A drop spreader allows you to apply fertilizer to your lawn evenly and with little effort. The basic set up has a handle that attaches to a hopper mounted on wheels. As you walk behind pushing it along, the spreader drops the material. By adjusting the settings on your drop spreader, you control how much material drops as you walk along. If you have a Red Devil drop spreader, it is important to get the settings correct depending on whether it's an old or new model.
Old Versus New
To determine whether your Red Devil drop spreader is an older model or newer model, look closely at the lever to adjust the settings. This lever is found on the handle of most spreaders, but some older models may have the settings lever at the hopper. A newer Red Devil spreader only has settings ranging from 0 to 5. A older model will have settings from 0 to 12.
Older Model Setting
For lawn food or weed-and-feed applications, set your older Red Devil drop spreader to 6.5 or 7 and newer models to 1.5. If applying a product to control grubs or insects, set an older model to 7 or 7.5 and a new model to 2 or 2.5. This is a basic guide and will vary depending on the particle size of your fertilizer.
Calibrating Your Spreader
Rather than use general guidelines, you can calibrate your spreader. Lay out a 10-by-10-foot tarp (100 square feet). Fill the hopper of the spreader about halfway and adjust it to the recommended setting. Walk over the surface of the tarp as you spread the fertilizer, then gather up what was dropped and weigh it. Multiply this weight by 10 to get how many pounds you would have applied to 1,000 square feet. Compare this to what the fertilizer manufacturer recommends and change your settings accordingly.
Using Your Spreader
First, make sure the hopper is closed before pouring in the fertilizer. Fill the hopper about three-quarters full. Move to the edge of your lawn as a starting point. Open the hopper and then walk in parallel lines across the lawn. To ensure good coverage, overlap each pass by a few inches. When finished, empty the hopper completely, rinse it well and allow it to dry before putting it away.