We all love the beautiful geometric stripes and patterns we see on football and baseball pitches. I have met so many people who claim that the stripes were a combination of dark and light paints on the pitch.
The sad thing is that most people assume that achieving such stripes requires special skills or that you cannot manage it through DIY. The truth is that anyone, including you, can easily make such stripes on your lawn and leave your neighbors envying it in dismay.
The beautiful stripes you see on football pitches are just grass blades flattened in different directions. When light reflects from different directions, it creates different concentrations with some being brighter than others, depending on which direction the grass blades are flattened.
But To achieve this, you must first ensure that you have a healthy lush green lawn because dry and hard grass cannot bend easily. Also, you must have the right grass type on your lawn if you want clean-cut intricately pronounced stripes. At the same time, you must buy a quality lawnmower fitted with rollers and very sharp mowing blades.
How to Stripe a Lawn – Step by Step
By now you know everything about lawn striping and it is time to put that knowledge to practice and bring your imagination to life. With these easy and simple steps, you can give your lawn a complete makeover with beautiful clear-cut stripes.
1. Get the right materials
Every good and successful project begins with you gathering the right materials and tools. In this case, you will just need two things; a good lawnmower with a roller. A gas-powered lawn is best suitable for big lawns because the push can take a toll on you.
A push gas-powered lawnmower, on the other hand, is best for smaller lawns since you do not have to worry about getting tired. Whatever type of lawn you choose, ensure the blades are very sharp. This is the best when you want a clean-cut for more pronounced stripes.
You will also need a lawn marking string for marking your path. Without this, you will not make straight stripes and you will not love the outcome of your handwork. So just to be sure, get a string and you will enjoy the results.
2. Plan your pattern
Then sit down with a pen and a book; visualize your pattern and draw it on the piece of paper. The pattern of our choice is determined by the shape and size of your lawn. For smaller dome-shaped lawns, circular stripes are best.
But if you have a big rectangular or square-shaped lawn, then you can have the usual stripes like the ones we see on baseball pitches. Doing this will prevent you from going astray even when you come to the actual striping.
Having planned your pattern just right, it is now time to actualize your dreams.
3. Mow a border along the edge of your lawn
Then make a border along the edge of your lawn. Doing this gives you a starting point so that you make clean cuts of stripes. It is from here that you will choose the direction of your first stripe.
4. Choose a direction
Having identified the direction of your first stripe, turn your mower blade depending on the complexion you want on that particular stripe. The direction of your first stripe should be the opposite of the second one so that they can reflect the light differently.
Then mount one end of the string to a metallic pointer and push it into the lawn. Mount the other end of the string and push it into the ground on the other end of the line. This will give you a straight line to follow when mowing.
5. Mow the full length
Adjust the blade of your lawnmower to the desired length. In this project, the usual one-third thumb rule will not apply. Mowing the grass too low may not bring out clean and pronounced stripes.
Mowing too high on the other hand will leave you with very tall grass that may not flatten very easily for pronounced stripes. And even if it does flatten, it may not hold for long and you will need to do another striping so soon.
And as you mow the first stripe, ensure to always look forward instead of facing down. This will prevent you from deviating from the string and it will give you a straight clear stripe.
6. Lift the mower deck and turn the mower around
When you come to the end of the first stripe along the edge of the lawn, lift the mower deck and turn the mower around. Shift the string to the direction of your second stripe and mow in the opposite direction.
This will flatten the lawn grass in the opposite direction and when light reflects on the whole lawn, the stripes will give you different amounts of complexion.
7. Repeat the steps above
Repeat the above steps to make as many stripes as the size of your lawn can allow. Then sit down and enjoy your new beautifully striped lawn.
How do I stripe my lawn without a roller?
Let’s face it; it is not everyone can afford to buy or rent a lawnmower with a roller. The lack of a lawnmower with a roller should not hinder you from having those beautiful stripes on your lawn. If you have the common push lawn mower, you can still make some beautiful stripes just like people with rollers.
To make these stripes, start by mowing your lawn in straight lines at the usual height of between 21/2 and 3 inches. As previously noted, it is important to have a string to guide you into making straight stripes on the lawn.
The direction of the lines should alternate with each other just like you did with a roller in the steps explained above. Although not very pronounced like when using a roller, this should already give you stripe-like lines.
Having mowed the whole lawn in straight lines, lower your blade to the lowest height setting. Then turn off the mower and push it forward along the lines you just mowed.
The mower blade acts as a roller to flatten the grass in front of you. This will now give you clear and clean stripes just like when you were using a roller. Sit back and enjoy the results of your hard work.
Is Lawn Striping Bad for Grass?
Striping your lawn does not do any harm to the grass. Instead, it contributes to its proper growth since the flattened grass blades are protected from adverse elements during harsh weather like the summer heat.
Striping a lawn only involves flattening the grass blades and the roller does not do the grass any harm whatsoever. Besides, you can always bend the grass in the opposite direction whenever you so desire.
However, you can still damage your lawn grass if you use blunt mower blades because these would not only produce shoddy stripes but they would also make the blade tips frayed thus exposing them to the elements and this would eventually kill the grass.
Striping very short grass also damages it because the grass is vulnerable to harsh weather conditions. Cutting the grass too short is known as scalping, something that weakens the blades through harsh elements.
At the same time, letting the lawn grass stay in one stripe direction for long could damage it since the blades below cannot access enough sunlight for proper growth.