Have you ever wondered how you get stripes in your lawn? Every summer, when we watch Wimbledon or take a trip to a fancy country house, we marvel at the perfect tramlines achieved on the grass and wonder how we can do the same to our – granted, less grand – gardens.
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So we’ve enlisted ‘friend of the website’ Andy Wain to solve the mystery. Andy is Head Gardener at Euridge Manor – a country house wedding venue in the Cotswolds. And as you can see from his Instagram feed, he knows what he’s talking about…
Here are his expert tips for creating lawn stripes.
How do you get stripes in your lawn?
1. Make sure your lawn is healthy
‘To create a beautifully striped lawn you basically need two things,’ says Andy. ‘They are a healthy lawn and a lawnmower with a rear roller.
“A healthy lawn requires proper cutting, watering, fertilising and aerating on a regular basis, with an understanding of the right time to do each of these things.’
2. Invest in a good mower with a roller
‘In order to create beautiful stripes in your lawn, I recommend investing in a rear roller machine, such as the STIHL RM545VR or RM 655 RS,’ says Andy.
Take a look for yourself: Best lawn mowers 2020 – the top models for cutting the lawn and clearing leaves
3. Follow the same path
‘Lawn stripes are created by the roller pushing the blades of grass forwards and pressing them down, as the mower passes over,’ Andy explains. ‘By always following the same stripe each time you mow, you will increase the definition of the stripes, as more of the grass will be pushed over.’
‘The actual stripe effect is caused by light reflecting off the grass. The lighter shade comes from the blades of grass facing away from you and the darker shade is caused by shadows in the blades of grass facing you.’
‘The beautiful thing about striping a lawn, is that you don’t have to walk in a straight line for the effect to work. You can create just about any pattern you like, as long as you continue to bend the grasses in opposite directions.’
4. Don’t cut the lawn too short
‘A top tip to consider when creating stripes – don’t cut your lawn too short,’ advises Andy. ‘This will impact the stripes, so I suggest no shorter than 30mm. Plus, to keep the stripes “popping”, it is best to mow at least once a week.’
5. Maintain the edges
‘Finally, a striped lawn will look untidy if you don’t maintain the edges,’ says Andy. ‘So it is also worth having a reliable grass trimmer in your garden shed to make sure the edges are neat. Your neighbours will soon have lawn envy!!’
Follow Andy and his gardening exploits on Instagram @_andy__w