Guide on How to Stripe a Lawn with a Riding Mower?


Often people think lawn striping is needed only for aesthetic purposes. Even if you’re not a lawn geek and okay with regular looking yards, striping is still necessary, and let me tell you why.

It promotes healthy grass growth and prevents dead spots. Mowing the yard in different directions helps every grass blade to get uniform sun access and better airflow.

If you know nothing about striping, then you’ve landed just in the right place. I’ll help you out with my step-by-step guide and some pattern ideas. Again, without the proper tool, you’ll never get the desired outcome. So, I’ve also reviewed some of the best striping kits for mowers, which the lawn lovers swear by. Let’s check them out.

How to Stripe a Lawn with a Riding Mower?

Striping your backyard with a riding mower is a fun chore that not only makes your lawn aesthetically pleasing but also healthy. But if you’re new, I’m here to help with my beginner-friendly procedure.

Before we start, please make sure the height of the grass is between 2.5 to 4 inches. Taller grass is more suitable to bend in any direction. Again, it’s best to mow them in winter when the grass holds the most moisture. As a result, it becomes more bendable.

Now let’s create some great patterns in the lawn with these easy steps:

Step 1: Identify the starting point

At first, you need to decide from where you want to start mowing. Also, set up a border around the backyard.

Step 2: Create your first straight stripe

Pick a point in the distance and roll towards it, following a straight line. Mow continuously up to the last. Don’t go in a zigzag manner. This will ruin the look of your lawn.

Follow this line as a guide for the rest of the stripes.

Step 3: Take a turn to change the direction

Elevate the deck and rotate the riding mower. Instead of a sharp turn, take a slow Y-turn to switch in the opposite direction. Do a straight line like the first one but in the opposite direction. Be sure to overlap a little bit to make sure you’re cutting all the grass.

Step 4: Repeat the pattern

Raise the deck and turn around your riding mower in a slow Y-turn again to change the direction. Repeat the pattern by alternating the directions until you’re done with the whole lawn. Slightly overlap in every pass, so you don’t leave behind any uncut strips to spoil your design.

Step 5: Border the edges

Give one finishing round around the boundary of your yard to create a smooth and fine border.

This is the simplest way to stripe your backyard. Just do keep in mind it’s all about light reflection on the grass blades. Grass that has been away from you appears light, whereas the grass bent towards you seems dark.

But let me tell you if you always mow in the same pattern, repetitive tire tracks will compact the grass over time and cause ugly dead spots. Doing this will invite weeds to grow, which will take up the nutrition for growing new healthy grass. So, I would suggest you to always switch between the mowing patterns.

Pattern Types

Alternating the patterns will help to minimize the wear and tear caused by the mowing tires. On top of that, it will allow enough airflow to help the grass grow its best. As a bonus, there will be fewer weeds in your yard too.

However, to have the perfect pattern, you should use the right lawn strapping kit along with your riding mower.

Here are some lawn mowing patterns for you to alternate between. As you become a pro, I’m sure you’ll get more creative and have your own pattern ideas!

Striped

The most used and easy design. It’s done with the steps I’ve mentioned in the back and forth manner.

Checkerboard

Similar to the striped design. Once you’re done striping the whole yard, do it perpendicular to the previous striped pattern, and you’ll get a checkboard like design.

Wave

Mow in a smooth wavy pattern. Use this as a guide for the next waves. Be consistent and align with the following ones.

Circle

Start at the center of your lawn, make a circle. Now for each following ring, mow in the alternate directions.

Diamond

Begin with the longest diagonal stripe, followed by your first return stripe. Move around the edge of your yard and do a second stripe to create one light and two dark lines next to it. Continue this pattern until you’re finished with both sides.

Now go to the opposite diagonal corner and start mowing cross stripes just like the first time.

For More Information, Check This Video:

Conclusion

There you know how to take care of your backyard and give it a healthy, lush green look. So get into it with the right tools. To get the perfect patterned look, you need to go through a lot of trials and errors. But once you master it, you can go creative and show off your artistic nature in a fun way to your neighbors.

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