How to get stripes on your lawn

4 min read

lawn stripes

How to get stripes on your lawn – We’ve all seen a classic striped lawn, a suburban picture of perfection. However, did you know that the effect is easier to achieve than you might think?

In this article, we explain how to pattern mow your lawn. We’ll look at the best time to mow the lawn in the UK, how to work methodically to create the look, and how to finish with a line all around the edge of the lawn. We’ll also tell you why diagonal or horizontal stripes make the garden look wider, and why a chequered pattern can disguise bare areas on the lawn.

How to make a lawn with stripes

All lawns need mowing, as it is a vital part of keeping the grass healthy and looking its best. Many people love that freshly striped look that gives it a perfect finish, and it is a lot more achievable than you may think. What’s more, grass stripes don’t only look great, they can also act as an optical illusion, elongating spaces and drawing the eye away from less attractive parts of the garden.


Lawn stripes

Preparing your lawn for pattern mowing

Firstly, you need to look at your lawn care routine and ensure you have a healthy lawn to work with. Due to its general low maintenance and hard-wearing tendencies, the grass is often neglected and taken for granted. But it is often a big factor in our gardens and must be cared for and tended to as much as all the other plants.

To achieve a finished look, the grass must be at its healthiest and strongest. Moss can be an issue in damp and shady areas, and can quickly spread across a lawn and kill off the grass. The best time to battle this is in the autumn when you should rake out as much as possible and dispose of it, before laying fresh grass seed.

In late spring and summer, your lawn will need watering and feeding, just like the other plants in the garden. Feeding the grass will encourage vigorous growth and also eliminate weeds, so this must be done at the beginning of the season.


Best time of day to “Pattern Mow” the lawn

When it comes to mowing the lawn, especially if you want that patterned look, the time of day when you mow is crucial. Mowing the lawn during the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest is not the best idea, as the sun can stunt the grass’ growth and kill off weak grass.

Rather you should aim to cut the lawn in the afternoon between 2pm and 4pm, as the most intense sun has already passed for the day and will give your grass much longer to recover from being mowed down. In the long run, it is far better for maintaining the health of your lawn, which will serve you well when it comes time to start pattern mowing the lawn.

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The right tools for the job

Please make sure you have the right tools for the job. Of course, the most important piece of equipment you need in lawn maintenance is a lawn mower. But you have never had more choice. Rotary petrol, rotary electric, battery or petrol, cylinder or rotary? Battery offers the power of petrol, but can be cheaper to run.  Of course there are different types of mowers available for all types of lawns and professional greenkeepers will take it to another level. But for a striped effect, you will need a rotary mower with a rear roller. This roller is what pushes the blades of grass into place, making them catch the light in stripes.



How to mow stripes in your lawn

To mow stripe patterns into the lawn we recommend:

  • Start by mowing the edge of the lawn as close as you can manage; use a strimmer for any bits you can’t reach.
  • Start from the left and work up and down the space using the straight edge as a guideline.
  • With each turn, line the mower up with the previous stripe and overlap slightly to avoid any gaps.
  • If you have a round or oddly-shaped lawn, create one stripe in the middle to guide you or work from a focal feature.
  • Make sure you empty the clippings as often as possible, as any stray clumps will ruin the effect and make the grass look untidy.
  • It’s vital that you mix up the pattern and direction of the stripes each time you mow though, to avoid ruts in the ground and too much damage to the grass.
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