1. How to Stripe Your Lawn: The Basics
A beautiful, striped lawn begins with the right kind of grass.
- In general, a cool season grass like fescue, rye or bluegrass is best for creating a striped lawn. Warm season grasses like Bermuda and zoysia don’t bend as much, so the lawn stripes aren’t as easy to see. Various kinds of grass seeds and sod are available.
- Once you know how to stripe your lawn, your grass may actually become healthier. That’s because a mowing pattern that always goes in the same direction can eventually cause ruts and other uneven spots. Also, tall grass in low areas can overshadow shorter grass until the shorter blades die. When you keep the grass in a striped lawn at the same height throughout the growing season, all the blades get enough sun.
- For the best results, keep your mower blade sharp. Grass looks better when it’s neatly cut and not torn. The blades will also bend over better.
- Don’t mow or use a lawn striper kit when the grass is wet. The mower wheels and yard roller will make the grass striping look matted.
- Mow as often as needed to keep the grass 2.5 to 4 inches tall. 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 it’s only one-half inch, can make a difference in the contrast between the grass striping.
- When you mow, don’t 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.
- After you use a lawn striper kit to mow in the same pattern for a couple of weeks, alternate between mowing patterns. You don’t want the blades of grass to always bend in the same direction. If you’ve been using a mowing pattern that runs north to south, change it the next time you mow. Try creating diagonal stripes, a cross striping pattern or mow west to east.
2. How to Mow a Straight Striped Lawn
Before cutting your grass, remove any obstacles like forgotten toys or garden tools lying on your lawn.
- Read the manual that came with your lawn mower or garden tractor for instructions on how to mow a lawn with your specific model.
- For straight 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.
3. How to Make a Checkerboard Striping Pattern
For checkerboard striping or cross pattern striping, first follow the directions to make a complete set of straight lawn stripes.
- When your straight rows are finished, lift the mower deck and turn to mow a second set of stripes at right angles to the first.
- Finish by mowing a strip around the perimeter of the yard to help hide any turn marks.
- Once you know how to stripe your lawn with straight lines, try different mowing patterns, such as circles.
- First, mow around the perimeter of your lawn two times.
- Next, turn off your mower and move it to the center of where you want to make the first circle.
- Re-start the mower and make the smallest first circle you can.
- Mow the next circle in the opposite direction, overlapping very slightly. Continue alternating circles around your yard.
- When you’re finished making circles, mow a final stripe around the edges of your yard.
- If you don’t like the result, you can always mow back over it or let it grow out.
- If you need inspiration, check out some of the eye-catching mowing patterns used in ballparks and sports stadiums around the country.
- Making your lawn look as if it’s had professional care may take a little time and practice, but you’ll be proud of the results.
5. How to Stripe Your Lawn Around an Obstacle
To make stripes in a lawn with a tree, flagpole, flowerbed or other unmovable object in your path, just mow around it.
- When you turn around to cut in the opposite direction, mow over any unwanted turn marks to keep the stripes looking even.
6. How to Make a Diagonal Lawn Striping Pattern
A diagonal pattern is sometimes called a diamond mowing pattern.
- Start by mowing around the perimeter of your lawn.
- Next, mow a set of straight rows in alternating directions.
- Mow a second set of rows diagonally. Again, alternate the direction of each row.
- Finish by mowing around the perimeter again.
7. Benefits of Lawn Striping
Besides helping keep your grass healthy, a striped lawn can make you the envy of your neighborhood.
- Another benefit of lawn striping: You can use your striped lawn as a guide when you’re fertilizing or putting out new grass seed.
- Grass striping can also be used to draw attention to a focal point in your yard, such as a gazebo, fountain or specimen tree.
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