How Big is Your Lawn? – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

How Big is Your Lawn?

A key step in most lawn maintenance practices such as seeding and fertilizing as well as with double-checking your calibration and application accuracy is to determine the size of the turf area. Determining your lawn area will help you calculate how much seed you need, how much sod to order, how much fertilizer to apply, how much pesticide to measure, and more.

The best way to do determine the area is to divide your turf into several squares, rectangles, or circles (Figure 1). Calculate the area of these smaller shapes and then add them together to determine the total size of the turf.

Figure 1. Common shapes and how to calculate their area.
Figure 2. An example property with dimensions for its lawn, hardscape, landscape, and house.

Area Calculation Example
This example illustrates how you might calculate the area of your lawn. The measurements for this example come from Figure 2.

In this example, the easiest method is to calculate the total area of the property, and then subtract the hard surfaces from that to get the total area of the lawn.

Section of Property Calculation Area
(square feet)
Total land ((90 ft + 60 ft)/2) x 80 ft 6,000
House 50 feet x 25 feet 1,250
Driveway 15 feet x 40 feet 600
Porch 8 feet x 12 ft 96
Mulch 1 10 feet x 5 feet 50
Mulch 2 25 feet x 5 feet 125
Mulch 3 3.14 x 82 x 0.25 (mulch bed is a quarter circle) 50
Mulch 4 3.14 x 82 x 0.25 (mulch bed is a quarter circle) 50
Total area of objects 2,221
Total turf area (6,000 square feet – 2,221 square feet) 3,779

The total turfgrass area of the lawn is 3,779 square feet.

Turf professionals often use specialty programs, software, or commercial services to help in calculating your lawn’s area down to the square foot. Technology has also made this a little easier as various online maps can also be used to estimate your lawn’s area. If you are computer savvy, then using Bing or Google maps and measuring tools you can also get an accurate measurement. If you are not computer savvy, then measuring your lawn area the old fashion way as described above will probably be just as quick and possibly easier.

Aaron Patton, Turfgrass Extension Specialist

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