How to Determine the Square Footage of Your Garden

By Anne Davis , last updated May 3, 2011

Regardless of the size and shape of your garden, you can calculate its square footage easily and quickly. Mathematics is an important part of life in general, but it can make your gardening easier and more effective. Once you determine the square footage of your garden, for example, you can plan your planting scheme better and prepare fully for your mulching, fertilizing, and pest control needs.

Square or Rectangular Garden

If your garden is a traditional square or rectangular shape, deterring its square footage will be easy for you. Using a tape-measuring device, measure the length of two adjacent sides, that is, of one length and of one width. For the sake of example, let's say the length of your garden is 10 feet and its width is 15 feet. To determine the square footage of your garden, you just multiply these two values together. In our example, the garden covers 150 square feet.

You can measure your garden in inches if you want to, but it will require an additional step. Let's say you've measured that your garden is 126 inches by 147 inches. You can multiply these values together to get 18,522 square inches. To convert your square inches into square feet, you divide your value by the square of 12, that is, by 12 times 12, which is 144. So we're going to divide 18,522 by 144 to get a square footage of 128.625 square feet.

Triangular Garden

If your garden has a more triangular shape, you can determine its square footage almost as easily as you could if it were a square. First, determine the height of your garden. Measure from one corner of the triangle straight down to the opposite side. Where your tape measure meets the opposite side should form a 90 degree, or right, angle. Then you measure the length of the side you used to measure your height. (Two whole sides of the garden will not be used for measuring.) For the sake of example, let's say your garden has a height of 10 feet and a side length of 12 feet.

To determine the square footage of this garden, you determine the product of the height and the length and divide that value by two. For our example, we'll multiply 10 by 12 to get 120, which we will divide in half for a final value of 60 square feet.

Irregular Garden Shape

If your garden has an irregular shape, simply divide it up into manageable shapes. See if you can't turn your garden into a series of squares, rectangles, and triangles. If you can do that, find the square footage of each shape and add them all together for a final square footage.

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