Lawn striping with your mower is the perfect way to make your grasses look neat and your whole lawn professional, striping can create stunning patterns on your garden and is all achieved with a roller.
To create a striping pattern on your garden you can use a riding mower with a roller attachment and simply make parallel mowed rows for basic lawn-stripe patterns that look neat until you have a completed mowed perimeter.
However you can also make a variety of other crisp patterns on your lawn with your riding mower, and some blades of grass will be more suited than others, so to help you out, we've put it all in a guide below.
First of all, before we dive into how to stripe your garden with your riding mower it's a great idea to familiarise yourself with the science behind lawn striping and how it works with your grass.
Grass striping is done by a roller attached to your mower, this flattens down the blades of grass as you mow, then when you mow back up the other side adjacent in the other direction, it flattens the grass blades the other way.
This creates a light/dark contrast effect with light which creates a striped pattern, the optics of how the opposing pattern looks is determined by which way the grass blades are pointing, the grass bent away tends to be brighter than the grass bent towards you.
Many professionals use grass striping to create a professional finish to their lawn after mowing.
Grass striping is much harder to do on shorter grass blade lengths than a longer grass blade as they stick back up quickly after you flatten them with the roller. Cold season breeds of grass are also more suitable types of grass for striping as they contain more water which makes them easier to flatten.
Breeds of grass such as rye grass with at least 1 1/8" - 2" tend to be the best for striping, warm-season grasses will produce a less intense stripe pattern. Other recommended cold-season grass types are bluegrass and fescue.
Grass bending will always be harder when your grass is shorter, so remember this when cutting with your mower blades first.
Creating roller stripes with your lawn roller on your riding mower is pretty straightforward and easy to do even as a beginner. We have listed out how to make some common patterns on your lawn with your riding mower below to get you started.
To start with, let's go over how to make standard striped grass which we see on most professional football fields.
A checkerboard pattern is easy to create over the previous stripes patterns as all you need to do is make the stripes horizontally.
When making criss-cross types of patterns during lawn striping, you simply need to go diagonal rather than vertical and horizontal as you would when making a checkerboard pattern in your grass.
There are some harder patterns to create on your lawn such as a zigzag pattern or wavy pattern, but once you know the basics of striping your lawn, you can experiment to make your vivid pattern.
To get the best stripes possible, however, you can use some tips and tricks which will list below.
Should I use a push mower or a riding mower to create stripes on my lawn?
If you are mowing a garden which is bigger than half an acre then a riding mower would be suitable, for smaller gardens a petrol mower with a roller can be just as suitable to create stripes.
How long do stripes last on a lawn?
Stripes on your lawn will last for different periods depending on how much the lawn is in use and the weather, this could be around two weeks.
Why is warm-season grass not good for striping?
Warm-season grass will produce fainter stripes than cold season grass as they have less water content which causes the blades to bend back up to their original position faster.
Overall, striping a lawn with a riding mower is simple to do and can be achieved by any mower who knows how to create a striped pattern, just ensure the grass blades are long enough for this job and you always mow your rows in the opposite direction adjacent to each other to create the contrast effect.