How to Measure Fertilizer per Acre


Adding fertilizer to your land helps to improve grass health and growth. Whether you use a synthetic fertilizer or natural fertilizer, the most important ingredient in the fertilizer is the nitrogen content. In the end, the total concentration of nitrogen in the fertilizer will determine the amount of fertilizer you need. Yellowing and dead patches of grass are a good indication that your grass needs fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Walk-behind measuring wheel
  • Multiply the acreage of your property by 43,560 to determine the square footage. Most bags of fertilizer offer measurements and dosing ratios based on square feet, so converting your acreage to square footage allows you to apply the information printed on the packaging of the fertilizer. For example, if you own two acres of property, multiply two acres by 43,560 to obtain a square footage of 87,120 square feet.

  • Measure the square footage of any buildings, ponds and landscaped areas you will not fertilize. To do this, measure the length and width of the object with a tape measure or with a walk-behind measuring wheel and then multiply the length and width together. Add together the square footage of each object in your yard and then subtract that total from the initial square footage of your yard. The resulting number gives you your adjusted square footage.

  • Divide your adjusted square footage by 1,000 to determine how many pounds of nitrogen you need in your fertilizer. According to Maryland University, you need one pound of nitrogen per every 1,000 square feet of grass.

  • Inspect the ingredient listing on the package of fertilizer you wish to use. Determine how many pounds of nitrogen the bag contains. If you have an adjusted square footage of 80,000 square feet this would mean you need 80 pounds of nitrogen. Divide your needed pounds of nitrogen by the total pounds of nitrogen in each bag to determine how many bags of fertilizer you need. As an example, say that each bag of fertilizer has two pounds of nitrogen. You need 40 bags of fertilizer.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is recommended that you complete soil testing to determine if your soil is deficient of the nutrients supplied by the fertilizer you plan to use. Adding too many nutrients, such as nitrogen, can actually damage your lawn. Usually, adding fertilizer once or twice per year is sufficient, but if your yard’s soil test does not indicate the need for fertilizer, do not add any.

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