I’m sure you’ve strolled through your neighborhood on occasions in spring or summer and noticed those lush gardens with perfect stripes which you’ve never been quite able to pull off in your own garden. How do they do it? What exactly are lawn stripes and do you need a special type of lawn mower to get them? These are a few of the questions our Thelawnmowerguru.com team has tackled for you below.
So What Are Lawn Stripes?
When you stare at a garden which has lawn stripes, they appear to be strips of grass which alternate between a lighter shade and a darker shade of that lush green color. How are these different shades of color achieved? Well you could go out there and paint your grass (joke!). The differing color shades are achieved by brushing the blades of grass in one row in one direction and then brushing the very next row of grass blades in the total opposite direction. What this does is cause the light from the sun to reflect differently off the grass, depending on the direction it’s been pushed. When you are looking at the lawn, the blades which are brushed towards you appear to be a darker shade of green because the sunlight is reflecting off of the tips of the grass which have a small surface area. The sunlight also creates a shadowy effect under the tips, which also contributes to the darker appearance of the stripe. When the grass is brushed away from you, the sunlight reflects off a much larger part of the grass blades and as a result the stripes appear to be a lighter shade of green.
Grass Factors Effecting Lawn Stripes
- Grass Type – If you’re a keen gardener then you’ll know that there are countless different varieties of grass and if you didn’t know that, you do now. Some varieties of grass are better suited to creating lawn stripes than others. Creating lawn stripes is all about bending the grass blades over so they can reflect the sunlight. But some varieties of grass are fairly rigid and tough which means they are hard to bend over and if they don’t stay in that position then there’s no lawn stripes. The best varieties of grass are thinner, softer types of grass which will stay in position once brushed.
- Grass Length – If you cut your grass too short, it’ll be much harder for your grass to bend, as the blades simply won’t be long enough to do so. So you need to have enough length for the blade to bend and stay in that position.
Best Lawn Mowers For Lawn Stripes
There are two main attributes a lawn mower needs to create this effect: a roller and reasonable weight. Remember the grass blades need to be bent over and then stay in that position, so you need a roller to push them over and then a substantial weight going over the grass to make them stay in that position. Cylinder lawn mowers tend to be ideal for creating lawn stripes you’ll be proud of because they pretty much always have a roller incorporated into their design and the average cylinder mower is heavier than the average rotary mower. That’s not to say you can’t pick up a rotary that will do the job – you can, but just make sure it has a roller and it’s fairly heavy. There are a lot of cheaper, lighter lawn mowers which now have rollers but simply aren’t heavy enough to make the grass stay in the position it needs to be in.
Mowing For Lawn Stripes
- Step 1 – The first thing you need to do is mow is around the edges of your lawn. So start in one corner of your garden and mow right around the perimeter.
- Step 2 – Once you’ve mowed around the entire perimeter and have come back to where you started, now mow back and forth across your lawn, overlapping each pass slightly to make sure no grass is left uncut.
- Step 3 – When you’ve finished mowing up and down your lawn, go around the entire perimeter once again just to remove the marks left where you turned at the end of each row.
- Step 4 – Pack the mower away, grab a nice cold drink, sit down and admire the gorgeous stripes your lawn now possesses.
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