As a professional gardener, where possible, I always stripe my customer’s lawns when mowing the grass. In the UK especially, it would be expected to get these stripes when paying for a gardener, but is it really that hard to do? The answer is of course not! Anyone can do it with ease providing that you have the right equipment, and not only this, but you can do a variety of designs such as simple stripes, checkerboards and diamonds.

What causes the stripes on grass?

When cutting the grass, all we really do is flatten and bend the grass in opposite directions upon each stripe. Depending on which way the grass is flattened/leaning, the light will reflect differently on the grass blades making it look as though the lawn has different shades of green. The same goes for when we lay new turf, if we roll each turf out in the same direction across the entire lawn, then it will all be one colour. How ever, if we roll them out in opposite directions when laying each row, it will give the impression that there are different shades of green. Here is an example of a freshly laid lawn where the grass was rolled out in opposite directions upon laying.

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How do I get stripes in my lawn when cutting the grass?

The most common way is by using a cylinder lawn mower with a roller at the back. These lawnmowers are usually self propelled, meaning that they will drive themselves making it much easier to mow the lawn, with the roller bending and flattening the grass in whichever direction you are cutting. The best way to know if your lawnmower has a roller is by having a look and seeing if it has 4 wheels, if so then this will not leave stripes on the grass when cutting unless it has a striping kit attachment. Although time consuming, another alternative is to use a hand roller after cutting the lawn. If however, you have 2 wheels at the front with a roller at the back, then this will be perfect for the job! Just see one of our lawnmowers below to see the roller at the back.

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It is also important to note that you won’t be able to stripe your lawn if you cut it too short. This is because it won’t be able to bend enough to get a reflection from the light. As well as this, if it’s the first cut of the year, or the grass is well overgrown, then the chances of stripes straight away will be unlikely due to not having enough moisture further down and starting to turn yellow. If you continue to cut the grass on a weekly or fortnightly basis, then it won’t take long to get your nice green stripey grass back! Below is a picture of a garden that we maintain on a weekly basis.

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How do I get the perfect finish when mowing my lawn?

  • Before you begin cutting the grass with a mower, be sure to trim the edges using a strimmer. The lawnmower will collect the trimmings when mowing the lawn.
  • When mowing the lawn, make sure to slightly overlap each stripe to make sure that you don’t miss any cuts.
  • Don’t worry if you can’t get the lawnmower to the edge of the lawn! Once you have finished cutting the grass, just go around the perimeter to create a border. This will allow you to get to any bits that you couldn’t cut whilst walking up and down!

If you are struggling to get stripes on your grass, then please do take a picture and email it across so that we can give you the best advice for your lawn! Remember, you need to have healthy grass that’s not too short and doesn’t have too many weeds, since it’s the grass blades that reflects the light when rolled. If you have any questions then please do comment below as I am always eager to help!