How To Stripe Your Lawn – It’s Easier Than You Think

What a weekend. In the FA Cup final, Chelsea managed to bore their way to a 1-0 win against the equally dreary Manchester Utd (dreary not being a word I thought I would ever use about them – well done José).

This once glorious occasion that used to be watched by everyone, even people who didn’t follow football, has become a festival of ennui from most of the big teams. Certainly, during the pre-game rendition of GSTQ, it seemed apparent that most of the players were thinking “Shall I get a fleet of new Jaguars next season, build a three-story nightclub under my Cheshire mansion or buy Trinidad?”

At least the teams of Windsor and Merkel had a good match, the two great houses finally joining to great acclamation by the nation and a very long sermon by an excitable but rather entertaining reverend.

So. Like royal weddings (hoorah, hoorah, hoorah) cooked breakfasts, street parties, pop music and top quality cricket (sometimes) no-one does lawn stripes like us Brits. Just look at the merry lawns of Windsor. Striped to perfection. Makes you proud. This striping obsession is certainly not something that is big on the continent and many a Frenchman, Italian and Belgian out there in plain green lawn land will stand scratching their heads, staring at your perfect patch of grass, looking perplexed and wondering about ‘Le Stripe’. ‘What is it for?’ ‘Why do you do it?’ How do you do it?’.

Well, that last one I can answer. The whole stripy lawn thing is, of course, an optical illusion. You go up and down the lawn, pressing the grass blades down as you go and the broad backs of the blades leaning away from you reflect more light than the thin heads of the grass blades leaning towards you. Simple as that.

Yesterday’s blog by my old friend and colleague, Le Bon Viveur Dick Roberts introduced us to a few good ol’ British rear-roller mowers from Lawnflite that will give you decent stripes. But of course, there are dozens of rear-roller rotary mowers from many great brands that will create stripes. And of course, there are other roller mowers, like cylinder mowers that are designed to create great stripes. 

All in all there are many ways to achieve a stripe on your lawn. Here are a few off the top of my head.

  1. Mow the lawn with a standard rotary mower like the Einhell GC-Pm 40 and use a push garden roller or a towed roller to flatten and stripe the lawn.
  2. Al-ko garden roller
    Flatten it out: Hand propelled Al-Ko garden roller

    Mow the lawn with a rotary mower that has a ‘striping flap’

  3. Mow the lawn with a rear-roller rotary mower like a Morrison Oxford 54rs Rear-Roller Lawnmower
  4. Mow the lawn with a rear-roller cylinder mower like the Allett Classic 14L Petrol Cylinder Mower
  5. Mow the lawn with a rear-roller ride-on mower or lawn tractor like the Simplicity Regent SL250

There are many tips available to help you achieve the best stripes and to help you carry out the task efficiently, like this blog here from a very knowledgeable gentleman, but the one thing you really must do, whenever you mow your lawn never mind put stripes on it, is check your ground thoroughly.

Allett classic 14L mower
Perfect finish: Allett Classic 14L petrol cylinder mower

Seriously, I met a  gardener recently who had bent the blade of his mower simply because he was too busy to check the grass for stones, branches, toys, glasses, iron bars or buried treasure. Good job the neighbour’s cat wasn’t in there.

He said the grass was too long to check, I say then you should have used a strimmer to shorten the grass before mowing.

Anyhoo. All that aside, don’t just check for hazardous objects in the sward or a row of hedgehogs heading home after an afternoon at the pub, it is also useful to check for humps, bumps and lumps which you might want to flatten with a roller before you mow. The more even the ground, the better, sharper and crisper your stripes will be.

Another good tip is to change direction often. Each time you mow, send the stripes in different directions. This encourages growth so is good for the lawn.

Also, if you go over your stripes again with a roller after you have mowed, you will find they stand out even more and will

probably last longer. This what often makes the difference when it comes to the pro-striped grass you find on sports

Morrison Oxford lawnmower
Morrison Oxford – Smooth and efficient rear-roller

grounds,  of course, they have the best mowers and all that but they will often go over the ground again to make sure the stripes are defined.

And that’s it. For more striping tips go to these pages on our knowledge base MowHow.

If you need any advice on rollers, rear-roller mowers or any other striping equipment, or garden equipment, do give us a call on 0345 4588 905.

We are ready to take your calls from 9 am to 5 pm in the week and from 10 am to 4 pm on a Saturday and our friendly team are known for fair and honest advice.

Excellent advice, value & everything turned up on time. Very pleased‘ D. Best (TRUSTPILOT)

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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