How to Get Stripes on Your Lawn

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There’s always that one neighbor who has those perfect stripes on their lawn. You may drive by this yard and curse the homeowner for their ability to attain such grass-striped perfection. But what if I told you that this grass-striped perfection was not the work of Gods but rather a little bit of grass-striping know-how? What if I told you that you, an innocent plebeian, can also achieve striping perfection for the low cost of reading a blog post? Too good to be true? Nay.

While there are artificial ways to stripe grass, the striping effect happens when the grass bends. In a word, grass bent toward you will appear dark, and blades bent away from you will appear lighter.  Keep in mind that some grasses bend better than others, and the type of grass you have in your lawn can impact how well your stripes turn out. Grasses like bluegrass and fescue are known for their nice bending abilities, whereas warmer-season grasses, like, say, Bermuda, aren’t. In addition to ensuring your grass can produce stripes, it’s also important that the grass is healthy and free of weeds. Weeds and other unwanted plants can not only detract from the overall appearance of your lawn, but they can also disrupt the growth of your grass and make it more difficult to achieve clean, defined stripes.

So how can you go about creating stripes on your lawn?

One of the easiest ways to get stripes on your lawn is by using a lawn mower with a roller. While many lawnmowers come with one built-in, some—particularly push lawnmowers—may not. If your lawn mower doesn’t have a roller, you can purchase one separately and attach it to your mower. Rollers like this one from Toro represent a solid and easy option for producing stripes. For the best effect, mow the perimeter of your yard first, then mow the main section in straight lines alternating the direction of the stripes each time you mow.

If you’re looking to create stripes on the cheap, you can create the same effect by using a rake. While this may only be suitable for folks with small yards, the effect is comparable. Simply rake your lawn in one direction, then go back over it in the opposite direction to create stripes, and…voila!

If you’re looking to take your striping game to the next level, you can also consider investing in a tow-behind lawn roller for your ride-along mower. While these represent a bit of an investment (usually around $200-300), they can create wider and more defined stripes that will make your lawn look like a professionally manicured sports pitch.

When adding stripes to your lawn there are two things you’ll want to keep in mind: 1) be sure the grass is dry. Attempting to create stripes on wet grass not only will be a futile endeavor, but it can also damage your grass, and 2) Mow your stripes in different directions each time you mow. Doing so will prevent your grass from leaning in one direction, which can lead to uneven growth.

Creating stripes on your lawn is an easy way to add personality to your yard and make your neighbors envious. Not only is it a fun and creative way to showcase your lawn care skills, but it will also make your lawn more visually appealing.

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