A Guide to Measuring Your Lawn and Garden

How to Measure a Lawn or Garden

If you’re blessed with a square or rectangular lawn, measuring its area is simplicity itself. Measure the width and the length, then multiply the two together. But if it’s not quite that simple, don’t worry, we’ve got the answers.

Ways to Measure a Lawn – How To Measure Garden Length

Measuring a Lawn With Your Feet

feet in trainers to measure size of lawn

The average man’s shoe in the UK is a size 10, in a welly or outdoor shoe that’s 26cm. Pigeon step your way along the lawn, count your steps and calculate the length at the end. Alternatively, the average step is around 3 feet (or 1 yard) in length, but you could measure your normal step with a tape measure to determine this before you start. Pace the width and breadth of your lawn and count the steps, before doing the inevitable maths involved. When you think about your steps though, you subconsciously lengthen or shorten them, so try to maintain a natural pace. Convert your number of steps for a measurement in feet by multiplying steps times the distance of each step in feet.

Measuring a Lawn With Tape (Measuring or Surveyors’ Tape)measuring tape centimeters

If you’re a fan of lawn bowls or DIY you’ll have one of these close at hand, but using a tape measure is preferable as long as you’re able to have a weight or a willing helper to keep one end still, or alternatively a marker that will show you exactly where you started in each instance. Maintaining straight lines is crucial, as is carrying a phone or a slip of paper, so that you can write down where you’re up to with your measurements as you go – there’s nothing more frustrating than losing count.

Measuring a Lawn With a Measuring Wheel

If using a wheel, make sure you zero it first (which means making sure the small dial on the top reads ‘0000’ before you start. This will ensure an accurate reading. Many of these click every time you wheel a metre, but the dial will show you how far you’ve walked. Remember to always walk in straight lines, and also to zero the top of the wheel before taking each reading.

Measuring a Lawn Using Google Maps

google maps on phone

Open the Google Maps app on your computer. Find your lawn using your postcode or address, then right click on your starting point using the mouse. From there a series of options will appear. Of these, choose ‘measure distance’. Then click on the other end of your lawn in the same way to create a path to measure – the distance between the two points will automatically appear on the screen.

Measuring a Lawn Using Your Phone

As the well-worn saying goes, "there’s an app for that". Similar to Google Maps, these will calculate the area for you so you don’t have to. Simply download your chosen app (many are free but some come at a small cost of up to £9.99, depending on how clever you require it to be). From there, depending on the app you choose, you can either stride out the distance with the device in your hand, or mark it out on a map, similar to the Google Maps method (above).

How to Calculate the Square Footage of a Lawn /How to Measure Garden Area

How to Calculate a Square or Rectangle Lawn Area

hands drawing on paper pencil ruler

Simply multiply the length of one short side by the length of one long side if rectangular, or any two sides if square.

How to Calculate a Right-Angle Triangle Lawn Area

Make the right angle triangle lawn into a rectangle or square by doubling the distances and then half the final amount.

How to Calculate a Circle, Half Circle and Quarter Circle Lawn Area

Make a partial circle up to a full circle, and then half or quarter the final amount as appropriate. To find the area of a circle, use the π button on your calculator. You need to calculate π × radius × radius. (The radius of the circle is half the diameter).

How to Measure an Irregularly or Odd-Shaped Garden Lawn

This is obviously more challenging, but the key is to always make the area up into rectangles or squares and then divide the final amount as appropriate. This sounds complicated, but is a process that’s made much easier by sketching the whole thing out on a piece of paper.

How to Measure a Garden With a Slope

sloped gardenMeasure the rise (the difference in elevation between the high and low ends of the slope). Then measure the run (the horizontal distance between the two ends of the slope). Then divide the rise by the run. As above, there are apps available that will help you do this and might save you a headache or two.