lawn striping with no roller diy

How To Stripe Lawn Without Roller [Simple Method]

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If you are like me and you take pride in your beautiful lush green lawn whilst secretly hoping your neighbors are jealous of the lushness, you may want to take your lawn to a whole new level.

You have probably seen lawns that have beautiful patterns on them and this can be anything from stripes, diamonds, double stripes, or all sorts of other designs.

I am going to tell you the secret of how to stripe your lawn without a roller, it’s really not that difficult and it will transform your lawn from a patch of grass to an absolutely lush green artform.

You think your neighbors are already jealous of how beautiful your lawn is then this trick will drive them up the wall.

Striping your lawn really will transform it and it is really not that difficult to achieve when you know what you are doing. Everyone who cares about how their lawn looks should be using this transformative process to achieve the final touch to your beautiful lush green lawn.

It is possible to stripe your lawn without using a roller. The striping effect is caused by the light reflecting off the grass blades that are pointing in opposite directions. All you have to do is flatten the grass blades so they point in opposite directions for each stripe. Read on to find out the technique I use.

Check out my article on some fun solar lawn decorations.

What Causes The Stripes On Your Lawn?

The stripe design you want to achieve is actually caused by the light reflecting off the blades of grass that you have trained to grow in different directions.

When you look at the stripes, the dark stripes will be the tips of the grass blades pointing towards you and the tips reflect little light, the light stripes will be from the light reflecting off the blades.

How intense the stripes look will vary because it partly depends on where the sun is and also on the direction you are viewing your lawn from.

You may have thought that it is some sort of mystical skill that has to be acquired to achieve these fantastic designs on your lush green lawn, however, you can actually achieve this look without having to purchase a lawn roller or striping kit as I explain below.

How To Stripe Your Lawn With Only A Lawnmower

It is actually really simple to make stripes on your lawn and you really don’t need to invest in a striping kit or fancy lawn roller. The only piece of equipment you need to achieve this is your lawnmower, as long as you can adjust the height of your mower you are good to go.

Step 1: Mow your lawn

The first thing to do in this lawn striping process is to mow your lawn, and when you are doing this you should be cutting it straight up and down as if you are already cutting it in stripes.

During this process, I normally mow my lawn down to a height of around 2-3 inches just the same as I always have done, even though I am now going for this striping effect.

When you mow your lawn back and forward in straight lines you should start to see some stripe-like features starting to appear in your lawn.

Step 2: lower the cutting height of your mower

The vast majority of lawnmowers have an adjustable cutting height and it is a vital requirement for this process.

If you don’t have a mower that has an adjustable cutting height then I’m afraid I would definitely recommend you invest in one.

There are a number of different mechanisms on different mowers for adjusting the height. Some mowers have a single lever adjustment mechanism and for others, you will have to adjust it at the 4 corners, I’m sure you will figure it out.

When you have figured out how to lower the cutting height you should now set it to the lowest setting available as this will be the optimum setting to achieve lawn stripes without using a roller.

Step 3: Keep your mower turned off and push it

Ok, the final step is to push your mower on the lowest cutting height setting back and forth over your lawn to create these stripes.

You have to make sure you don’t actually cut your grass again during this final process or you will just end up with really short grass and no stripes.

When you are doing this process you have to concentrate so you can have straight stripes on your lawn unless you are going for a wonky and wavy design on your lawn which is a possibility but is a more advanced technique.

Depending on what type of mower you have you may want to keep it turned on if you have a self-propelled mower, for example, you just have to make sure you can have the self-propulsion on and have it set so that the blades are not cutting.

If you have a manual push mower then the only purpose of the engine is to turn the blades so you definitely want to have it turned off.

Step 4: stand back and admire

When you have walked your lawnmower back and forth over your lawn for this striping process, you should then stand back and look at your work.

You should be surprised to see nice-looking stripes on your lawn and you haven’t used any expensive or fancy equipment, you have only used equipment you should already own with a little bit of ingenuity.

