How to cut stripes into your lawn like a pro

Striped lawn

Ever wondered how people get that nice striped effect when they mow their lawn? It’s easy enough to do as long as your lawn is suitable, and more importantly, you have the right type of mower. In the article below we’ll show you how it’s done.

Read on and find out how to cut stripes into your lawn:

The science of a striped lawn

Before we begin, it’s useful to understand why striped lawns look the way they do.

It’s all comes down to the way the blades of grass are bent. Grass that bends away from you will reflect more light back at you and therefore appears to be brighter. On the other hand, grass that bends towards you will appear darker.

So by bending sections of grass in alternating directions you can create that pleasing striped effect.

The right lawn

Your stripes will look much better if you lawn is healthy and free from moss, weeds and brown patches. Consider spending some money on some lawn care products, such as grass seeds and specialist weed killers for lawns.

Cutting stripes is much easier if you have large, rectangular lawn with plenty of space to maneuver around. That said, you can create stripes on round or irregular shaped lawns with a little bit of patience.

The right mower

There are two main types of lawnmower — rotary and cylinder mowers. Cylinder mowers are better for cutting a striped lawn.

A cylinder and rotary lawn mower

A traditional, hand operated cylinder mower (left) and the underside of a hovermower with rotary blades (right).

Cylinder mowers have a rolling cylinder that passes a stationary blade, cutting your grass with a scissor-like motion. Some cylinder mowers also have a roller at the back. This roller is crucial for creating stripes, as it pushes down on the grass and causes it to bend. If your lawnmower doesn’t have a roller, it may be possible to buy an attachment, or you could use your imagination and create a DIY roller.

Rotary mowers on the other hand have blades that spin horizontally, rather like a helicopter. Some rotary mowers have wheels and some are hovermowers. Neither are particularly suitable for cutting stripes.

How to cut the stripes

You’ve got the right mower and you’re ready to go, so what next?

If you have a rectangular lawn, start at one side and use something as a reference point to get a nice straight line — the edge of the lawn, a fence etc. Mow your first strip, then turn around and mow another strip in the opposite direction — overlapping the first strip slightly to avoid leaving any long patches. Repeat until you’ve mowed the entire lawn.

If you have a circular or irregular shaped lawn, start by mowing in straight line right through the middle then use this line as a guide for your other lines. Alternatively you could mow concentric circles or experiment with other patterns.

Follow these steps and you’ll have a pristine striped lawn in no time!