How to Measure Garden and Landscape Square Footage


Measuring square footage of the rectangles and squares of most planting beds is easy, but what do you do about the odd shapes that you find in garden spaces? Being able to accurately calculate the sizes of areas to be planted or amended with compost and fertilizers makes purchasing needed landscaping products less of a guessing game -- cutting time and money spent on your yard.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator
  • Paper and pencil
  • Make a basic sketch of the landscape areas you will be working on. Take measurements of all the basic sides and diameters of each landscape area with a tape measure and write them down on the sketch.

  • Break up the odd-shaped planting sections into different geometric figures -- circles, squares, triangles -- that will cover those extra spaces. Measure the rest of the distances needed for calculating those odd spaces. Use formulas for calculating the areas of those specific, smaller shapes and your measurements to calculate the square footage of each shape and section.

  • Add each area result together to make one grand total, encompassing the entire landscaped area.

  • Take measurements of the spaces that will not be included in a project, such as tree trunks, ornaments and pathways. Subtract these non-planted areas from the project totals. This gives you the final soil areas for each project.

  • Place orders for compost, fertilizers, ground cover plants, bedding plants, seeds, gravel, mulch or other garden supplies, based on the calculated area square footage for each part of the garden.

  • Keep a record of your measurements and mapping for future projects.

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