View Full Version : Mowing technique.......

Lawn Sharks
11-07-2002, 09:25 PM
Okay. let's hear how you pro stripers do it.

When you start a job do you do a lap around the perimieter first or do you start right in on the longest straight line and work to the edges and do the lap around teh edge when you are done?

Talking about equipment is fun but let's talk about the work too!!


11-07-2002, 09:30 PM
I always made two some times three laps around the edge and then straight lines from there.

11-07-2002, 09:41 PM
I just try not to scalp anything!:D Just joking I do two around the perimeter usually.

bubble boy
11-07-2002, 10:01 PM
i often make the perimeter first...but just habit. often i must admit i'll skip the perimeter...just trim it, and it sometimes looks fine...cant even tell the perimeter was skipped.

i have always thought it made most sense to stripe, then do a clean up pass around...but guys never do it that way

mdb landscaping
11-07-2002, 10:04 PM
i usually make one pass around the perimeter, maybe two passes if i dont feel like blowing the road off. then i pick which way i will mow. say if you mow diagnal to the right side one week, mow diagonal to the left next week. basically you just want to keep alternating your patterns, and after awhile, youll get that nice striped look.

AGG Lawn Maintenance
11-07-2002, 10:05 PM
Depending on how thick the grass is or how far it is shooting determines my laps. For the most part I do one lap. When the need arises two sometimes three. When I first started cutting many years ago I did about 100 laps. I used a tractor with a steering wheel. LoLs.
Thank god for ZTR's and Walkbehind.:D

11-07-2002, 10:15 PM
I usually make one around the perimeter, stripe, then make a second around perimeter next to the first which covers turning marks.

11-07-2002, 10:53 PM
sometimes going around the perimeter isn't necessary, especially for striping. But if it is, dang it, I do the perimeter last to clean it up.

Lawn Sharks
11-07-2002, 11:27 PM
Well, that is exactly what I was looking for!

If you watch them cutting greens at a golf course you will notice they do the stripes first and when done with striping they go around the edge to clean it up. No messy turn marks.
It is the way I do it and have noticed very few other lco's doing it.

Might be worth a try for those who don't.


Bill Davis
11-07-2002, 11:30 PM
Perimeter twice and then lay down the stripes with the Lazer. I have found that going around twice reduces the need for a true Zero-turn therefore resulting in less turf damage on those yards that are a little thin or wet.

11-07-2002, 11:34 PM
Twice around the outside, then work my way inward. Just like when I worked on my Dads farm cutting hay or any other field work.


