Spreader Settings: What You Should Know

Why correct spreader settings are important.

Before you can apply any BioAdvanced granular lawn fertilizer or weed, insect or disease control product, you must set your specific model of spreader to the appropriate settings. The wrong settings can result in over- or under-application, unsatisfactory results and possible damage to the lawn or surrounding environment.


Before you begin, check the product package.

Recommended spreader settings are usually listed on the product package. Different types and models of spreaders apply granular lawn fertilizers and pest control products at different rates. This is a function of spreader design as well as the granule size and consistency of the product you are applying. 

BioAdvanced granule products’ spreader settings as listed on labels.

24 Hour Grub Killer Plus

24 Hour Lawn Insect & Fire Ant Killer

3-In-1 Weed & Feed for Southern Lawns

5 In 1 Weed & Feed

All-in-One Weed & Feed

Complete Brand Insect Killer for Soil and Turf I

Complete Insect Killer for Lawns

Complete Insect Killer for Soil & Turf

Fungus Control for Lawns

Season Long Grub Control

Season Long Grub Control Plus Turf Revitalizer

Slow Mow Lawn Conditioner

Triple Action Lawn Fertilizer Plus

Your spreader is NOT listed on the package?

The truth is there are just too many spreader models and manufacturers to test and list them all. If the setting for your spreader is not on our package, the first thing you could do is visit the spreader manufacturer's website and see what kind of help they offer. They probably won't have specific settings for BioAdvanced products, but they should have information on how to calibrate your spreader so it applies the right amount of product over a specific area. You can always contact BioAdvanced at 1-877-229-3724 or use our live chat feature at BayerAdvanced.com for assistance. Your local Cooperative Extension System office may also have information on how to calibrate your spreader.


REMEMBER: The goal is to calibrate your spreader for a specific BioAdvanced product. Other BioAdvanced products, or products from other manufacturers, will require a different setting. 


If you want to use a manual process to find out the best estimate for your spreader setting, a good starting point is to consider the following:

  • 1 lb per 1,000 sq ft = 43.6 lbs per acre
  • 100 lbs per acre = 2.5 lbs per 1,000 square feet

We recommend that you start your project by measuring a 50 to 100 feet strip to test different calibrations. Use a tape measure to be as accurate as possible. Mark these areas with chalk, a string line or other method to close off the test site. Some common measurements for approximately 1,000 square feet are:

  • 50’ x 20’
  • 40’ x 25’
  • 32’ x 31’
  • 33’ x 30’

Measure out about 1/3 of the product’s total weight in pounds into your spreader. Select a low setting. Not the lowest but a low setting. Distribute the product over the measured area. While walking at a brisk pace, distribute the granules over the testing area. When you are finished, reweigh the amount of remaining granules and subtract this from the original amount. What you are left with is the amount that was distributed over the 50 to 100 feet area. Using this information, apply the following calculation to determine how many pounds per square feet pertains to your property.

  • weight per 1,000 square feet × [effective swath width of spreader × length of strip] ÷ 1,000 square feet = weight that needs to be applied

Adjust the setting as necessary to spread the product evenly over the entire area. Once you are comfortable that you have the correct setting – write it down in a convenient place for future reference.

It’s important to know that the goal is to calibrate your spreader for each BioAdvanced product. Each BioAdvanced product or products from other manufacturers will require different settings. This is especially important when applying herbicides or fertilizers. You do not want over apply product or this could possibly damage your lawn.

In a nutshell, here's how to calibrate a spreader.

For most BioAdvanced products, the goal is to apply a specific number of pounds of product per 1,000 square feet. Using a tape measure, accurately measure off a specific area on a hard, easy-to-sweep surface, such as a driveway. It doesn't have to be the entire 1,000 square feet. Half or quarter of that area may work as long as you remember to also adjust the desired amount of product to be applied as well. 


Keep in mind that broadcast spreaders apply granules over a wider area and may need the larger space for proper calibration. Broadcast spreader passes must also overlap according to manufacturers instructions to achieve even coverage.


Once you have determine the appropriate pounds of product for the space you have measured, pour the granules into your spreader. If your product provides a range for your spreader setting (e.g. 2-4), select the lower setting (e.g. 2) and distribute the product over the measured area.  Adjust the setting as necessary to spread the product evenly over the entire area. It may take a few passes. Make sure you sweep up the product between tests. After you are comfortable that you have the correct setting — write it down in a convenient place for future reference.