Two tips for Fertilizer spreaders

Cleaning up afterwards

For as long as I’ve been spreading fertilizer, I have always hosed off the spreader and left it to dry before putting it away. Or, as often as not, forgetting to put it away and finding it the next morning. After I did my late-Summer distribution this year, I was using my battery operated blower to get most of the fertilizer off the driveway and the interlock, when I had an epiphany.

Wait, you do clean up excess fertilizer don’t you? OK, consider this a bonus tip. Blowing the fertilizer off hard surfaces has three benefits:

  1. puts fertilizer back where it was supposed to go, instead of wasting it
  2. keeps fertilizer from washing down to the road and thence into the local ponds, causing algae
  3. you don’t get iron stains on your sidewalk or interlock

Now where was I?

I had the blower in hand and realized that I could do a good job of cleaning the fertilizer off the spreader by just blowing it off. It did do a good job, and kept it dry, so I could store it immediately. I’m not sure I would do this if the spreader was mostly metal, but for a plastic spreader with few metal parts, I think it’s fine. When I do the Fall fertilizing I’ll wash and dry the spreader for the WInter, but over the Summer, I think my new method is a winner.

Letting it all hang out

Speaking of storing the spreader, it’s a bit awkward, isn’t it?

This is how I started out storing mine, after we built the garden shed. This keeps it up off the floor and mostly out of the way. It’s over a large shelf (aka junk table) so my head isn’t in extreme danger. However, after the fifth time that I just gently nudged it and had to quickly catch the spreader on it’s way down, I decided enough was enough. My solution takes just two pieces of wood and four screws:

The long piece has to be longer than the spreader bars are wide, and the short piece is about 6″ long. I made a “T” shape, and screwed it to a rafter beam such that the top of the “T” just pressed down on the spreader bars when it’s hung over the beam. It’s harder to explain than to do, but when you’re finished, you will be able to drop the spreader bars over the rafter, lifting the weight back slightly until it’s in place, and then, when you let the weight off, the spreader bars will tilt up and push up against the top of the “T”, locking it in place.

It’s now quite secure and it will survive being bumped.

This is ideal in a shed, but I imagine it could be adapted to a garage, you’d just have to lift the spreader up higher.

Extra points if you bevel the short piece to make it fancy!


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