The Right Stripes – A Few Tips

Yet again I find myself starting my weekly writy thing by referring to the blog posted yesterday by my esteemed colleague and fellow bon viveur, Mr Dick Roberts. In his piece he points out that, although you can get some kind of stripe from other mowers, it is only by using a proper rear-roller mower that the crisp, smart, lasting

Hayter Spirit 41 lawnmower
British favourite: Hayter Spirit 41 lawnmower

stripes we know and love will appear. Something like the traditional cylinder mower in the main picture, the Allett Buckingham, seen fitted with its autosteer seat would be ideal (and fun and comfortable, I know ‘because I had a go on one during that very session) but if you don’t have a very large lawn you don’t have to be that elaborate. A simple but efficient quality mower like the Hayter Spirit 41 will provide very pleasing stripes to the slightly smaller garden. As one of our customers wrote  recently …” cuts beautifully, rolls nice neat stripes on my substantial lawn and overall just feels like a sound solid machine. This is seriously great value for money and an absolute pleasure to use.”

As I have said on these pages before, stripes are an optical effect, caused by light bouncing off the bent grass blades. The more surface you see, the more light is reflected. Subsequently, the blades pointing towards you, look dark as you are seeing the just the tips and the shadows underneath them, whereas and the ones bent away from you look light, as you are seeing the broad part of the grass blade. Simple.

So, for those of you who are contemplating a stripy look for the reminder of our jolly British summer, here are a few tips.

  1. Check your ground. Of course, you must remove any stones, childs’ toys, beer glasses etc from the lawn but it is also a good idea to check for lumps and bumps and, if you can, flatten them out with a roller. The more even your ground, the more even your stripes will be.
  2. Pre cut. Make sure your lawn is cut evenly and sympathetically before you stripe. This will probably mean a general cut, or several, before you start the cutting and striping process. Don’t cut too low or you will have little left to stripe with.
  3. Think before you mow. Take a good look at your lawn and plan it in your head before you start. You might even try a sketch just so you know exactly what you are doing. It seems a simple enough task but any planning in advance can save time and heartache later.
  4. Consider your ends. What will you do when you get to the end of your first stripe? Yes, of course you will have to turn but what about the edges? It’s a really good idea to mow around the perimeter of your lawn first, that way you have some leeway as you approach the end of each stripe.
  5. Turn carefully. The more cautious and delicate your turn, the less chance there is of a big green smudge at the end of your stripe.
  6. Keep on the straight and narrow. There are a few ways to make sure your stripes are straight. I’ve known people take the time to measure and peg string across the lawn but I don’t think there is any real need to go that far. If there is a straight path or fence next the the lawn, start there and that should help. When you are actually mowing, if you look several yards ahead of the mower, not just right in front of it or at the ground. This should keep you straight.
  7. Re-Mow the perimeter after you have completed all your stripes. This will make sure that any errors or turning issues are covered up as you go round the final time.
  8. Aim Your Stripes at something you want to draw attention to. They can point towards your lovely house, they can highlight your your beautiful flowerbeds. remember the eye follows them so probably not a good idea to stripe towards the dustbin. Striping away away from your house, will make your lawn look longer when you gaze at your lovely lawn from your windows, something many people take advantage of.
  9. Change your direction. Despite what I said in number 4, it is a good idea to vary your stripes, try different directions and possibly even more elaborate
    Go on, give it a go!

    patterns over the mowing season, as it encourages varied and healthy growth.

  10. Roll on. It is very much a ‘trick of the trade’ but if you really want to go a step further you can use a roller to go over the stripes you have made and make them even stronger and more defined. This is what tis often done on bowling greens and other homes of good old British recreational activities. Just make sure that your roller is the same width as your stripes and do keep a note of which way you went, other wise you could undo your work rather than enhance it.

And that is it from me. I really hope you do have a go at putting stripes on your lawn, it really is very satisfying. And be ambitious after you’ve been doing it for a while you can try checks, circles, or even tartans. In the meantime if you need any equipment from our range of great value rear-roller mowers to our selection of manual garden lawn rollers or anything else, do visit us on mowdirect.co.uk or call us on 0345 4588 905 for impartial, expert advice. People trust us, and we care, that is why they keep coming back…

“Have bought several different machines from MowDirect and, again, sales staff and goods come up trumps.” RICHARD

MowDirect set a benchmark for a user-friendly and informative website, and superb customer service. Carry on the good work.” MR BURN

“..the staff were great and did exactly as they said they would, I was really impressed with the personal service.” IAN

Enjoy your garden.    Drew Hardy

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Drew Hardy

Freelance Writer at Mowdirect
A keen allotmenteer with an interest in all things horticultural, Drew has a varied writing background with experience in a number of fields including garden machinery, lawn care and compost. His first experience with gardening was a cultivating a small plot he was given by his house master at school. He grew a decent crop of radishes and lettuce and sold them to a local shop, exhibiting his first, and last, sign of an entrepreneurial spark. Drew lives in North London with his wife, two children and a slightly bonkers cat
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