How to Measure Your Lawn for Fertilizer

For many homeowners, fertilizer is a key ingredient in achieving a lush, green lawn, but knowing how to much to apply can be tricky. Under fertilize and you won’t get the results you wanted. Over fertilize and you could burn your grass. In order to apply just the right amount, you must measure your lawn and take vital calculations before the application process can begin.

Measure Your Lawn Based on Its Shape

Step one in determining the appropriate amount of fertilizer is measuring your yard’s total square feet. Exactly how you do this will be based on your lawn’s shape

  • Rectangular Lawns – For rectangular lawns, measure the length and width and then multiply the length times the width for the final measurement.
  • Circular Lawns – To get an accurate measurement of a circular lawn, measure the distance across through the center, then divide the diameter by two, square the result, and multiply by 3.14.
  • Triangular Lawns – In the case of a triangular lawn, multiply the base length of the yard times the height and divide by two to find the correct measurement.
  • Measuring Your Lawn by Walking – An easier, albeit less accurate method for measuring some lawns is by counting your steps. Every step an average adult takes is about three feet. Walk across your yard, counting your steps for length. Then, do the same thing for width. Multiply those two numbers, and then, multiply your total by nine. (Example: 10 steps long x 10 steps wide = 100 x 9 = 900 square feet)

Determining the Amount of Fertilizer to Use

After finding your lawn’s total square footage, you can check the label on your fertilizer for the percentage of nitrogen that it contains. In order to find this number, look for a three-number series on the bag. Nitrogen will always be the first number listed. Next, determine the pounds of fertilizer you will need to apply based on the percentage of nitrogen, printed recommendations on the bag, and the pre-calculated square footage of your yard.

A Side Note

  • Keep in mind that the actual amount of fertilizer needed should include lawn area only. Areas not included are places that may be covered by sidewalks, driveways, or any other non-turf areas. If you are still having trouble determining the size of your lawn using these steps, don’t worry. There are internet programs available that can help based on a Google Earth photo of your home.

Using a Lawn Expert for Fertilizer Application

While calculating the appropriate amount of fertilizer and applying it correctly can be frustrating, doing the job well will offer some major benefits by way of a healthy, beautiful lawn. If you feel overwhelmed by the process or would simply like some help, consider contacting lawn care experts like those at Chorbie. Our team of pros can take all the guesswork out of fertilizer application, leaving you with nothing to do but reap the rewards.