The How to Guide for Striping Your Lawn
Wouldn't it look good? Let's face it, we've all thought about it. We all want stripes in our lawns, and you would be the envy of all your neighbours for all those over the fence peeks.
It's one thing wanting those perfect stripes and another thing pulling it off. Actually, it's not as hard as the football pitch type maintenance you might have thought. All you need to do is make the right choices and you'll be there in no time.
Do you need any specific mower? For great grass appeal, unfortunately, yes. You will need a mower with a roller to get the best stripe appeal. Normal mowers do work too, but the stripes won't be as pronounced. The width of the stripes depends on the size of the mower. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has some more detailed information on mowers and you can click on the link to find out more.
Mowing your lawn with a roller mower can actually be beneficial. A roller mower can help to flatten out small lumps and bumps in your lawn. As well as this, you can get a lot closer to the edge of your lawn with a roller mower as the mower wheels won't fall into your borders or beds. Also, the rolling effect also actually encourages the grass plants to produce more blades of grass (this is called tillering) and will help with "thickening" the lawn.
Set your mower to the correct setting for the time of year you are cutting to achieve the best results (see further below for more details on mowing height). Also, make sure your blades are sharp as blunt blades won't cut your grass, instead, they will tear. This would mean that the grass blades will get yellow/brown tips from the tear and would also become more prone to disease. Cut your lawn right to the edge to ensure a clean finish along your lawn edges.
Preparing Your Lawn:
First things first, it's far easier to get a striped lawn if your lawn is healthy in the first place. Your stripes will be all the more noticeable if your lawn is nice and lush. Make sure that your moss and thatch levels are kept to a minimum with regular scarification and that lawn competition is reduced through regular weed and moss treatments. You will also need to ensure that the lawn is regularly fertilised to keep the grass strong and that any bare patches are seeded at the right time and with high-quality grasses to get the best results. These are all services that we can offer you to save you time! You can click here to go to our service page for more information.
Plan your lawn. It sounds obvious, but have an image in your mind of how you want your lawn to look. You need to decide which way you want your stripes to go and if you have an irregular shaped lawn, look out for shorter sides and different shaped edges.
Mowing height varies throughout the year as the growing conditions differ too. It is important not to cut your grass too short as this can lead to a weakened grass plant which will encourage competition to creep in such as moss and weeds.
A good mowing regime encourages new grass growth, thickens the lawn, encourages a healthier root system, helps to crowd out weeds, and reduces the likelihood of disease damage.
Our mowing height advice is as follows:
Spring and Summer: 1-5 inches/ 2.5-3.5 centimetres.
Dry and hot conditions: 1.5-2 inches/ 3.5-5 centimetres.
Autumn and Winter: 2-2.5 inches/ 5-6.5 centimetres.
It is important to raise the height of your mower during hot and dry weather conditions to allow the moisture in the grass plant to be retained. Leaving the grass longer than normal will also provide shading for itself, preventing your lawn from scorching.
Mowing top tips:
- Mow at least once a week for best results. Mowing more often (as on golf greens and bowling greens) will get even better results!
- Never mow more than 1/3 of the length of the grass plant in one go
- The first few cuts of the spring should be mown on the Autumn & Winter setting level, then reduced to the Spring & Summer level once good growing conditions occur.
- If you have moss in your lawn, raise the mower height to at least 1/2 an inch above the moss height. This will allow the grass to grow above the moss.
- Change your mowing direction. Mowing in the same direction will result in the grass lying in the direction of the cut. Diagonal mowing can be a very attractive option.
- Slopes, uneven or shady areas should be mown at the Autumn & Winter height to avoid scalping.
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