Can You Spread Grass Seed With a Fertilizer Spreader? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

This is a question that I’m sure has come across the minds of homeowners especially those new to the do it yourself process.

Planting grass seeds can be a thoroughly exhausting job especially for large patches of land.

Your fertilizer spreader is a multipurpose tool and apart from fertilizer you can also use it in spreading other lawn products such as seeds, salt, ice melt to mention a few.

It is important to be able to ensure even and effective distribution of the grass seedlings.

A lot of people go about doing it the wrong way, leading to loss of time and waste of products.

Some people advocate the use of hands for seed planting however on a larger scale this can be stressful and exhausting.

Not to mention the fact that it will not be a uniform coverage.

However, that fertilizer spreader sitting in the garage can also be used to spread seeds and in my opinion a much better option than hands.

This article will explain how you can use you fertilizer spreader to also spread grass seeds and the processes involved to do this successfully.

Can You Spread Grass Seed With a Fertilizer Spreader

Can You Spread Grass Seed With a Fertilizer Spreader

Your fertilizer spreader is a multipurpose tool and apart from fertilizer you can also use it in spreading other lawn products such as seeds, salt, ice melt to mention a few.

The way you spread fertilizer is also the same way you apply seed and all you have to do is adjust your fertilizer spreader settings for the seed spreader.

Fertilizer spreaders help to spread grass seed and other aforementioned lawn products fast, evenly and efficiently.

It ensures that your resources are not wasted  as it helps you in applying just the right amount of product needed.

If you already have a fertilizer spreader then go ahead and use it for planting your seeds and save yourself the stress and cost of buying another spreader.

Related: Here is an article I wrote on can you spread lime with a fertilizer spreader?

Do You Put Grass Seed in a Spreader?

When planting seeds in your lawn or in a larger planting expanse it is usually advisable to use a seed or fertilizer spreader.

This helps to reduce stress and speeds up the process of planting as it can be exhausting placing seeds over a long stretch of time.

Also it ensures even distribution of the grass seeds to the planting area.

Both broadcast and drop spreaders can be used for grass seeding. Before planting, you need to know the amount of seeds you’ll be using. 

Adjust your seed spreader accordingly and pour the grass seeds into the spreader.

Divide your grass seeds portion into two equal halves and put one half in the spreader at first.

After planting that, pour the second half then go ahead to walk perpendicular to the sections you planted before to ensure total coverage.

After use, clean up the remains of the grass seed from the spreader and store for another use.

Also read this article I wrote on can I use my fertilizer spreader for grass seeds?

Can You Put Fertilizer And Grass Seed Down At The Same Time?

Grass seeds usually require fertilizer application to grow quickly and fertilizer use before and during planting ensure that there are enough percentages of the NPK macronutrients for rapid growth of the grass seeds.

If you have been confused on whether you can put fertilizer and grass seed down at the same time, you can go ahead to do that.

It is usually advisable for new lawns to help the soil with nutrients for the seeds.

However you must know the kind of fertilizer you are applying so as not to apply a type that will impede growth if seeds are planted immediately.

For use of fertilizer and seed planting together, starter fertilizer types are recommended.

This type of fertilizer is high in phosphorus which the grass seeds need to develop a strong root system.

Totally avoid the fertilizers that have weed herbicides in them as they will kill and impede the growth rate of the newly planted seeds. 

If you plan to plant seeds as well as fertilizer application then the first thing to do is apply the fertilizer before distributing grass seed. 

Start with half of the fertilizer you need for the planting site in the spreader then walk vertically over the lawn.

When that is done, pour in the rest and push the spreader horizontally to cover any exposed area. 

Till the soil to massage the fertilizer properly into it, then rake the topsoil back and water it slightly.

Then go ahead to seed your lean immediately in the exact way you applied the fertilizer.

Can I Use A Scotts Spreader For Grass Seeds?

Scotts spreaders are well built for spreading fertilizer, grass seeds and other lawn products.

Your Scotts fertilizer spreader can also serve the multipurpose function of spreading grass seeds.

To ensure your grass seeds are properly distributed by the Scotts’ spreader, ensure you follow the recommended settings for Scotts spreaders that come with the seed bag.

You can also calibrate your spreader to know the exact setting to place it.

