Creating lawn mower stripes

It is the goal of many lawn owners to achieve that classing lawn mower stripe look. This striped lawn effect although pleasing to the eye is not a sign of a lawns quality. In fact to achieve a neat striped lawn effect is relatively simple if you have chosen the right lawn mower type. Both rotary lawn mowers and cylinder lawn mowers are capable of producing the striped effect.

Lawn mowers that have a rear roller will produce the best striped effect.

Lawn stripes can hide imperfections in a lawn such as slight differences in colour across the lawn. This is because they visually break up the lawn surface with narrow bands of different appearance so gradual changes across a wide area are not so noticeable.

To achieve the striped effect on you lawn you must follow a systematic pattern of mowing. The lawn mower should only ever be pushed forward when creating lawn mower stripes. This is because it is the direction of the mower (and the roller) that makes the grass to sit up in different directions thus creating the striped effect. When mowing make sure that the current stripe, slightly overlaps the previous stripe so that you do not have thin strips of uncut grass left between the stripes. If you have a lawn mower with side wheels make sure the side wheels are over the preceding stripe.

Work out which direction your stripes are going to go.

  1. Cut along the edge of the lawn at right angles to the way that you want the stripes to be and then back across the lawn making sure to overlap the first stripe. These stripes are not your final lawn stripes, they are simply to ensure that the grass is cut right to the edge of the lawn.
  2. Turn the mower 90 °
  3. Create your first permanent stripe by going down the edge of the lawn in the direction that you want your stripes to go.
  4. Repeat step 1 (now at the other end of the lawn)
  5. You can now create the rest of the lawn stripes and 'fill in' the middle section of the lawn by repeatedly turning the mower 180 °. After this you should have mown the entire area of the lawn and have a neat pattern of lawn mower stripes.

The correct pattern is shown in the diagram below.

Mowing pattern to create lawn stripes