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Turn your beautifully manicured lawn into a work of art. Learn how to stripe your lawn and get the same eye-catching effect you’ve seen on golf courses and in sports stadiums. The most common patterns for lawn striping are straight lines, checkerboards, curves, diagonals and other types of directional art. Read on to learn the basics of how to stripe your lawn to create popular styles.
Lawn Striping Basics
A blade of grass has two sides. One side is lighter than the other side. When you mow grass and bend it one way, you’ll see its dark side. When you bend it the other way, you’ll see its light side. When sunlight reflects off blades of grass that are bent in different directions, the light and dark lawn stripes are created. For best results, follow the tips below.
- 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. You can use grass seeds or sod to create the right lawn.
- Keep your mower blade sharp as you cut. Grass looks better when it’s neatly cut. The blades will 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.
Tip: For a premium look, experts recommend lowering your lawnmower blade 1/4 inch, and cut a second pass.
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, 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. 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.
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 one of the patterns in the steps below.
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 Make a Checkerboard Striping Pattern
Feeling creative? Once you know how to stripe your lawn with straight lines, try different mowing patterns, such as a checkerboard pattern.
- For checkerboard striping or cross pattern striping, first follow the directions to make a complete set of straight lawn stripes, as shown in Step 3.
- Once 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.
How to Stripe Your Lawn in Circles
Consider mastering straight stripes before you attempt a circular striping pattern. Making your lawn look as if it’s had professional care may take a little time and practice.
- 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.
How to Stripe Your Lawn Around an Obstacle
It’s not difficult to cut straight stripes in a lawn with a tree, flagpole, flowerbed or other unmovable obstacle. Just mow around it or make it a focal point.
- Make sure to keep your lines straight. Keep your eye on the area beyond the obstacle.
- When you turn around to cut in the opposite direction, mow over any unwanted turn marks to keep the stripes looking even.
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.
Benefits of Lawn Striping
- Striping will encourage you to weed and reseed your lawn regularly for best results. The thicker and healthier the grass, the more enhanced the striping will be.
- Continually using the same mower pattern can cause ruts and other uneven spots. Switching things up with a striping pattern will encourage even growth.
- If you have tall grass in low areas, it can overshadow shorter grass, causing them to die. Striping allows you to keep all the grass at the same height throughout the growing season, so all the blades get enough sun.
- You can use your striped lawn as a guide when you’re fertilizing or putting out new grass seed.
- Grass striping can be used to draw attention to a focal point in your yard, such as a gazebo, fountain or special tree.
- A striped lawn can make you the envy of your neighborhood and improve your curb appeal.
Once you know how to stripe your grass, you’ll have a work of art for a lawn. Your grass may become healthier too. There are several different patterns to try, but the simplest is a straight line. Keep your striped lawn looking good with regular weeding. Ready to make your lawn as beautiful as those in a golf course or stadium? Visit The Home Depot tool rental to rent the required lawn care tools and equipment for this project.