Whether it’s backyard cricket or just to impress, you can get professional looking stripes on your lawn for Boxing Day and here’s how.
Striping is simply light reflecting off the grass blades in different ways – the blades bent towards you appear back, while those bent in the opposite direction appear lighter. You can sometimes see this effect with normal mowing however deliberate striping takes it a step further and creates even more impact. To get the grass blades to bend you will need a striping kit for your mower or a roller.
Before you start mowing, decide on the pattern you want to create. It may help – especially when doing this the first time – to make a sketch of how the pattern will fit the layout of your lawn. The possibilities are almost endless, but stripes, checkerboards, and diamonds are the most common patterns.
Unless you’re deliberately creating a wavy pattern, take care to mow in a straight line. Start by mowing parallel to a straight fence, driveway or similar. To keep mowing straight, look at least 10 feet in front of you while you mow, rather than at the ground right in front of the mower. When you come to the end of a row, lift the mower deck as you turn, then mow in the opposite direction next to your previous pass. To create a checkerboard, mow the lawn a second time at 90 degrees to your first mowing. Finish by mowing a strip around the edges of the lawn.
Your mowing will create the basic pattern, but the next step is what the professionals do to make their patterns more pronounced. The secret is to bend the grass blades further, and you can do that with a lawn roller. If you don’t own a roller, you can rent one. Go back over your mowing stripes, rolling the grass in the same direction you mowed. You’ll see a dramatic difference.
To create a vivid pattern, mow high. Mowing at the highest setting creates softer grass that bends over easily. A shorter grass blade will not bend over as far, and the pattern will not be as noticeable. A final tip – always mow with a sharp blade for a nice, healthy, clean cut.
Now, sit back and enjoy your Boxing Day – whatever the day holds in your backyard.