Scotts Snap Spreader System Review
This is the follow up to the Scotts Snap Spreader System Giveaway post I did nearly a month ago (by the way that contest is still ongoing until April 30th, so be sure and enter if you haven’t already). Now I’ve actually had a chance to use the Scotts® Snap® Spreader System they sent me though and can give you a review. As is always my requirement for sponsored posts, I’m allowed to say whatever I please here and I get paid either way.
If you haven’t seen the Scotts® Snap® Spreader System, it’s similar to other spreader systems with some notable differences, of which there are three particularly that are probably the best thing about this spreader system over others I’ve used. First and foremost is that with this system there’s no guessing in terms of what setting to set the spreader at given what you’re putting in.
In other spreader systems I’ve used, this tends to see me wasting quite a bit of money by setting the thing at an overkill setting so it spreads more than it should have for a given area; so my bag that should cover 10K square feet is suddenly only covering 5K, which can also potentially cause some lawn damage in some cases. With the Scotts® Snap® Spreader System, this isn’t an issue as the bags are made for the spreader to automatically release the correct amount.
When I used it, it seemed to be pretty accurate too, in terms of the square footage it said the bag should cover. I didn’t actually get our the measuring tape or anything, but my backyard is about 10K square feet and the bag said it would do 4K square feet and it did indeed seem to do just under half my backyard, so here we are.
There also is a fair amount of convenience to these bags, which brings me to my next biggest pro. These bags have a mechanism on the bottom to lock into the spreader system so you don’t have to pour or have any spillage. Spillage is particularly bad when you spill on concrete and don’t sweep the fertilizer all off before it gets wet (stains the concrete; ya, I did that once). It also can be bad when you spill fertilizer directly on a patch of grass, which obviously will burn that grass unless you painstakingly pick up the spilled fertilizer, granual by granual. With this system, you just lift the bag by the handle, and set it down in the spreader, then pull the lock lever. That’s it. No cutting the bag or anything. Likewise, when you’re done, just unlock it, and lift the bag. It’s automatically sealed back up and is ready to store with no risk of spilling. The bags are also pretty light too, which is nice.
However, these “perfect setting every-time” and “snap” system features also introduce probably the only real con of the system I found, namely that you’re locked into buying the special bags for this system. These seem to run about 20%-25% more than just getting the normal Scotts bags for any spreader or using another reputable brand. As noted, I tend to misjudge exactly what I should set my regular spreader at, usually spreading more than I should, so this price boost is somewhat neutralized by that, but for you who’ve got your spreading settings down for the brand(s) you like and the spreader you use, these bags are a bit more expensive than normal, presumably due to the locking system that exists on all the bags.
The third major pro is how compact the actual spreader is. As you can see from the pictures, it’s fairly narrow (though still spreads a nice swath each pass), but gets even smaller for storage by the fact that the handle folds down, giving it a very small footprint for storage, which is nice over my old spreader which is about three times as wide and the handle doesn’t fold.
There’s also a nice edge guard switch to this system, which is a very nice feature to have, particularly when spreading around concrete and the like which can be stained, or just to keep the fertilizer from going where you don’t want it to go. However, as this type of thing is sort of inherent to certain types of spreaders, it’s not quite as note-worthy in my opinion as the above features, but still a nice feature none-the-less.
So overall, I liked this spreader. Everything seemed to work great, which is key. Mainly, the one con is just being locked into only using the bags made for this spreader, and no other brands. As I’ve always had pretty good luck with Scotts brand lawn care stuff, like fertilizer, grass seed and the like, this isn’t that big of a deal and this also provides some of the major pros for this system: the perfect spread setting and the convenience factor with not having to cut bags and what not, so can’t really complain too much, I guess.
