 175-Pound Max Tow Behind Drop Spreader, Black 42 Inch
  • Hopper capacity is 17-gallons (dry)/175-pounds
  • 40,000-square feet coverage; roughly 1 acre
  • Rustproof poly hopper increases product life
  • 42-inch controlled spread width
  • Premium galvanized steel agitator improves durability; pneumatic tires allow for smooth transport, 3 Year Limited...

Last update on 2024-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you have a large lawn, Agri-Fab 45-0288 is the best compost spreader to go for. The spreader has a maximum load of 175 pounds, so even with your large lawn, you rarely have to keep filling up the hopper, saving you a lot of time.

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The spreader is incredibly well-built and designed to handle all types of terrain. The pneumatic tires are one of my favorite features as they allow the spreader to roll smoothly even in wet, dead grass underfoot.

I usually connect my tractor to this spreader to make work easier. But, of course, you can also connect to any other agricultural vehicle. However, a tow-behind spreader isn't for everyone, and most people usually won't require a spreader of this size.


  • Ideal for large lawns
  • Perfect for all types of terrain
  • It can be connected to a tractor or other agricultural vehicles
  • Spreads the compost fast and precisely


  • A bit tricky to assemble

What Are the Benefits Of Using A Compost Spreader?

Benefits Of Using A Compost Spreader

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1. Offers Even Distribution

A compost spreader can provide more consistent fertilizer distribution throughout your own lawn. This ensures that all areas receive the same amount and is not concentrated in some sections as in traditional hand spreading.

2. Ease of Use

A compost spreader is usually easy to use, even for people with arthritis, since they don’t have to use as much force to hold or spread the manure, leaves, and grass clippings as they would if they did it manually without any mechanical help.

3. Discharges the Material at Predefined Intervals

A compost spreader usually discharges the material at predefined intervals, allowing you to create an efficient fertilizing pattern over time without manually maintaining it. It also helps prevent ruts in your lawn when too much weight is placed in one area due to dragging equipment trails or human foot activity.

4. Enhances Soil Structure and Organic Content

Compost spreaders enhance soil structure and organic content through aeration, which may not occur when applying fertilizer by hand due to the compaction of overworking soils, which can restrict water retention and limit root growth.

Enhances Soil Structure and Organic Content

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This may result in reduced plant vigor, indicating the need for more regular watering, which is already burdensome for households today. In addition, since composted materials are often coarser than manure or compost, they require less work once applied to your lawn.

5. Easy to Remove the Leftovers

Once you are done applying them, you can easily and quickly remove any leftovers by emptying the hopper. They usually don’t stick to the material like they do when applied by hand.

6. Safe to Use

Compost spreaders are safe to use even on sensitive turfs, such as golf courses, where there are many dangers, such as water hazards, deep sand traps, and roughs around greens, fairways, and tees. It also causes less wear on grass blades than other methods, resulting in more frequent mowing demands over time because it does not damage them as frequently.

7. An organic method of Fertilizing Your Lawn

Using a compost spreader is a more organic method of feeding your turf, which helps keep weeds under control, especially for homeowners who solely use chemical-based solutions. 

 organic method of Fertilizing Your Lawn

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Furthermore, organic methods do not use synthetic chemicals, which can damage plant roots, animals, and other living organisms in the soil. Besides, synthetics contaminate surface water through rain runoff, which goes against what we aim to achieve regarding environmental sustainability.

8. Offers Increased Aeration for the Soil

Since all the material is mixed up in the spreader and applied to your lawn, it provides better aeration for soils.

9. Compatibility

The good thing about buying a compost spreader is that you will always find a unit compatible with your lawn size. This ensures that you get what you need and that you don’t have to make any modifications in the future.

10. Cost Effective

A compost spreader is often more cost-effective than hiring a professional, particularly if you have a small lawn.

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Compost Spreader

1. Types of Compost Spreaders


Types of Compost Spreaders

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There are several types of lawn compost spreaders, each with a unique spreading technique. The most common type comes with a rotating arm that releases the material in front of either side’s wheels or rollers. In addition, it usually has forks at the end that are used for tossing and turning the soil as you go.

Moreover, the type of lawn compost spread you use depends on your lawn size and material. Check out the types of lawn compost spreaders.

i) Rotary Spreader

A rotary spreader dispenses material through a barrel. The barrel usually provides aeration to the compost, and if rotated consistently, it gives highly even coverage on the lawn. Besides, it is better suited to large gardens and lawns.

ii) Broadcast Spreader

Broadcast spreaders spray or discharge material on the front and sides of the equipment. It has a dial that distributes large amounts of compost, making it perfect if you want to cover a large area quickly without worrying about precision.

Consequently, it’s the fastest and most efficient way to disperse compost across your lawn. Besides, you can push it manually and handle a wide range of garden products, including compost, lawn food, and even lawn seed.

iii) Handheld Spreader

A handheld spreader is portable and easiest to use. Handheld spreaders are smaller broadcast spreaders that spread compost from the front and sides. You can easily carry it while walking, and the task will be completed.

Furthermore, handheld spreaders are easy to operate since they are controlled by a hand crank or a dial that regulates the flow and intervals. More so, they’re less expensive and work best on the smaller lawn.

iv) Drop Spreader

Like broadcast spreaders, drop spreaders disperse large volumes of material more precisely. In addition, they “drop” the material from the bottom, giving you more control over where you distribute the compost, which takes a little longer.

This is the ideal spreader to avoid your neighbor’s lawn or flower beds. However, we recommend testing drop spreaders before purchase to ensure that you are comfortable using the equipment, as poorly made models hardly last more than one season.

2. Tire Design

Before buying the best compost spreader, pay attention to the tire design because it will significantly impact how easy the spreader is to use and how well it performs. Pneumatic tires are always the best option since they never get caught in the mud and keep your spreader going in any weather.

3. Holding Capacity

Before buying the best compost spreader, it is crucial to know its holding capacity since it will determine how often you need to refill the spreader depending on the area it needs to cover. Therefore, you should fill the spreader once and apply the treatment to the whole area.

Holding Capacity

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Usually, holding capacity and lawn size are inextricably linked. For instance, a handheld spreader is ideal for small lawns up to 1,500 sq ft. A compact walk-behind spreader is ideal for up to 5,000 sq ft of medium-sized lawns. On the other hand, a large walk-behind spreader is effective for yards up to 20,000 sq ft.

4. Ease of use

When buying the best compost spreader, consider how easy it is to use. Look for one that’s easy to assemble and disassemble and has adjustable settings so you can control how much compost is spread.

5. Weather Resistance

Maintaining your lawn is a year-round job; therefore, having a spreader that can withstand the weather is essential. It’s no good if your equipment rusts throughout the winter and stops working when needed.

Besides, weather resistance ability is especially important if you intend to store your spreader outside. Generally, a plastic spreader will withstand wet and rust better, but a metal unit will likely last longer. Conversely, in the case of rust, you need to know how to deal with it.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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