With baseball season underway, many people may find themselves admiring field patterns and wondering how they are created. This technique, also known as “lawn striping,” is widely-practiced by groundskeepers to transform ordinary grass into aesthetically-pleasing designs. The patterns range from simple to elaborate, but the technique is ultimately the same.
The secret to great lawn striping is all about lighting. Sunlight reflects off of grass blades, creating an illusion that each blade is darker or lighter depending on the surface area that is exposed to sunlight. Surprisingly enough, adjusting the surface area isn’t achieved by cutting grass—it’s achieved by bending it. When grass is bent at different angles, sunlight will reflect more brightly off of larger surfaces (the long side of the grass blade) and less brightly off of smaller surfaces (the tip of the grass blade). This effect is created by simply mowing in different directions, and can be emphasized by attaching weights, rollers, or brooms to the lawn mower.
To create your own lawn striping, start by attaching a lawn striping kit to your riding lawn mower, then begin at one side of your yard and mow in a straight line to the other side. Turning the mower around (a mower with zero-turn capabilities works best in this situation), be careful to line up your wheels with the previous line, then mow another straight line in the direction you originally came from. Repeat this lawn striping process until your yard is completely mowed. Remember not to mow your grass too short (keep the length at about three inches), or the grass will not be long enough to bend efficiently.
Once you’ve mastered the basics of lawn striping, try switching things up with a diagonal stripe or checkerboard pattern, which can be achieved by striping your lawn east to west, then north to south. If you want your lawn striping to appear even more prominent after using roller or broom kits, try watering your grass to enhance the pattern. It is also important to note that your lawn striping will change slightly in appearance throughout the day as the angle of the sun changes, so check frequently to see which time of day is best for viewing your lawn!
Looking for the perfect mower to achieve your own lawn striping? Click here to check out our complete inventory of zero-turn riding mowers!
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