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Business Owners & Managers

Lawn Striping Techniques

You’ve seen it before and you know you’ve wanted to create it yourself. Those lines that show up on ballpark fields, college football fields, and sports stadiums that make the lawn look incredible. This striping effect has to do with lighting and the bending of the grass blades. Blades that are bent towards you look darker while blades that are bent away from you look much lighter. You can often see this effect with normal mowing, but creating the striping effect just takes a few more steps. The good news is that it can be done on your own. To get the blades to bend, all you need is a striping kit that can be bought online or even built by yourself.

The first step to creating a striping effect is to know what pattern you want to create. The most common effects are stripes, checkerboards, and diamonds. A good idea may be to sketch out what kind of effect you want to create before you begin; this will also help you see whether or not the design you want will actually fit the layout of your lawn.

The next step to creating this effect is adding the striping kit to your riding or push mower. It is attached at the rear of the mower or right behind the mowing deck. These are available online but many lawn care distributors are equipped with striping mowers as well.

Third, for the best effect, you’ll want to mow in a straight line (unless you’re going for a wavy effect). The best way to start is by mowing parallel to some sort of sidewalk or driveway. Using this as a reference point will help to make sure the lines or checkerboard pattern stay straight. Once you come to the end of the line, raise the mower deck as you turn and mow in the opposite direction next to your previous pass. In order to create the checkerboard effect, mow the lawn a second time at 90 degrees to your first mowing. End by mowing a final strip around the edge of the lawn.

For the best effect and most vivid stripes or checkerboards, mow the lawn high. The higher the blade of grass the more prone to bending the blades will be. Low blades don’t bend as easily and the striping won’t be as noticeable nor as clean cut. Even if the blade is only raised half an inch you’ll notice a difference.

Some grasses may be more difficult than others. If you have a low growing species of grass for warm seasons, such as Bermuda grass, bending the blades and creating a striping effect will be much more difficult if not impossible. Their low growth habit, which is necessary to maintain for a healthy lawn with these species, will not allow the blades to lay over.

The last step is the same for any and every lawn; maintain a healthy patch of grass. Weeds and patches create an unevenness that won’t allow for a striping effect. Fertilize your lawn at the right times of the year to keep the grass healthy and weed and patch free.

Once all these steps are taken, you’ll have a beautiful striping effect worthy of a ballpark.