Even though mowing your lawn is a staple task on your yard to-do list, it’s a good idea to change things up and try something different. Continuously mowing in the same direction can inhibit growth and compress soil. However, varying the mowing pattern every two to three weeks helps to maintain healthy growth. It also provides a new look and instant aesthetic appeal to your lawn.
If you haven’t gotten into the habit of alternating your mowing pattern, try it the next time you get your mower ready for a fresh cut with these pattern techniques and tips:
Regular Stripes and Plaid Stripes
To create either of these common lawn patterns, begin by mowing the perimeter of your lawn. Next, mow back and forth in opposite directions through your entire lawn. When turning at the end of each row, try taking a “Y” turn to reduce turf damage.
To achieve the best results, attach a roller or lawn striping kit to your mower to press the grass to the ground as you mow. Go over the perimeter once more at the end to cover up any offsets in the pattern.
To turn regular stripes into plaid stripes, mow straight lines back and forth in the opposite direction of the entire lawn. Finish the job by going over the perimeter once more.
Diagonal and Crisscross Patterns
For diagonal stripes, follow the same steps as above, but mow in a diagonal direction to your previous pattern to create a diagonal or crisscross lawn pattern.
GENERAL MOWING TIPS
Cutting Heights and Grass Types
While mowing patterns can quickly deliver an aesthetic lift to your yard, it’s also important to consider a few factors that can affect your results.
The cutting height you choose will affect the striping intensity. Cutting the grass short may lessen the stripe, as the shorter grass blade will not bend over as far and therefore reflect less light. A longer cut will enhance the striping pattern and can make a noticeable difference.
Certain breeds of grass also tend to bend easier and may provide a better stripe pattern. Warm-season grasses typically found in the southern regions of the United States are usually more difficult to stripe as they are more rigid and harder to bend.