View Full Version : Striping

02-03-2005, 02:46 PM
I'm new to this site. So hello everybody. This will be my third year. Very small business. Work 40 hours per week and mow on the side. My question is, what is the best way to mow, in a circle or back and forth and does the back and forth give the striping effect. I know there are striping kits you can buy but I've heard you can get the striping without the kits. Thanks for the help. Love the forum.

02-03-2005, 02:52 PM
circular mowing is the kiss of death.....

Mow back and forth changing directions each week.... Depending on your mower you will get stripes... some mowers need striping equipment.. post your equipment... we'll tell you if you need a striping kit

02-03-2005, 02:57 PM
I have a scag 48 inch cut belt driven walk behind. I use the jungle jim sulky behind the mower. I can see some sort of striping but just not as prevelent as some of the other lawns I see. Thanks

02-03-2005, 03:21 PM
You should not need a striping kit on that mower. One thing you can do, is check your deck pitch. If you have an owners manual, it outlines how that is done.
Basically, you need to turn the blades so they are parrallel with the mower (each tip of the blades are pointing foward or backward) then put it on a flat smooth level floor, like a garage floor. Measure from the floor to each blade tip. The front tip needs to be 1/4" closer to the ground than the rear tip.

Now, when you mow, it is best for your types of grasses and for striping to mow at 3" to 4", somewhere in that range is best for striping and general health of those grass types.

When You mow, mow in a back and forth pattern, and try to only overlap as much as needed without leaving strips of uncut grass between passes. Try to keep your lines straight, and do not overlap too much. You should be getting some stripes to show up this way. You do not need to change direction every week, but try to get a few different patterns going and alternate so that you do not rut the lawn (as you would if mowing same direction same paths each week).

Most people mow the same pattern the first two or three weeks, then they mow another direction for a week, then mow the original direction the next week, then go back to the second direction. Now you are getting a pattern going. Soon you can add a third direction to the pattern, and sometimes you can get a 4th direction, but most lawns seem to only stripe in up to 3 directions at once. You can change it all you want, but you'll eventually erase the original stripes if you change directions alot. Also, do not make your stripes at less than 25 or 30 degree angles, or else they will overwrite each other and look messed up.
A stripe always looks light going away and dark coming back. If you have striped a lawn, stand at one end of a stripe, it will look light colored as you look down the length of it. Now, walk to the other end of the exact same stripe and turn around. it will look dark colored! This is how the patterns work- the blades of grass get bent over to face alternating directions, and the light reflecting off of the tops or sides of the grass blades is what changes the colors.... additionally, the sun's position will determine how your stripes appear in color, texture and depth.
A striping kit helps to lay the grass over to better define the stripes. Some grass types stripe better than others, and some will hardly stripe at all. You will get the hang of it with practice. Another thing that is a good idea is to wait until you are done mowing to make the perimeter pass around the edge of the property, so it helps fade in the turning marks at the end of your stripes. If you do a perimeter pass as you start on the lawn, then a 2nd as you finish, you are rutting the perimeter more and also wasting time. The perimeter is one area of the lawn you cannot change the cutting angle on, so you will definately rut it the most anyway, so try to avoid making multiple perimeter passes per cut.

I hope this helps and that I did not confuse you. Let us know if you need more help or pictures.

02-03-2005, 03:29 PM
How does the back and forth pattern do with blowing the grass out. Do I need a mulching kit or will the grass be blown out evenly and not clumped up in one spot. Thanks.

02-03-2005, 03:33 PM
You do not need to mulch... Also I forgot to mention, with the striping method, your clippings are dispersed very evenly and any good commercial mower will not have a problem discharging the grass at all... Also, it will help to rechop some of the clippings (when you throw them into uncut grass, then mow over the uncut grass, it hits some of the clippings twice)... which is actually a little better for the lawn, because the now-smaller clippings are easier for the lawn to decompose and turn into useful material :)

K c m
02-03-2005, 03:37 PM
How does the back and forth pattern do with blowing the grass out. Do I need a mulching kit or will the grass be blown out evenly and not clumped up in one spot. Thanks.

That is based on what kind of mower you have. Tipically high lift blades tend to discharge grass very well. However most likely in the spring you will need to double cut. (cut two times)

good luck shawn.

Shawns Lawns
02-03-2005, 03:38 PM
I guess we have the same name and i would not want other lawnsite attendies to get us confused by a typing error would it be possibe for you to change it so people would not get us confused. :)

02-03-2005, 03:39 PM
Thanks frankenscag. Is the machine that I have a pretty good mower? I bought it last year. Didn't know much about commercial mowers. I looked at a few and liked this one the best because of the price mainly. I want to get a few more residential yards this year and want to know is this enough or do i need to go to the z turn. Thanks.

02-03-2005, 03:40 PM
Holy Cow! I never even noticed there's 2 of you runnin around :o

02-03-2005, 03:43 PM
Sorry Shawns Lawns. I didn't notice you on here. I don't care to change it but I really don't know how. Would someone please tell me. Thanks.

Shawns Lawns
02-03-2005, 03:47 PM
go under user CP and edit profile :waving: if you have any problems let me know

Shawns Lawns
02-03-2005, 03:51 PM
If you have any problems maybe one of the moderators can assist :)

02-03-2005, 03:56 PM
When I go under user CP all you can edit in there are your email and password. I can't find anywhere to change the name. Any help would be appreciated. :help:

Shawns Lawns
02-03-2005, 04:07 PM
i see what you mean. I have asked 1majortom to help us :waving:

02-03-2005, 04:54 PM
Those last few posts looked like Shawn was talking to himself. The admin is capable of changing your user name. Just e mail them.

02-03-2005, 05:37 PM
Shawn in KY,
The Scag 48" belt drive is a great machine. It is a good choice. I've had a couple Scags myself. It is definately tough enough to last you long and work hard, and will do a great job striping. The only thing is, only you can say if it's productive enough to handle an increase in work load.

Ps- yes you have to have a moderator change your username.