Do you know the size of your lawn or garden and why this is important to successful gardening? How about calculating the square feet of your lawn or garden? Many homeowners struggle to calculate square footage especially for odd-shaped lawns and gardens, but one key to successful gardening is knowing the square footage of the area you are working with. When planning an outdoor project with sod, pavers, hardscape, or even when shopping for lawn products, you need to know your square footage. Most lawn and garden products like seed and fertilizers provide coverage based on square feet. Besides, why purchase more pavers or sod than you need?
These items can be very pricey and knowing the area size is critical to ordering the right amount without coming up short or overrunning and costing you money. Even with fertilizer, it can be tough enough trying to choose the right lawn product but you also need to know the size of the application to make sure the product is applied and used correctly. Why buy a bag of fertilizer that is intended to cover 12,000 square feet, when you have a lawn that is only 2,500 square feet? Purchasing lawn products without knowing your area size is like going grocery shopping and not knowing how many people you are going to be feeding.
Growing up in a sod farming family, our office had a fancy square feet wheel calculator. It was an orange tool that had a wheel at the base and a handle stick that had a ticker number that rolled up and calculated as you walked with it. My parents always had me and my siblings calculating area sizes on the fields outside the office with this wheel calculator. We were very young and very rambunctious in the office and I now realize this was a sheer distraction tactic to get us out of the office, outside and busy!
Since we no longer have time for that and I don’t even know where I can find one of those “fancy old-school tools”…let’s make this easy. Let’s use modern technology to our benefit and use satellite power to assist us with an exact measurement! There are MANY sites out there that utilize satellite imagery for this task. SoilKit by AgriTech Corp. offers its own free tool (www.soilkit.com/calculate) to assist homeowners, professionals and others with calculating the area size.
A piece of advice: there are many homeowners who will try and remove certain areas out of the calculation. For example, one homeowner was subtracting the tree canopy area and I advised just to leave that area in the calculation. Although there is not grass that needs to be treated, the tree and the ancillary plants growing under the tree also enjoy those fertilizer nutrients. And if you have a sidewalk area or smaller area not intended for the fertilizer application, remember, don’t get too caught up in subtracting the smaller dimensions, as the small amount of extra fertilizer can be used on your roses, trees, bushes and other plants.
Here is your test….do you know how large your lawn or garden is? If not, calculate and put your skills to the test and double check!