Everything You Need To Know About Lawn Striping
Nov 27, 2019 | Lawn Care Tips
Dont you just love to look at the lawn striping in professional baseball stadiums? Its so green and lush. Checkerboards, an arch, curves, waves, a crown, a flag, diagonals and a mix of directional grass-art have overtaken the fields of MLB stadiums. It is beautiful and almost hypnotic to enjoy. Fortunately for lawn care enthusiasts, its easier than you think.
Watch Where You’re Mowing
Unless you’re purposely going for a wavy pattern, you’ve got to make sure to mow in a straight line. Start by mowing parallel to a straight sidewalk or driveway. To keep mowing straight, look at least 10 feet in front of you while you mow, rather than at the ground right in front of the mower. When you come to the end of a row, lift the mower deck as you turn, then mow in the opposite direction next to your previous pass. To get that fancy checkerboard look, mow the lawn a second time at 90 degrees to your first mowing. Finish by mowing a strip around the edges of the lawn. Sweet.
Cutting Your Grass Efficiently
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How To Mow A Straight Striped Lawn
Before cutting your grass, remove any forgotten objects such as toys or garden tools lying on your lawn.
- Make a stripe pattern by turning around and cutting a straight line in an opposite direction from an adjacent line.
- For the straightest lawn striping, find a straight driveway or path to follow. Mow the first stripe parallel to it. When you come to the end of that stripe, make a tight turn with your mower, or raise the mower deck. Mow the next row in the opposite direction.
- If your turn marks are noticeable, finish by mowing a final strip around the edges of the yard to cover them up.
How To Identify Gophers
Gophers are herbivore rodents with four large incisor teeth. Theyre larger than mice, but smaller than rats. While theyre often mistaken for moles, they don’t have spade-like front paws as moles do. They form crescent-shaped mounds and plug the holes they use to enter and exit the ground. Gophers destroy everything from hydrangeas to trees by eating the plants roots. They also eat vegetables, especially carrots and potatoes. Unfortunately, they can also damage water lines and irrigation systems when digging.
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Makes For A Healthier Lawn
Another benefit is that mowing your grass a little higher will actually make it healthier. When more than one-third of the leaf blade is removed, there is less leaf area to absorb sunlight needed to perform photosynthesis to produce food. Consequently, the plant produces less food, resulting in a weaker plant thats susceptible to disease and insect damage.
Cutting more than one-third of the grass plant not only weakens the plant, it inhibits the growth of the roots, creating a small, shallow root system which cannot support the plant in times of drought. Grass that is allowed to grow tall will have strong, large root system below ground that can better withstand dry periods.
How To Stripe A Lawn
As any astute gardener will know, there are a few pro tips and tricks you can use that will elevate your yard from just mediocre and acceptable to giving it a highly professional look. Its the small details that make a big difference, things like using a lawn edger to keep the borders of your lawn sharp and tidy or preventing small weeds from taking root in the gaps in your patio.
However, one of the easiest things you can do to give your yard a striking touch of class is to cut stripes when you mow the lawn. Weve all seen how great pro sports stadiums look when the ground staff prepare them for a big match, and the good news is, its easy to obtain the same effect at home too. Heres how its done.
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Make Sure Your Lawn Is Healthy
Image credit: Rachel Smith
To create a beautifully striped lawn you basically need two things, says Andy. They are a healthy lawn and a lawnmower with a rear roller.
A healthy lawn requires proper cutting, watering, fertilising and aerating on a regular basis, with an understanding of the right time to do each of these things.
The Best Time Of Year To Aerate Your Lawn
The best time of year to aerate your lawn is just before the high growth season, which varies by grass type. The best time of year to aerate cool-season grass, like Kentucky bluegrass and creeping red fescue, is at the beginning of the Spring and Fall. The best time to aerate warm-season grass, like St. Augustine grass and zoysia grass, is late Spring.
If youre not sure what type of grass you have, this helpful resource on Scotts.com will help.
The growing season is the ideal time of year to aerate because roots will take advantage of their newly found access to water and nutrients, helping the lawn recover quickly as they grow.
