how to put stripes in grass

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by RQS, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. RQS

    RQS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    How do you guys get the pretty stripes in the grass when you mow? thought this would be a good place to ask this...
  2. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 946

    Are you asking technique wise or equipment wise?
  3. Insometry

    Insometry LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 43

    I'm assuming you are a homeowner who is asking?

    In my opinion and experience - it is a combination of three things

    1) Tires/Weight
    2) Direction
    3) Grass/Deck

    Tires will press the grass down. The pressed down grass will then "reflect" the light of the sun different depending on your view of the grass. The weight of the mower helps with how much the grass is pressed down - as will the type of tires you have.

    If you mow away from your point of view - the line will appear to be the lighter of the two. If you mow toward your point of view, the line will be the darker one. This concept is not unlike running your hand against the threads of certain house carpets and seeing the effect.

    Certain grass holds a line better then others. Certain decks create better lines as well, mainly through the method of suction, cut, and how it dispels clippings.

    Tips with lines:

    1) Circle your mowing area twice - shooting the clipping inward. Then use this area to rotate your mower for the lines.

    2) When setting your first line (If you don’t have a straight edge to help you) Set a goal across the grass and keep your eye on it as you mow. (Make sure you don’t have things in your grass that you could hit while doing this) Sometimes you may need to make a corrective line straightening your first one.

    3) Once you have your first STRAIGHT line - simply mow back and forth – be sure to keep your line straight. If one person were standing at the starting point - the first line will be the light one – when turn around at the opposite end and come back you set the second dark one. Turn around - set another light one. Ect… Please realize that all of the above lines will be the same DIRECTION (North to South, South to North, North to South)

    4) Set 4 sets of directions over your next 4 mows. Roughly -

    a) North to South there, South to North Back.
    b) East to West, West to East.
    c) Northeast to SouthWest, Southwest to Northwest
    d) NorthWest to Southeast, Northwest to Southeast.

    This may help your understanding. If you take this plus sign “+” (2 directional lines) and stick it over this “X” (2 directional lines) – you will have an idea of the four main directions. Then restart with your north and south. This cut is important! Keep your original line patter (as long as it is straight) That means you will always follow the lighter of the 2 lines. Once it is cut for the second time, the line will begin to have a nice defined image. Repeat all four long as you are keeping your lines straight and your mower is cutting correctly - you should have some nice lines with a little practice.

    PS If you don’t have a professional mower - it will take a lot more work. I recommend circling the whole area more then twice for more turnaround room. Also be extra careful in keeping your lines straight.

    I hope that all made sense.


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