Nothing elevates the look of your lawn more than those football pitch style lines running across it. When combined with lawn borders that have been sharpened up with a strimmer or lawn edger, these lines have an amazing effect, and really do take your garden up to the next level.
Think about it. Every time that an area of grass is going to be used as a focal point, you’re likely to see it with stripes. Football pitches, tennis courts, botanical gardens, if the grass is meant to look good, you can be sure it’ll be given stripes.
So, how to make a striped lawn of your own?
It’s actually not that difficult and is more a trick of the light than anything. However there are a few things you need to know, and that is why we’ve written this article for you.
Follow our steps and you’ll soon be looking out onto your very own, beautifully striped lawn.
What you need to make a striped lawn
Before you start trying to make stripes on your lawn, you need to make sure your grass is the right length. It should be neither too long or too short. If the grass is overgrown, there’s no way you’re going to create lines as it will be impossible to make very long grass look uniform.
On the other hand, if you’ve cut your grass too short, you won’t be able to get that lined look on your lawn either. This is because your blades of grass must lay down flat to create the effect, and really short grass won’t be able to do that.
As a rule of thumb, let your grass grow and then cut it on the longest setting of your lawnmower and this should keep it short enough to look tidy, while still being able to be flattened.
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Apart from the right length of grass, you’re going to need something to flatten it down properly.
The easiest way to do this is to invest in a lawnmower with a decent roller if you don’t already have one. If you are going to buy new, we suggest you read our pages on reviews for the best lawnmowers and also do your own research into which models have rollers that actually work. You’d be surprised at how many lawnmowers with rollers there are out there that are pretty much useless.
If you don’t want to shell out for a new roller equipped mower, you can always go the DIY route and make your own roller out of a weighted down PVC pipe that you drag behind you as you mow the lawn. It’s not ideal, but it will save you a far few pennies.
What gives the striped effect?
The reason a golf course, lawn, etc. has the striped effect is because of the way the roller on the back of the lawnmower has pushed the blades of grass down.
The angle of the rolled grass will reflect the light differently depending on whether it is flattened towards or away from you, and that makes it appear striated to you when you look at it. Much simpler than you though huh?
How to stripe make a striped lawn
Now we know what we need to make a striped lawn, and the theory behind it, we can have a go at creating our own picture perfect patch of grass.
Before you dive straight in though, you would be wise to grab a piece of paper and a pencil and sketch the layout of your lawn a few times. Then draw a few possible patterns to get an idea of which would look best for your particular lawn size and shape. Will you go for stripes, checks, or something else?
Here’s a tip for smaller gardens: Giving your lawn either horizontal stripes or diagonal ones can make it seem much wider than it actually is.
Once you’ve decided on a pattern, it’s time to crack on with the actual cutting and striping.
Start at the edge of your lawn and create your first stripe in a nice straight line. You can use a garden path, driveway, or something similar as a guideline to keep you going straight.
Once you reach the end of the lawn, tile the lawnmower and lift the blades off the grass as you turn around and then come back the way you came, using your first line that you cut as something to follow. If you made the first line straight, then this one should follow suit.
Getting your stripes to be as straight as possible is one of the keys to the overall effect, so be extra careful about this. A good tip is to look 10-12 feet ahead of you as you mow instead of straight down, as this helps you align better.
And that’s all there is too it really. You can start off with a basic striped pattern, and then when you become a bit more familiar with the process and grow in confidence, you can try more complicated designs.
Whenever you cut your grass, you need to make sure your lawnmower blade is sharp. We have an article on sharpening your lawn mower blades right here on this site that walks you through the process step by step, so be sure to check it out.
Mowing the lawn with blunt blades leads to all sorts of problems, and it is highly unlikely that you’ll get anywhere near the desired striped effect you’re looking for without properly maintained blades.
It also should go without saying that keeping your lawn healthy is a huge priority, so make sure you keep up with the watering schedule, and cut the grass often but only trim off a little of it. Leaving it to be overgrown and then cutting t shirt in one go is not the best way to go about things, even if it is the most common.
Finally, make sure you clear up any grass cuttings from your lawn. These cuttings can spoil the look of your striped lawn by changing colour.