The Online Gardener's Handbook 2010
Chapter 8: Appendix
How to use Metric Equivalents

Table of Contents

  1. Measuring the surface area and length of row
  2. Measuring the volume of water
  3. Measuring liquid insecticides and fungicides
  4. Measuring dry pesticides
  5. Learn More

Since January 1, 1981 all pesticide labels give directions in metric measurements only. The easiest way to change over to this new system is to make your measurements also in metric. This may seem difficult but it is really quite simple as long as you have the proper tools for it. You thus avoid having to calculate the conversions from imperial to metric measurements.

Measuring the surface area and length of row: For treatment of lawns and for soil insects in vegetables and flowers you have to know the surface area in square metres; for row crops, such as onion, you need the length of row in metres. Take a long stick or slat and cut it to the length of one, two or three metres (1 metre = 40 inches), depending on the size of your garden and your own preference. Now you have a handy measuring stick and you should forget about yards and feet.

Measuring the volume of water: The second tool you need is a plastic pail for preparing spray mixtures. At the levels of one, two, three, four, five, six and seven litres (1 litre = 35 fluid ounces) make marks on the inside of the pail with paint or a waterproof felt marker. To avoid other uses mark on the outside of this pail "Insecticides, fungicides only".

Measuring liquid insecticides and fungicides: You also need a tool for measuring liquid pesticides from the bottle or can. A tablespoon holds 15 mL and a teaspoon holds 5 mL. These well-known spoon measures can still be used for the metric system. Many product labels also give the rate in spoonfuls.

Measuring dry pesticides: Many manufacturers state the recommended rate for wettable powders and granular products by volume instead of by weight. Hence the tablespoon (15 mL) and the teaspoon (5 mL) can be used. Keep in mind that level spoonfuls and not heaped spoonfuls should be used. If some product labels give the rate by weight in grams, you can also use spoon measures because the level tablespoon equals about 15 grams and the level teaspoonful equals about 5 grams.

Learn More

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Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 25 July 2005
Last Reviewed: 29 June 2010