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How To Create Basic Lawn
Begin by mowing the perimeter around the property . Next, mow in opposing directions through the remaining property.
Take care when turning at the end of each row to prevent turf damage. A simple Y type turn at the end of each row will reduce the chance of turf damage while setting the mower up for the next row to be mowed.
Going over the perimeter once again will remove any stripe-pattern irregularities left from turning at the end of each row and deliver a clean, finished look.
Lawn Striping And Lawn Patterns
The following explains how lawn striping works and what can be done to increase the lawn-striping effect.
The stripes that you see on a lawn or athletic field are caused by light reflecting off the blades of grass. They have not been cut at different heights nor are there two different breeds of grass. The stripes are made by bending the blades of grass in different directions.
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Tip #1 Maintain The Lawn
Look, this may seem obvious, but I will say it anyway.
If you dont maintain your lawn properly. Your grass wont look the way you want. No matter how you cut it.
So, how do you maintain your lawn properly? Well, that is a topic onto itself, and we dont have time to cover that in this article, but you can start here.
Assuming you are maintaining your lawn sufficiently, lets move on to Tip #2!
Are Lawn Stripers Difficult To Turn
Lawn stripers shouldn’t make your mower more difficult to turn. The problem comes if you try to make sharp turns to create your rows or stripes. Sharp turns can damage your turf.
Making a three-point turn to change directions can greatly reduce wear on your grass, especially if youre using a riding mower:
Birds Can Touch Power Lines Safely Even Though Humans Can’t
Because birds are so far away from the ground by the time they land on a wire, there is no path nearby for the circuit to be completed. Electrical supplies are always connected to the ground on one side so that crews know everything is safe when the switch is off. That also means that if you’re standing on the ground, you complete the circuit, providing a path for the electricity. Because birds on a wire aren’t touching the ground, they don’t complete the path for power, and are safe from electrocution.
Mow Your Grass Taller
The trick to creating darker lawn stripes is to mow the grass at a taller height. This gives the blades more flexibility to bend. Short blades will pop right back upright. Even a small amount can make a noticeable difference. Going from 2 to 2.5 or from 3 to 3.5 can make a difference in the lawn stripe pattern intensity, plus, it reduces how often you should mow your lawn.
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How To Stripe Your Lawn
A basic striping technique is to mow around the perimeter of your lawn and then turn making parallel lines. However, one of the easiest ways to stripe your lawn is with a lawn striper kit. You can also use a tow-behind or push lawn mower roller, sometimes called a yard roller. A tow-behind yard roller attaches to your riding lawn mower, lawn tractor or garden tractor.
Mow as often as needed to keep the grass 2 1/2 to 4 inches tall. When you mow, dont remove more than 1/3 the height of your grass. Cutting grass too short can kill it or weaken it, leaving it more susceptible to weeds. For a dramatic mowing pattern, mow on a higher setting to keep your grass on the tall side. Tall blades are softer than short ones and bend more easily. Mowing at a higher setting, even if its only one-half inch, can make a difference in the contrast between the grass striping.
After you use a lawn striper kit to mow in the same pattern for a couple of weeks, alternate between mowing patterns. You dont want the blades of grass to always bend in the same direction. If youve been using a mowing pattern that runs north to south, change it the next time you mow. Try one of the patterns in the steps below.
How To Mow Stripes In Your Lawn
Have you ever admired the uniform stripes on the field at a baseball game? Itll take some practice, but with some work you can create your own striped lawn.
The striped effect is achieved when light reflects off of the blades of grass bent in different directions, creating the dark and light patterns. Its the same effect youll notice after running your hand back and forth across a suede jacket or a thick carpet. This is often the result of grass being bent down by the pressure applied by rollers attached to the back of a lawn mower. The pros use reel mowers with multiple rollers.
Mowing stripes into your lawn actually benefits your yard and encourages healthy grass growth. Mowing too often in the same direction can cause taller grass to bend over, shielding other blades from the sun and killing you lawn over time. Not to mention, you could create ugly tire marks from repeatedly mowing in the same pattern.