I’d like to come up with something else negative to say about it, as when I can’t come up with more to balance out the positives, people tend to say I’m just saying positive things for the sake of the sponsor, but really I can’t think of anything on this one. At the end of the day, it’s just a spreader; there’s really not much to it. If it works reliably, is fairly easy to use in terms of settings and what not, and is fairly sturdy, there’s not much else to quibble about, other than cost, which I covered, so here we are.
In any event, as I said, go here before April 30th and enter to win a Scotts® Snap® Spreader System, if you haven’t already (at least one person from Today I Found Out will win one): Scotts Snap Spreader System Giveaway
You can also go here to keep up on other Scotts giveaways by “liking” their page: Snap Perks on Facebook
- While planting grass over a septic drainage field is a very good idea, planting many other things is absolutely not. Basically, any plants that have roots that might grow down into the lines, like trees or shrubs or certain long rooted plants like tomatoes, isn’t a very good idea.
- Trees particularly can clog the lines completely over time with their roots. Contrary to popular belief, tree roots don’t grow in more or less the same shape as the tree above ground, but below. Rather, tree roots usually grow mostly within a couple feet of the surface of the ground and then spread out from there. The common wisdom is that the radius of the spread is about the same as the height of the tree, but this has in the last couple decades been proven to be decidedly false. Many types of trees can have their root structure extend even 2-3 times the height in any given direction. In particular, you should never under any circumstances plant a Willow, Red or Silver Maple, Elms, Birches, Beeches, or Poplars within 50-100 feet of a septic drainage field. While it may take many years for the roots to eventually find the septic field, when they do, they can cause some very expensive damage.
- Trees that are a bit safer around septic fields include Cherries, Crapapples, Dogwoods, Hemlock, Oak, Pines, and Sourwood. If you’re looking at fruit trees, any dwarf or semi-dwarf fruit tree greater than around 15-20 feet from the field should be fine. You want to particularly plant fruit trees away from your septic field though as they are capable of sucking up some pretty nasty microbes through their roots and depositing them into the fruit. Generally speaking this isn’t a problem because a properly functioning septic system should do a pretty good job of filtering these sorts of things out before they hit the roots, but if the roots are growing right into the lines, that’s another story.
- If you’re nervous about how close a tree or a neighbors is to your system and you can’t or won’t get rid of the tree, one fairly reliable way of keeping tree roots from damaging your septic system (too much) is to dump some copper sulfate into the system 2-3 times per year. You can do it all at once, but many arborists recommend spacing it out with smaller doses over the course of a week or two. This won’t disrupt your septic system’s microbial balance, but will effectively kill most tree roots that are invading your lines or coming close to it, while generally not harming the tree itself too much. Still though, while this will reduce the risks of having a tree too close to your lines do damage, it’s much better and less costly to simply just plant the trees as far away from the field as possible. While the general rule of taking the tree’s height and using that as the radius of the root spread has been proved false in many cases (particularly in sandy soil), you should be reasonably safe enough with most fruit trees by taking the height and then adding 25%-50% for guesstimating the root radius. For others like Willows, just say no.
- Another common tree root myth is that it is possible for a tree root to directly damage a sidewalk, house foundation, etc. by pushing itself through the concrete. Tree roots just aren’t capable of doing this, as you might expect when you see that many types of tree root barriers are little more than just really thick plastic. They can exploit a crack, but the crack would have already been there, they can’t make a crack in concrete directly. What’s actually going on here (causing the initial damage) is that the tree roots grow under the cement and suck up the moisture in the soil there, which causes the soil to contract somewhat and thus can potentially cause cracking in the cement as it loses some of its even, firm foundation. This tends to be more of an issue with sidewalks and the like, rather than house foundations, but if you have a large enough tree planted right next to your house, this can still occasionally be a problem.