However if you do not want to go through the process of calibrating Scotts has provided us with spreader setting instructions. 

If you are using a broadcast spreader, Scotts recommends a setting of 5 ½ for overseeding and 8 ¼ for a bare lawn. 

For handheld spreaders, Scotts recommends a setting of 4 for both new lawns and overseeding.

While for drop spreaders, a setting of 8 ½  for overseeding and 12 ½ for new lawn is recommended.

There are also spreader instructions for various seed types from Scotts. Hopefully this will make your planting process go easier.

How Do You Apply Grass Seed To A Spreader?

To effectively plant grass seed with a spreader, start with knowing the right seeding rate for the grass seed you are planting. 

Then calculate the number of seeds needed by dividing the weight of the seed bag in pounds by 1,000 and then multiply the figure obtained by the square feet area of your lawn.

This will help ensure you are totally covering the area. 

You then go ahead to portion out the amount of grass seeds needed to cover the planting area.

Divide it into two equal portions and then pour one portion into the spreader. 

Drop spreaders are usually better for seed planting as it ensures the seed drops directly on the planting area as you walk.

Remember to adjust your spreader settings to one-half the seeding rate before you start planting

To spread your seed walk in straight vertical rows over the planting area and when that is done, pour the second portion of grass seed and now walk the spreader in horizontal rows to ensure all areas are covered. 

After application you can walk a weighted roller over the planted seeds to ensure the seeds are pushed fully into the ground.

Cover the area with topsoil and then moisturize with a sprinkling of water. It should be a light application so as not to wash out the newly planted seeds.

What Month Is Best To Put Grass Seed Down?

Before planting your grass seeds you need to know what time of the year that is the best for planting your kind of seed.

The period you plant your seeds also depends on where you live and the type of grass seeds you are putting down.

This is because grass grows faster when they are planted in a season that aligns with their natural time of active growth.

These grasses have growth cycles and when you plant during the period they will actively grow, you’ll get a larger and faster yield.

Different grasses have their own periods of growth. Some grow well during fall, while some grow in spring or late summer. 

Grasses such as the Tall Fescue and Perennial Ryegrass grow faster during late summer to early fall.

They are cool season grasses and as such flourish during the cooler season when the temperature has dropped.

Other grasses such as Bermuda Grass and Centipede Grass however are warm season grasses and they flourish in the warmer periods of late spring to early summer..

Timing your planting to work with the grass seeds peak period of growth ensures that the seed is rooted and is able to develop rapidly.

This helps to give your lawn the full look you want to achieve. You can read up this article for comprehensive knowledge of planting seasons.

Should I Put Down Fertilizer Or Grass Seed First

Most experts recommend fertilizing the soil before planting the grass seeds as it gives the seeds the initial boost for growth.  

However a variety of factors usually determine whether you put fertilizer or grass seed down first. 

These factors include: the type of grass seed to be planted, the present condition of the soil, whether the lawn is new or will be reseeded and the weather conditions at the time of planting.

  • The type of grass.that is to be planted will usually determine if the soil will be fertilized. Warm season grasses such as Bermuda grass usually require that the soil be fertilized before planting and then reapplied over a specific period
  • Soil conditions such as the ph levels will determine if the soil will need fertilizer before planting. A soil with low ph levels will need treatment with an ammonium fertilizer before any planting activity can be carried out.
  • Lawn type: if a lawn is, it is advisable that it is fertilized. This is to prepare the land for planting. Though it is recommended that a soil test be carried out first to determine the kind of fertilizer and the ratio of macronutrients that will be applied.
  • The weather conditions at the time of planting should also be noted. Some grasses grow best in spring while some do during fall so it is important to note that too before fertilizing.

Depending on the type of fertilizer used, you can plant your grass seeds immediately after fertilization.

However if the fertilizer contains a weed preventer it is best to wait for about a month before planting as the herbicide will prevent the grass seeds from germinating.

You can also add another dose of fertilizer about 4 weeks after seed planting to ensure they are moist and healthy.  

As you can see from this article, planting grass seeds on your lawn can be a pretty complex process.

However if you follow this guide step by step, you will be able to do this on your own without any fall backs.

We look forward to you planting and growing beautiful grasses on your lawn

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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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