A Mowing Masterpiece: How To Add Stripes To Your Lawn
Us Kiwis love many things rugby, cricket, backyard barbecue the usual suspects. But we also love a good lawn. And nothing quite beats a striped piece of grass.
Now you might think that only rugby grounds like FMG Stadium Waikato or Forsyth Barr Stadium can achieve that perfectly striped appeal. After all, they have professional equipment and all the time in the world to make their grass look the picture of perfection.
But what if we told you that you, too, could add stripes to your lawn? It might be time to talk to your local lawn expert about how to make it happen.
How To Stripe A Lawn: The Ultimate Guide
- bestofmachinery Editor
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As an editor, she has polished and perfected an array of pieces for diverse readerships and audiences.
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Its summertime, and that means its time to get your lawn in shape! While there are many ways to go about this, one of the most popular methods is striping your lawn. Striping a lawn can give it a sharp, professional look, and its not as hard as you might think.
There are a few different ways to stripe a lawn, depending on the type of mower you have. In this article, we will cover how to stripe a lawn with a zero turn mower, riding mower, and push mower. We will also discuss some tips for getting the best results. Lets get started!
Toro Lawn Striping System What Is In The Box
The first thing youre going to notice in the box is this little label right here that tells you exactly how to put it on and make sure that its at the correct angle. So, well save that for a second here. The first thing I need to do here is to remove this little plug, and I need to put some sand in here for some weight.
So, it says anywhere between 16 and 20 pounds of sand, and I didnt measure the weight precisely, but Im just going to fill this thing up as much as possible. Weight is going to help to bend those grass plates and get a better-defined stripe.
So, I got that thing filled up. Now Im just going to tighten this again. Make sure that it goes down past this little ridge thats cut out because you dont want it hitting on the roller and that this thing can go around like that. And by the way, I got two because my neighbor bought one of these and used it, so I checked him to see how much weight was in his, and it looks like we got about the same.
All right. The so first thing is, this goes around the handlebar, should have these little teeth. I got these in the way here, but you want it about a third of the way up the actual handlebar here. So, Im going to try it about there.
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Dont Cut The Grass Too Short
When you stripe your lawn, the shorter you cut the grass, the harder it is for them to bend under the roller and thus the lower the intensity of the lawn stripes created.
Taller grass blades however can bend and retain their bent shape more easily than short ones. This ensures theres more surface of the grasses reflecting light, and a darker deeper shadow is created for the dark stripes to be more pronounced.
So, when striping your lawn, ensure you dont cut the grasses too short. The ideal grass height should be between 2.5 inches and 4 inches.
Anything shorter than that, and your stripes will not look as intense as you want them to be.
From The Right Grass To Pro Tips Heres What Lawn Obsessives Need To Stripe Their Yards
Lawn perfectionists everywhere are curious about striping. People are used to seeing professional lawn striping on golf courses and at baseball stadiums, but achieving it at a residence is extra impressive. It can be a fun, satisfying and even meditative hobby that just might make your neighbors jealous.
Here are some things to know before taking the leap into striping your own lawn.
What is lawn striping?
Lawn striping refers to stripes, checkerboards or other patterns applied to a vast stretch of turf with a lawn mower. The stripes are actually a product of sunlight reflecting off the grass blades: Blades bent toward you look darker, while those bent away look lighter. The blades bend in opposite directions as the rear rollers of a mower deck travel back and forth across the lawn.
Striping is something anyone can do with a bit of patience and the right equipment. These five tips will help you stripe like a pro.
1. Know that grass matters
If you want to get serious about striping, you must first consider the lawn itself. If striping is on your mind, chances are your yard is already in top shape: smooth, level and evenly planted.
If youre a lawn novice and have yet to choose a grass, this may work to your advantage. You now have the opportunity to select your grass species with striping in mind. Know, though, that not all grass types are good for striping, and once you have the wrong kind planted, it will take some effort to start over.
2. Choose your mowing tools
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What Is The Best Grass Type For Lawn Stripes
Even with the best lawnmower and roller in your garden shed, you may not always be able to achieve the perfect patterned patch. Thats because not every grass type is going to be suitable for striping.
The Importance Of Creating Straight Stripes
When you mow to create lawn stripes and grass patterns, especially straight lines, its important to get those stripes as straight as you can.
