HOW MANY SQUARE FEET IS YOUR LAWN? by Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent

You need to know the square footage of your lawn in order to correctly maintain it. In order to correctly apply granular lawn fertilizers and many lawn pesticides, it is a must to know the square footage of your lawn. Otherwise, you are playing a guessing game that can negatively impact your lawn, the environment and your pocketbook.

Without knowing the area to be covered, most people tend to overdo it. I have stepped off the area of a homeowner’s front yard and determined that the homeowner used three to four times the amount of fertilizer that should have been used. This is common. Applying too much fertilizer is a sure way to do in a centipede grass lawn. It causes a condition commonly referred to a “centipede grass decline.”

Most, if not all, lawn pesticides are applied based on the square footage of the area to be treated. For example, a commonly used lawn herbicide (weed killer) states on the product’s label, “Determine total area to be sprayed and base rate of application on the chart below.” The accompanying chart provides the following information. When the area to be covered (treated) is 500 square feet, use 1.5 tablespoons of the product. The suggested amount of water to use in order to cover 500 square feet is 1 gallon. When the area to be covered is 1,000 square feet, the chart directs to use 3 tablespoons of the product with 2 gallons being the suggested amount of water to use in order to cover 1,000 square feet. The chart goes all the way up to one acre as the area to be treated with two quarts of the product required to do so. The amount of water suggested to cover 1 acre is 40-80 gallons. With an herbicide that is mixed with water, water is the means of distributing the herbicide. This is true with lawn insecticides and fungicides that are applied using water, as well. Granular pesticides are applied similarly, based on the size of area to be treated.

So, save yourself some money while improving your lawn and Florida’s environment by measuring the square footage of your lawn. And, record it for future use. You might want to measure and record the size of your front yard, side yard and backyard separately. Make sure to subtract the square footage of non-lawn areas such as your driveway, walkway, plant beds, storage building, etc.

Please email me at lwilliams@co.okaloosa.fl.us to let me know that you have measure your lawn. I’d like to know that this column is having a positive impact in regards to your lawn and gardening practices.

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