If you’ve ever looked at your local golf course or football field, you’ve most likely seen those famous lawn stripes which make their lawn look neat and professional and wondered if you could recreate them in your garden.
Well, the good news is, you can create stripes in your garden with just a few steps by using the process called ‘striping’, which is the effect of mowing your lawn adjacently in different directions to create that striped look.
We’ve put together our best guide below that will give you everything you need to know about striping grass and how to do it so you can be a professional and have the best looking lawn in the neighbourhood!
How Does Lawn Striping Work?
Before we can dig into how to create stripes on your lawn, it’s a good idea to learn how lawn striping works.
Believe it or not, stripes on your lawn are just a matter of perspective, when you mow your lawn in different directions up and down, this bends the blades of the grass on your lawn in different directions.
When light shines on the blades of grass which are bent towards you this reflects light seen away from you, giving a dark green and light green effect to the grass, creating patterns and stripes which give that tidy neat effect.
Before embarking on lawn striping, make sure to check out our guide on how to grow grass quickly.
What You Need To Create Lawn Stripes
Creating lawn stripes is pretty simple for anyone to do, but you do need to make sure that you are using a lawnmower that has a roller attachment.
The roller attachment on the lawnmower adds weight to the back of the mower, helping you flatten the blades of grass as you mow, cylinder mowers that have a roller tend to be the best for this job, but if you have a mower that does not come with a roller you could always buy a separate kit to attach to your model.
Alternatively, you can try and create lawn stripes without using a roller by using a garden brush in adjacent lines, but this very time-consuming, you could also try turning your mower off and changing the cutting height settings to allow the deck of the mower to push down and create stripes.
All is made more simple by using a roller, you should also make sure your grass is long enough and you are using the right species of grass to create these stripes, which we will discuss later on in our guide.
If you don't have a lawn roller yet, here is our review on the Best Lawn Rollers in 2023.
How to Stripe Your Lawn
Now we know how lawn striping works and what you need, we will discuss how to use your lawnmower with a roller below to create stripes on your lawn.
You don’t just have to create standard adjacent stripes on your garden, there are also a few other patterns to try out once you get the hang of it such as zig-zag and checkerboard, we will list the steps creating these below.
Different Lawn Stripe Patterns
The Basic Pattern
First off, let’s start with how to make the basic striped pattern on your lawn, this is the one which you typically see on football fields and gives a professional and neat aesthetic.
To create a typical stripe pattern in your garden, follow the steps below.
- Step One - Mow the entire border of your lawn.
- Step Two - Start from one side of your lawn and mow one full straight length with your mower that has the roller attached.
- Step Three - Once you reach the end of your lawn, mow a full straight line in the opposite direction.
- Step Four - Keep mowing these alternate adjacent lines until you finish the whole area of your lawn, then voila!
Checkerboard Style Pattern
Next up, we have a checkerboard pattern, this pattern is very simple to create if you have already striped your lawn, just follow the steps above, except once finished, mow horizontally in different directions, this will create a checkerboard effect. Always remember to mow the border of your garden first.
Diamond Style Pattern
Diamond style stripes on your lawn are once again easy to achieve from the previous striped and checkerboard pattern, follow the same steps as the original, except start diagonally, then cross-over, essentially making a diagonal checkerboard pattern which will show as diamond shapes in the grass.
Zig-zag patterns on your lawn are one of the hardest patterns to create, follow the steps above to make a checkerboard template pattern then use these additional steps below to make a zig-zag finish.
- Step One - Find a light stripe in the middle of your checkerboard pattern then mow across it diagonally onto a dark stripe.
- Step Two - Once you are on the dark stripe turn your mower 90-degrees to the right then mow through a light stripe onto the next dark one.
- Step Three - Repeat until you have reached the border of your lawn and follow the steps again till you have completed a whole zig-zag pattern.
Tips For Getting The Best Striped Lawn
Creating professional stripes on your lawn is a simple process, but there are some tips and tricks which can help you get the best finish possible, as well as help to make your stripes last for longer on your lawn.
We have listed our best tips and tricks below for striping your lawn to help you out.
Consider your type of grass
For the best striping finish, some grass types will hold and retain their striped finish better than others. The best kind of grass type for striping is cold-season grass as it has more water and longer blades, warm-season grass types are harder to stripe with.
Change up the patterns
Striping your grass with the same pattern all the time can damage it and leave it with dry dead spots, changing the pattern every two weeks can help prevent this and help your grass to stay healthy and green.
Leave your grass longer
To stripe your lawn, the grass height should be between 2.5-inches and 4, any shorter the blades will be harder to bend and will not last for as long.
Effective Lawn Mowing Tips for Homeowners
Sharpen the Mower Blades
Dull blades will only tear the turf and cause severe damage, and not adjusting the blades properly will cut the grass too low and expose it to more sunlight and diseases. Make sure the blades are sharp and adjust them to the correct mowing height for your grass type.
You do not have to be an expert at sharpening your lawnmower blade. With the right technique, it will only take you about 10 minutes. Purpose to sharpen the blades at least twice every mowing season.
If you are using a motorized lawnmower, the first thing you should do is to remove the spark plug. Secondly, check the air filter and carburetor and finally remove the blade. When sharpening the blade use a clamp to anchor it into place. Work with a hand file or a grinder, although the latter is difficult to control and it can ruin the blade if it overheats.
To get a good edge, sharpen from the top side of the cutting edge. Use one sharpening direction and avoid making it razor-sharp, because you will lose the edge faster this way.
Once you finish sharpening, balance the blade before reinstalling. To check the blade balance, drive a nail through the stud and mount the blade so that it looks like an airplane propeller. If it falls to one side, you will need to file off the extra metal.
Should you deem its time to replace your blades then refer to our comprehensive guide on the best lawn mower blades available in 2023.
Use a Mulching Lawn Mower Blade
The other critical and easy thing you can do to promote better health of your lawn is to use a mulching lawn mower blade. A mulching mower allows you to leave grass clippings right in the lawn where they decompose and provide nutrients to your lawn.
It’s estimated that regular grass clipping can contain up to 6 percent nitrogen, 1 percent phosphorous, 3 percent potassium and as well as some calcium. Obviously, this will also reduce the amount of fertilizer you need for your lawn as it will be getting all natural food.
Maintain the correct mowing height
We all like a neat lawn, but do not get overzealous with the mowing. Depending on the grass variety, you need to observe the correct mowing height. Grass needs time to recover so that it remains healthy and the root system recovers.
Observing a proper grass-blade to root balance is therefore very important if you want healthy-looking grass. Ask a lawn care expert if you don’t know the specifics for the kind of lawn you have.
Wrapping Up Our Lawn Stripes Guide
Overall, creating professional stripes on your lawn is an easy job as long as you have the best grass type, leave it at a long height and use a decent mower with a roller.
Remember to change the pattern once in a while to help with your lawn health, and you will be on your way to having a professional lush looking lawn stripes all year round!