Straight lines look superb and curved or wavy lines can look stunning. But stripes that are neither straight or wavy look pretty poor.
Self-propelled mowers are the best for creating straight lines because they naturally move in straight lines. However, if you dont own a self-propelled mower, a good tip for mowing straight is to look at least 10 feet in front of you instead of looking straight down at the ground.
Also, make sure you overlap each run to cut the whole lawn without leaving little strips of long grass. This is also really important if your lawnmower has wheels, as it will prevent tracks and ruts from forming in the turf.
To keep your overlaps consistent, use a marker on the front of your lawnmower that lines up with the edge of the last stripe. This could be a change in the shape or colour on the front of the lawnmower. Or you could create a marker yourself using a maker, paint or tape.
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How To Stripe Lawn With A Push Mower
Striping a lawn with a push mower is a bit more challenging than striping with a riding mower. This is because push mowers are smaller and have less power. As such, theyre not as well-suited for large lawns.
That said, its still possible to stripe a lawn with a push mower. The key is to use a reel mower. Reel mowers are designed to cut grass with a spinning blade, similar to a rotary mower. However, theyre much smaller and easier to maneuver.
To stripe a lawn with a push mower, start by mowing the entire lawn in a straight line. Then, turn the mower deck around and mow the lawn in the opposite direction. The stripes in your lawn will be created by the different directions of the grass.
Keep in mind that it may take a few passes to get the desired effect. Also, be sure to overlap your previous pass by about half an inch to ensure a clean, even stripe. Push mowers are best suited for small lawns. For larger lawns, a riding mower or zero turn mower will be needed.
When mowing your grass with a push mower, there are a few things to keep in mind.
How Long Do Lawn Stripes Last
It depends, is the short answer.
There are lots of different factors that will contribute to how long your lawn stripes will last.
Some factors you can control and some will be out of your control.
The first thing you should make sure of is that you dont cut your grass too short, keep it between 2.5-4 inches long, otherwise, it will be difficult to manipulate your grass blades to make stripes appear.
Some grass varieties are better suited to striping so if you have the wrong variety you may be out of luck unless you reseed your lawn. Check out my range of articles on different varieties of grass. Cool-season grasses tend to be the best type of grass for striping so you should go for one of those varieties for optimum striping effect.
If you live in a really windy area the wind blowing across your lawn could be enough to ruin your stripes.
Also, if you dont mow your lawn often enough the stripes will grow out. During the summer you should be mowing twice per week to maintain the striping effect.
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Do High Lift Blades Stripe Better
High lift types gave me a good quality cut, perked the grass up, stripes nicely, and side discharged clippings. They are the best for bagging leaves. Rated 5 out of 5 by HomeDepotCustomer from I have used these bags for years and have never had a problem with them. Ive used them to bag up leaves from my garden, and they work great for that. The bags are very easy to use and clean.
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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Lawn Care Maintenance Tips
Lawn striping is good for turfgrass because youre switchingsides each time you mow.
Plus, you wont create ruts, grooves, or longer grass bladesshading shorter blades that come from cutting the grass in the same directionwith each mow. Finally, all grass blades will get enough sunlight for healthand growth.
Cool season grasses, such as tall fescue, ryegrass, andKentucky blue, do best because theyre more flexible. Most warm season grasseshave stiff blades that dont conform to lawn striping.
Also, dont overdo lawn striping. If you love your lawnstriped, you should go in different directions every time you mow. For example,if you went east/west and then north/south, the following week, cut your grassfrom south/north and west/east, so you dont stress your lawn.
One final benefit oflawn striping: youll notice that you can cut back on mowing to every twoweeks.
Dont forget to use sharp mower blades to give your lawngrass a clean cut. Continue to water your lawn infrequently and apply fertilizer based on your soils needs.
Keep The Grass Growing
If you keep the grass taller and the mower deck higher, it will allow your stripe pattern to pop even more. This is because taller grasses are more flexible. On the other hand, shorter grasses barely get affected and tend to pop right back, making your efforts futile. Therefore, it is best to let the grass grow to create your favorite lawn mowing patterns.
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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!
Getting Fancy With Lawn Striping Patterns
If you want to get creative, you can expand into lawnstriping patterns, such as the checkerboard look or zigzags. Youll be the talkof the town when you create attractive designs in your yard.