If the stripes aren’t defined enough you could always repeat the process and make sure you have your mower set to the lowest height setting.

Check out my article on sprinkler systems for your lawn.

Benefits Of Striping Your Lawn

Whilst striping your lawn may well make you the talk of the town as the person with the totally amazing patterns on your lawn there are actually some benefits apart from making your lawn aesthetically pleasing.

When you mow your lawn to make striping, diamonds, or whatever pattern you are going for it is achieved by bending the blades of grass over which in turn causes more or less sun to reflect off and that’s how you end up with dark stripes and light stripes.

If a lawn is left to grow wild then the tallest blades of grass will thrive but will block light from getting to the weaker blades that actually require more sun.

When you mow patterns into your lawn you bend the blades over in one direction and this means some of the blades will get full sun whilst other blades will get a very little sun, this is why it’s important you don’t mow the stripes in the same direction every time and you should mow the stripes in the opposite direction every time you stripe.

By using this method of striping in a different direction every time, it will allow your grass to get an even share of the sun as half of the blades will get more light when you have flattened them in one direction but when you flatten them in the other direction the other half will get more light.

It ends up with your grass all getting an even share of the light as long as you regularly stripe and alternate the direction of the stripes and this results in a healthy lush green lawn.

Check out my article on striping techniques with a push mower.

What If You Don’t Have A Lawn Mower?

It is actually possible to create stripes on your lawn even if you don’t have a lawnmower.

This is due to the fact that it’s not the actual cutting of your grass that causes the stripes, it is the process of making the grass face in opposite directions when you go up one direction and down the other direction. Here is how I would make stripes on my lawn if I didn’t have a lawnmower.

You just need some very basic equipment for this simple process such as: 

  • An upside-down table 
  • A large broom 
  • A flat piece of wood

All you have to do is drag whichever flat-sided piece of equipment you choose to use back and forth over your lawn to create the stripe design as it’s all about making the grass blades lay down in opposite directions and that makes it look like stripes.

Check out my article on the first grass cut of the year.

How Long Do Lawn Stripes Last?

It depends, is the short answer.

There are lots of different factors that will contribute to how long your lawn stripes will last.

Some factors you can control and some will be out of your control.

The first thing you should make sure of is that you don’t cut your grass too short, keep it between 2.5-4 inches long, otherwise, it will be difficult to manipulate your grass blades to make stripes appear.

Some grass varieties are better suited to striping so if you have the wrong variety you may be out of luck unless you reseed your lawn. Check out my range of articles on different varieties of grass. Cool-season grasses tend to be the best type of grass for striping so you should go for one of those varieties for optimum striping effect.

If you live in a really windy area the wind blowing across your lawn could be enough to ruin your stripes.

Also, if you don’t mow your lawn often enough the stripes will grow out. During the summer you should be mowing twice per week to maintain the striping effect.

Check out my full article on cool-season grass.

If You Want To Invest In Equipment What Are The Options?

So if the above method for striping your lawn without a roller doesn’t create stripes as perfect as you want, there are some options for equipment that you can choose from to achieve the stripes you dream of.

Let us take a quick look at what the options are:

  • Use a mower with a roller – some lawnmowers actually have a roller at the rear end of it and when you have a mower like this you can easily achieve stripes on your lawn as long as you mow to the correct height, have a suitable grass variety, and mow in the correct patterns.
  • Use a lawn roller – a lawn roller is a useful tool to have in your collection as it can be used for multiple purposes such as flattening molehills, packing down seed or sod, or fixing a bumpy lawn. When you use a roller for lawn striping it’s like ironing your grass blades to slightly lay down in the correct direction to achieve the stripe effect.
  • Lawn striping kit – there are many different types of lawn striping kits available but they all follow along the same lines. A kit will be an attachment you can attach to the rear of your mower, they may be a brush or roller type. The goal of these kits is to bend the grass blades in the correct direction as you go back and forwards over your lawn in a stripe pattern.

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