To get a landscape design worthy of its own baseball league, youll need to start with proper care. Green lawns start with proper care. Always use an organic lawn fertilizer or all season lawn food. Harsher, chemical lawn products can be eaten, ingested or passed on to your dog. This exposure has been linked with a higher risk of canine cancer.
Not all grass types will stripe equally. Choosecool-season grasses, such as fescue, for the best stripes.
5 Steps to a Striped Lawn
TIP: Create a checkerboard by mowing your lawn a second time at a 90 degree angle.
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How Do They Do It
The bold striping on a golf course or ball field is usually achieved with a finely tuned reel mower with rollers in the front and back of the mower. The first roller is sometimes grooved, and aids in lining up the grass for an even cut by the reel. The reel cuts in a way that pushes the grass down in one direction, and the rear, weighted roller pushes the grass down a final time. Commercial grade reel mowers, like those found on golf courses and ball fields, are very high tech machines and priced extremely high for the average homeowner
You Need To Think For The Future When You’re Planting Trees
Before you plant anything new around a power line, you’ll want to consider how big it might get. Any plants on your property are your responsibility, so check how big your new tree will likely grow before planting it to make sure it won’t get too close to the power lines above. BC Hydro has a detailed guide to help you determine which plant will work best for you, and to make sure it won’t interfere with power lines.
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Do I Need A Special Mower To Make Stripes With
Im afraid that the standard rotary mowers that are so cost-effective and freely available are just no good for lawn striping.
What you need is a mower with a roller on the back of it. The width of the roller will be the width of your stripes.
If your mower doesnt have a built-in roller, you can buy a lawn striping kit. Last time I looked there were several available on e-bay
Your mower must also have a grass box on it to collect clippings.
Lawn Striping: How Do I Mow Stripes In The Lawn
by Andrea Martins | Mar 13, 2016
If you have ever wondered how to mow stripes in the lawn, this lawn striping how-to feature is for you. Whether you are a weekend mower or a lawn mowing professional, the good news is that lawn striping is surprisingly easier than you think and the creative possibilities are endless!
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Do You Have Aerating Tips To Share
Now that you know how often you should aerate your lawn, its time to get to work!
What has been your experience with aeration? Does it improve your lawn? How often do you do it? What type of aerator have you used? Let us know in the comments below!
The information in this post was based on consulting with local landscapers and my own research. These are the sources Id like to thank:
How To Mow A Lawn
This article was co-authored by Lauren Kurtz. Lauren Kurtz is a Naturalist and Horticultural Specialist. Lauren has worked for Aurora, Colorado managing the Water-Wise Garden at Aurora Municipal Center for the Water Conservation Department. She earned a BA in Environmental and Sustainability Studies from Western Michigan University in 2014. This article has been viewed 355,841 times.
Many homeowners see mowing the lawn as an unwelcome chore, while others view it as an opportunity to beautify their property. When done properly, mowing supports green, healthy grass, and reduces weeds and bare spots. With a bit of practice, you can even mow eye-pleasing patterns into your lawn!
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How To Fix Tire Ruts In Your Lawn
There are a million reasons why you might find yourself with a tire track on your lawn. It may be your fault or someone else may have done the damage . But there certainly isnt any point in crying over spilled milk. Whats done is done.
The good news is that were here to talk you through how to fix tire ruts in your lawn. Well go through the items youll need, when to do it and even give you some advice on how to avoid ever finding yourself in this situation again.
- Garden Hose or Watering Can
Planting And Using Barriers To Deter Moles Or Gophers
Certain kinds of plants in your yard can help deter moles. Moles dislike the smells from plants like daffodils, marigolds and anything from the allium family. This kind of plant barrier is typically safe for children and pets, plus it makes a lovely colorful addition to your yard.
To deter gophers, plant in raised beds. You can also make gopher baskets from netted material and put bulbs or young plants in them. This will allow the bulbs and plants to grow while keeping the gophers out.
Ready-made gopher and mole barriers are also available in the form of baskets that can be placed around plants to protect them from being eaten.
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