11-08-2002, 12:20 AM
The problem with not doing atleast one border first, is that inevitably, you end up blowing grass in undesired places;- namely beds and/or street and drive. With doing a border first, it gives you a clean margin to turn in. There is nothing wrong with doing a cleanup lap at the end. Sometimes, once every 4 cuts or so, on the residentials, when I'm cutting high during the hot season, after doing my one border, I will turn around and go the exact opposite way on that first border to help stand all the grass back up, as it can tend to lay down after awhile. Going back on a second boredr is not necessary as that gets hit from all different directions. Also, the first question of the directions, by taking the longest straight line, this is CERTainly not how you set a diagonal line. At NO TIME should you let the dimensions of a yard determine what angle it will be cut at. How I always get an accurate cut is to first, (upon the first cut) run crossways to the road (or there abouts). How this is done, is by running PARALLEL to the house, therefore running lengthwise to it as well in most cases. After two borders, (on the first cut) I have my second row in the front yard blowing back toward the house. I am not blowing grass in beds or anywhere at this point, because this row was already cut blowing it out into the yard. My third is then cut the opposite way, thus setting a nice even striping pattern that is STRAIGHT TO THE HOUSE. However it ends up at the street is just how it ends up. (However, I work with it as to not blow it out into the street). The next week, I cut directly against these stripes, right square to the house. When the first stripes are straight, this sets a guide for ALL of your other stripes from then on. Just keep your front casters hitting the cross stripes square, and keep an I on the house or building so you are square to it. Two down the driveway, and right back up the second (already cut) row again, turning it back toward the house so all the stripes are even and opposite right from the edges. After this checkerboard is accomplished, you can start your diagonals the following week. This is a little trickier, as you need to be able to see a 45, and pursue it. I start right from the corner of the driveway out by the road, (as a rule) and after the border is done, I do the same, heading right back on the second row again. Then you're "splicing diamonds" as I put it. Disect the angles and keep your lines straight. Watch for inside and outside corners on the houses and buildings to help you. (watching for them to be even on both sides as you approach them from a distance.) Once you have one good 45 laid down, then the opposite 45 is just going directly against the first one like you did with the horizontal to vertical. With some practice, you'll get it right down, and the main thing is, HAVE A FORMULA. In other words, always do the same thing, in the same type of locations of any given yard. For instance, like where I said to start out by the corner of the driveway and the street for the one diagonal? Always start there - on every yard. (Incidentally, I start up by the house and drive for the other direction) The same with the PLACING of your stripes horizontally and vertically. As I said, I put mine right in opposite directions right from stripe one. The reason for this (consistent methods) is so if you happen to lose any of your stripes for ANY reason, (overgrowth, too much time elapsed between that direction of cut, or even if some other moron came in and covered your stripes with who KNOWS what,) you are able to just go onto your pattern, and your old stripes will magically reappear after you start cutting on those rows again. Anyway, I didn't mean to write a book about it, but I hope this certainly helps. If you have any other questions about this, feel free to ask or just IM me. I'm happy to help. :)

Envy Lawn Service
11-08-2002, 12:48 AM
OK here it comes! I'm gonna give you all a good laugh at my expense here :D

I don't have a zero turn or a very tight turning radius for that matter. So, I must turn one or two rounds, depending on which direction I'm cutting that week. My patterns require a little more thought process ;)

If I'm cutting say from the street to the house, I cut 2 passes on the house side and the street side. Then I start out with my first pass. I drive right up to the limit and then turn imediately sharp into the uncut grass. I stop at a point where I can cut the wheels opposite and back right into position for my next pass. I just continue that until I reach the other side.

The next week I cut at a 45 from last week to attain the diagonal checkerboard effect. This trip only requires one pass all the way around. Then I start at the inside corner, drive into the single pass, use the same sharp cut into the uncut grass and sharp back around to line up for the return pass.

After I have the pattern "in" on a 45 I work my way from one corner to the center of the 45. Then I go to the other side and work back to the center. This makes my turning process easier.

I just alternate patterns at a 45 each week until all 4 patterns are there and the lawn looks striped any way you look at it.

I don't have to run the perimeter again. I don't have turn marks :confused:
Maybe this is becuse of the manner I do things :confused:

11-08-2002, 12:52 AM
Two outlines and then my striping. Then a clean-up pass to hide turn marks, etc. Once in a while I don't do the out line.

Richard Martin
11-08-2002, 03:51 AM
First the stripes, then the outline.

Tony Harrell
11-08-2002, 06:44 AM
I've done it all of the ways mentioned here. I usually do at least one perimeter to keep grass from being blown where I don't want it then stripe and then clean up any turn "swishes". On my side lot, I just run it straight out to the road without any border. It also depends on which pattern I'm striping. On my side lot I like to do the wave sometimes and stripe 4-5 rows on each side. I have more to clean up when I do something like this. I guess it comes with experience and familiarity with your properties.

Lawn Sharks
11-11-2002, 11:53 PM
Runner and others,
Great stuff. I tend to plan ahead that I am going to do two laps around the outside so my turns don't need to go to the edge and have no worries about blowing into the street or beds.

As for the striping I live in Vermont and don't have your typical subdivision lawn as clients. Sprawling yards with large growth trees are the norm. I used to pick the longest line and work my stripes off it or a fenceline but will try to do more geometry off the structures as it makes sense being the focal point of the property.