Think back: What’s your most vivid memory about the first big-league baseball game you ever went to?
For many people, it was stepping out from the dark tunnels of the stadium to reveal a seemingly endless sea of green grass, checkered in striking patterns across the outfield.
Those stripes aren’t the work of lawn painters or groundskeeping gnomes – they are the result of a mowing technique called lawn striping. But lawn striping isn’t simply for the big leagues – it can raise the curb appeal of any home lawn or commercial property, and could even improve the health of your grass if you do it properly.
Lawn striping works by bending the grass in different directions using a lawn roller – a device that attaches to your mower.
Lawn striping works because it plays light reflects differently off the grass depending on the angle of the blade. When grass is bent away from you, the grass appears lighter because light reflects more readily off the full blade; when the grass is bent towards you, the grass appears darker, because you are looking at the tip, which is less reflective. Alternate these two directions gives grass a two-tone effect.
If done correctly, lawn striping can actually benefit your residential lawn or commercial lawn. Repeatedly mowing your lawn in the same direction can create grooves, ruts, or holes in your lawn, or simply make the turf less resilient; by mowing the lawn in two directions for a striped effect, you can prevent lawn deformities and promote a lawn in which all grass blades get equal access to the sun and equal wear from your mower.
Don’t let the exotic look of this technique intimidate you: if you can mow a lawn, you can stripe it, too! Here’s how:
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