Top Tips for Striping a Lawn
Every homeowner strives for a beautifully striped lawn- lawn stripes can hide imperfections in a lawn such as slight differences in colour across the lawn. In order to get a striped lawn, you will need a mower with a rear roller on and preferably a cylinder mower. Cylinder mowers cut grass like a pair of scissors ensuring a clean healthy cut across the width of the stripe (as opposed to a machete-like cut of a rotary). Cutting the grass cleanly ensures that the grass is less susceptible to diseases. If you can imagine a rotary blade slashing the grass, each blade is bruised and loses a lot of moisture as a result of it. We asked Allett Product Specialist Steve Copnall for some top tips on achieving a beautifully striped lawn leading up to the closing date of our 2019 Allett Creative Stripes competition on August 30th.
Our Top Tips:
- Firstly you will need to clear any debris off your lawn. This includes children's toys, leaves, twigs and potential animal mess
- For great stripes, a lawn needs to be in tip-top condition, with a thick, dense sward. Hopefully, it will be in a great condition at this time of the year after regularly aerating and scarifying - two main tasks that will help keep your lawn thatch free and green in colour. Some of our domestic range of mowers have an interchangeable cartridge system which means you can take the cutting cylinder out and fit a scarifier or an aerator cartridge into your lawn mower. You can do various operations with one machine rather than the mower just being a cutting machine. Aeration lets air and moisture into the soil below the grass making its roots grow more strongly. If you haven’t got a good root system the grass isn’t going to be at its full potential. Scarifying prevents thatch from building up at the base of the grass, which helps air flow, minimises any problems with fungal diseases and helps stop the grass developing that ‘spongy’ feeling when walked on.
- A stripy lawn needs to be pristine and free from weeds too. Apply any moss or weed-killing treatments as necessary. Over-seeding with new grass seed can be done in the spring to build up the density of the turf and fill in any bare patches created by weed removal. Using Allett's lawncare system will help keep on top of weeds without using harmful chemicals.
- The perfect height for the perfect stripes is 20-30mm. Reduce the height of the grass by no more than a third each time you mow, and remember that well-defined stripes are actually easier to achieve if the lawn is kept slightly longer. The stripes are created by the reflection of the sun on the bent-over blades of grass. As the mower and roller go away from the sun, a light stripe is created, then when you change direction and come back towards the sun the shadow of the grass blades bending the other way creates the dark stripe. When mowing make sure that the current stripe, slightly overlaps the previous stripe so that you do not have thin strips of uncut grass left between the stripes.
Top Tips for Creativity from our 2019 Allett Creative Stripes Winner Keith Smith
- So, how do you go about planning your Allett creative lawn stripes pattern? Drafting out your design on paper would be a great start. You can work out the width of your mower and the area you’ve got to cover etc. A larger open area with the lawn in a square, rectangle or circular shape will lend itself to creative stripes more than a lawn with beds and borders cut into it, or one that’s an awkward shape- be imaginative! Make use of any garden features in your lawn. Is there any patterns on old stone work you can copy into your grass?
- Repeatedly mow the same pattern, it will be more effective over time. The more you go over the same pattern, the stronger the stripes will be. Stick to the same pattern and you can see how it gets stronger as summer progresses.
- Photograph your lawn with the sun behind you- this will make the stripes more defined- keep taking photos at different times of the day until you get the perfect picture!
- Have a look at previous lawn stripes competition winners for inspiration -photos can be found on Allett's social media
- Have fun!!