- You should almost never bag lawn clippings. The lone exception to this is when you have a lawn disease. In that case, picking up clippings can reduce the spread of whatever fungus is causing the problem. In all other cases, you should leave the clippings in the lawn to promote lawn health. Leaving the clippings provides as much as 1/3 of the nutrients needed by your grass in a given year. It also provides food for your local worm population, allowing the population size to grow bigger than it would have otherwise. This may not sound appealing to some, but a good worm population will result in healthy soil and growing environment for plants. Also, the larger the population, the faster your clippings will disappear from your lawn floor. With enough worms, combined with the clippings losing their water content, your lawn clippings can literally disappear overnight, with the nutrients going back into the soil.
- Earthworms can consume about 1/2 to 1 times their body weight every day. They also will eat just about any dead organic matter along with processing a variety of types of garbage and even tiny rocks that have organic matter on them, grinding the rocks into a paste that will enrich the soil. They are quite literally nature’s garbage disposals. They also force air through the underground tunnels they create, thereby aerating the soil as they work. In the process of doing all this, they process and enrich the soil; they aren’t just nature’s garbage disposals, but also natural gardeners.
- Earthworms not only work tirelessly throughout their lives cultivating and fertilizing soil for plants to grow, but also form the basis of many food chains. They are a staple for many types of birds, snakes, moles, hedgehogs, beetles, snails, slugs and also are eaten by a variety of mammals such as foxes, bears, and others, providing essential nutrients to those animals. Charles Darwin went so far as to say of earthworms, “It may be doubted whether there are many other animals which have played so important a part in the history of the world, as have these lowly organized creatures.” He believed that earthworms are wholly responsible for the top layer of rich soil on the Earth.
- While earthworms do a bang up job at taking care of soil, they actually do too good of a job in forests. This can actually, over time, kill the forest. All the fallen dead leaves and other decomposing vegetation in the forest are essential for many tree seeds to germinate. The worms process this quickly, leaving the forest floor bare. This also changes the drainage of the forest, hurting some existing trees. This is a major problem in forests such as in Rhode Island and Minnesota, which had previously been worm free since the ice age; with the arrival of the worm, it is changing the ecosystem of these forests. Worms in forest = bad, worms everywhere else = good.
- According to research done at the Rothamsted Experimental Station, depending on soil quality, there can be anywhere from 250,000-1.75 million earthworms per acre of land. Poor quality soil with few food sources will have closer to the 250,000 range; good quality soil, such as farm land, will have closer to the 1.75 million worms per acre. This means that on an average farm with livestock, the weight of the worms beneath the surface of the land will likely outweigh the livestock that walk on top. What makes this more incredible is that a typical garden variety of earthworm can process about 10 pounds of organic material per worm per year. That’s a lot of free enriched soil.
- Another thing you can do to keep your lawn healthy, besides leave the grass clippings, is to mow with your mower at its highest setting. Keeping taller grass makes your lawn look better (grass will look thicker and stay greener in hot times); keeps the ground shaded to reduce the chances of various weeds taking root and keeps the ground cooler which helps the grass stay healthy in the dog days of summer. Finally, it results in the grass developing a deeper root system, which also helps it stay healthy despite possible heavy foot traffic or drought.
- The best times to fertilize your lawn are in early spring (February-April) when the grass emerges from its dormant stage and begins to grow, then from June to August when the weather is especially hot, and finally in the fall right before the grass goes dormant. Many lawn care experts say this finally feeding in the fall is the most important time to fertilize your lawn.
- Scotts Miracle-Gro Company was founded way back in 1868 by Orlando Scott who was also a Civil War veteran. It was originally named O.M. Scott and Sons Company and they started out selling premium seeds for farmers. They didn’t expand into selling grass seed until the early 20th century. Today Scotts grosses nearly $3 billion annually with a net income of around $167 million and employing over 8000 people.
- Tree Root Control on Septic Systems
- Planting Over a Septic Field
- Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
- Lawn Care Basics
- When to Feed Your Lawn
- Stripe Your Lawn for a Big League Look
- Don’t Bag Those Clippings
- Worm Facts
- Image Source
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