Estimating the size of your land

It’s easy to calculate the size of your plot. All it takes is a bit of patience and simple arithmetic. Here’s how to do it. To supply manure (or chemical fertiliser) at the right rate, you must know the size of your land.

First, pace the length (L) and width (W) of the land, and record the number of paces in each. One pace is about 1m. Now multiply the number of paces for the length by the number of paces for the width.

This will give you the area in square metres (m²). For an example, see Figure 1 below. Figure 1: Estimating the area of a rectangular or square plot.

Now multiply the number of paces for the length by the number of paces for the width. This will give you the area in square metres (m²). For an example, see Figure 1 above.

This assumes the plot is rectangular or square. If it has constant length but differing width, or constant width but differing length (see Figure 2), you use a slightly different method to work out the area. Figure 2: Estimating the area of a plot with constant width but varying lengths.

Let’s use the example in Figure 2, which shows constant width but differing length. In this case, work out the width (W) of your land by pacing across it at a right angle (90°) as shown. Next, determine the length (L) by pacing along the length of the plot on both sides. This will give you two plot lengths.

In Figure 2, these are:
L1 – 8 paces
L2 – 12 paces.

Now calculate the average length of the plot by dividing the total of L1 and L2 by 2. In this case, it is 8m + 12m ÷ 2 = 10m.

To calculate the area, multiply this average length (10m) by the width (5m): 10m x 5m = 50m2.

The same method applies where the length is constant but the width varies. Measure the length, then get two measures of the width, W1 + W2, and do the calculation.

To convert the area of your land to hectares (ha), divide the area in square metres by 10 000. In this case, it would 50m2 ÷ 10 000 = 0,005ha.