Heres how to stripe a lawn using different lawn stripingpatterns:
- Thecheckerboard pattern: Again, you start by mowing the perimeter of yourlawn. Then, you choose your first direction . Finish yourfirst pattern.
Next, you go in the oppositedirection. For example, if you started with a north/south direction, you nowwant to go east/west. Finish the design by mowing around the perimeter toerase any Y turns.
- Thediagonal or crisscross design: Go with the perpendicular lines first. Then,use the same directions as the checkerboard pattern, but go in a diagonaldirection instead of going side to side.
- Continuewith your lawn striping pattern even with trees and other obstacles in theyard: If you want continuity with your DIY lawn striping, you first start theline striping at the bottom of the row. When you get to the tree, go around itand finish that rows lawn stripe.
When youre on your second pass, youllstripe over the curve you created when you first mowed around the tree. Youllhave an unbroken striping pattern with the tree as part of the design.
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How Do You Create Stripes
You now know what products you need to create lawn stripes, and the process for making it happen, but what about the actual result? How are the defining stripes formed?
When you attach a roller to the back of your lawnmower, youre allowing the lawn to be pushed in a different direction to the grass on either side of that strip. Turfgrass species have a darker and lighter side, so the stripes are all in the lighting. With the grass on an angle, it lets off a darker colour than if you had angled it the opposite way.
It’s All About Direction
The direction that the grass is bent determines the light- or dark-colored stripe. When the blades of grass are bent away from you.the grass appears lighter in color because the light is reflecting off of the wide, lengthy part of the blade. When the blades of grass are bent towards you, the grass appears darker as you are looking more of the tips of the blades and the shadows under the grass. So cutting a lawn in an opposing pattern provides the most contrasting stripe effect. Interestingly, as the color of the stripe is dependent upon what direction you are looking at it from, a light-colored stripe will appear dark if you view it from the opposing direction.
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Some Additional Pro Striping Tips:
Unless you are creating a wavy or circular pattern, you need to make sure you are mowing in a straight line. The first stripe is particularly important since everything that follows is based in its position. Start by mowing parallel to a straight sidewalk or a driveway. If thats not an option, then you can use a piece of string to guide you. To maintain a straight line as you mow, you should aim for an object or location thats at least ten feet in front of you.
When you come to the end of a stripe, make sure to lift the mower deck as you turn before mowing in the opposite direction. Making sudden, sharp turns can tear out your grass. Instead, you want to mow in slow Y turns. You should also make sure your mower is lined up well before starting the next row. Once youve finished mowing your lawn, you can go over your grass pattern with the roller to clean up and smooth out the lines. You can also create a border to give it a more finished look.
In the end, your lawn will make you the envy of the neighborhood.
Cut With A Rear Roller Mower
Not all lawn mowers are designed to create a striped lawn. Choose a lawn mower with an integrated rear roller. If you mow in parallel lines, the rear roller will bend the grass blades back to achieve the stripe effect. First, set your mower to the highest height setting and mow around the edges of the lawn at right angles, so the grass is cut right to the edge of the lawn. Use a trimmer like this Worx WG163 GT 3.0 20V PowerShare 12″ Cordless String Trimmer & Edger ) for awkward or hard-to-reach spots.
Next, create stripes by lining your mower up in the direction you want your first row before mowing to the end. Turn 180 degrees and repeat until you reach the end of the lawn.
TIP: Dont cut the grass too short as your stripes wont be prominent. Striping relies on the grass blades lying flat, so the longer the blades, the better results.
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How Do You Get Stripes In Your Lawn
It is the dream of many Aussie-lawn-owners to have their grass looking like the MCG. The stripes and variation in colour really do stand out and look great something many lawn-lovers aspire to achieve in their own yard.
Luckily for you, its not just the curators of our biggest sporting oval who can create the beautiful striped-look on a lawn you can give it a go too. Although it looks like theres a lot of work involved, creating that striped-appearance is relatively easy to achieve. The number-one thing you must have before you start, is a healthy, thick lawn as the stripes wont look anywhere near as good on a patchy or discoloured lawn. Please check out our other posts on how to improve the overall health and look of your lawn if its struggling with its condition before looking to get those stripes appearing.