Monday, December 14, 2015

Make Life Easy - Measure your Yard

Knowing the square footage of your grass areas and bed areas are key to applying any fertilizer or control product correctly. With the nice weather we are having, now is a great time to get out there and measure the yard.

An old bathroom scale and bucket also aid in the proper application of products. If your yard is 8,000 square feet and you want to apply a product at 4 pounds per thousand square feet, then 8 times 4 is equal to 32 pounds of product. Get a bathroom scale and a five gallon bucket. Pour 32 pounds into the bucket and apply it equally across the yard.
Make notes about spreader settings used and particle size of product, so you know what setting you should use the next time you use this product.

I can remember several times hearing different variations of this same answer to my question while at the counter at Possum’s. “How many square feet is your yard?” Rough answer,” well, last year I put out that bag that covers 5000 square feet and it was perfect for my yard, so I must have 5000 square feet.”  Sorry, wrong answer.

Based on a pound of nitrogen, we sell 50 pound bags that cover as much as 23,000 square feet and as little as 1000 square feet. Unfortunately, the bag does not know the size of our yards or how fast you walk.

In the old days, yards were mostly square or rectangular, and they were easy to measure. Now most yards have curvy bed lines that sweep across the landscape, making them more difficult to measure. If you can break the yard up into little squares or rectangles, and measure the length and the width then you can get your square footage. Length multiplied by width will give you your square footage. Add up all the squares and rectangles that you measured the square feet of, and you will come up with the square footage of your yard.

If this sounds like total “Greek or Geek” to you, ask a landscaper, a realtor,  a landscape architect, someone that works with floors or carpets, an engineer, a construction worker, someone who pours driveways, or anyone else that regularly needs to measure the square footage of something to help you. Your plat map from when you purchased your house might help as well.

Now, there are even websites that you can log onto and they will tell you the square footage of your yard. Of course, I like to do it the old fashion way – length times width.

I know this measuring seems like a pain, but most of us stay in a house for several years or decades. A little pain spread over several years of having very useful information is worth it.

Once you measure the yard, put the measurements in about 5 to 10 locations throughout your house, your car (so you have it with you when you go to buy product) and the garage, so you do not lose them. I have learned over the years that I put information like that in one “special place” so I do not lose the information. I then forget where that “special place” is!