How do you get stripes in your lawn? Lawn expert Andy Wain explains how to get perfect lawn stripes

Mow your way to a pristine garden

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.

Cultivate the perfect outdoor space with more of our garden ideas

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

Exterior of house with garden and white windows

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachel Smith)

'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

Exterior of house with white walls and garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Brent Darby)

'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.'

Related: 15 lawn ideas – the best grass layouts and inspiration for putting down turf in your garden

4. Don't cut the lawn too short

exterior of house with flower and tree in the garden

(Image credit: Future PLC/Rachel Smith)

'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

chair and cushion in garden with trees

(Image credit: Future PLC/Claire Lloyd Davies))

'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!!'

Related: Garden edging ideas – lovely lawn edging to smart stone borders to give gardens a perfect finish

Follow Andy and his gardening exploits on Instagram @_andy__w

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.