Learning the basic lawn mowing patterns will not only help to make your yard look amazing, it’s also better for the grass. You don’t need to spend tons of extra time learning how to cut grass like a pro, it’s all about being intentional about the way you mow the lawn. When you become more intentional about the way you mow your grass, it becomes much easier (and more fun!) to maintain a healthy lawn.
I don’t write much about lawn care because it’s not my passion (and my grass is far from perfect!). But I am a bit of a stickler for a nice looking lawn, and I get lots of questions from readers who are new to lawn mowing and want to learn how to mow the lawn, and from readers who are just looking for simple lawn care tips. So when Troy-Bilt reached out to me and asked me to test one of their new lawn mowers, it was the perfect opportunity for me to talk about a little bit about something fun like grass cutting techniques and patterns!
Why Use Lawn Mowing Patterns?
You don’t need to be completely obsessed with having the perfect lawn to use lawn mowing patterns. Some people totally geek out about it, and that’s cool. I’m not a lawn geek myself, but I do like to maintain the grass, and keep it looking nice (after all, it is often the backdrop for my gardens in photos!). Being intentional about how I mow, and using simple grass cutting patterns really helps make it much easier to maintain a healthy lawn. Even if you could care less about creating perfect stripes or patterns in your grass, it’s still important to pay attention to the way you mow your lawn. Not only will your yard look nicer, using lawn mowing patterns also help to keep your grass healthier and easier to maintain.
Benefits Of Lawn Mowing Patterns
Here’s the deal… If you always use the exact same pattern every single time you mow, the tire tracks can start to wear out areas of the grass, causing ugly dead spots (and inviting weeds to grow!). Mowing grass using the exact same pattern over and over will also compact the grass over time, making it harder for healthy grass to grow. Switching up your grass cutting patterns helps to minimize wear and tear damage done by the mower tires. Alternating mowing patterns also keeps the grass from becoming compacted, allowing plenty of airflow and keeping the grass growing it’s best. Plus, you need to mow the grass a little taller in order to get the right effect, which is better for the grass too (but more on that later). And, as an added bonus, mowing patterns into the grass also helps to hide the weeds, giving the illusion of the perfect lawn.
Professional Lawn Mowing Techniques
If you want to mow your lawn like you have a professional lawn care service (or you just want to maintain a healthier lawn), then learning the basic lawn mowing patterns is the key. There are a few simple lawn striping patterns you can play around with to see which ones you like. Once you figure out the patterns that look the best in your yard, and which ones are easiest for you to do, mowing the lawn actually becomes kinda fun. The easiest pattern to start with is creating simple stripes in the lawn. Once you get the hang of that, it will be easy to create other designs like a checkerboard pattern, straight diagonal lines, a criss-cross diagonal pattern, and diamonds. All of these fancy grass designs are just variations of the simple lawn striping pattern.
How To Cut Grass Like A Pro
Making lawn striping patterns in the grass won’t add any extra work, it just takes a little extra thought (and maybe a bit of planning at first, so you can visualize what you want to do). You don’t have to mow the grass over and over again, spending extra hours to create the stripes and patterns. Creating stripes in the lawn is all about how the grass lays after you mow it. As your mower goes over the grass, the blades of grass will bend in that direction. Then when you go the other way, the grass bends in the that direction. The light reflects off of the grass differently in each direction – and that’s what makes the lawn mowing lines in your grass. Mowing the grass taller (raising the lawn mower height) will make the stripes show up better, because longer grass bends more than short grass.
How To Make Lawn Stripes Step-By-Step
You don’t need any special lawn mowing equipment to create the professional look in your own yard, any lawn mower (push mower or riding mower) will work. Here’s how to create those pretty lawn stripes…
Step 1: Mow around the outside edges of your yard first. This is where you’ll turn your mower as you’re cutting the grass, and having a few feet of turning space makes it much easier to make straight lines.
Step 2: Make your first stripe using a landmark to keep it straight. I use the edges of my garden beds to help me get a nice straight pattern that matches the lines already in my yard. You could also use a sidewalk, driveway, patio, or some other straight-edged hardscape in your yard as a guide.
Step 3: After you make your first stripe, turn your mower around on the outside edge of the lawn where you already mowed. Line your mower up so that the wheel is on the edge of the lawn mowing lines you just created. Then follow the line to create your next stripe.
Step 4: Continue going back and fourth over your lawn, lining your mower up after each turn with the stripe you last created. Each new stripe you make will be in the opposite direction of the last stripe you made.
Step 5: Once you’re done creating your lawn stripes, go back around the perimeter of the yard again to get rid of any turn marks left over from your striping. This will help to give the lawn a more finished look, but is a totally optional step. If you’re already happy with the way it looks, then you can skip this step.
Lawn Mowing Patterns Tips And Tricks
Creating stripes and designs in your lawn is easy, and it won’t take you any extra time to mow the grass once you get the hang of it. Here are a few lawn mowing tips and tricks to remember when you’re just getting started with lawn patterns…
- Try to use a different pattern or change the direction of your stripes after every 2-3 mows. This will keep the grass growing it’s best, and avoid wear and tear damage caused by the mower tires.
- The trick to creating darker lawn stripes is to mow the grass taller, because the grass blades don’t bend as well when they’re cut short.
- Use a sidewalk, driveway or other hardscape in your yard as a guide to help keep your lawn mowing lines straight.
- Experiment with different lawn patterns to see which one you like, and what looks best in your lawn.
General Tips For Mowing The Lawn
- Keep your grass taller in the summer months to help shade the soil so it won’t dry out as fast (and you won’t have to water as much). This also helps with weed control. Weeds have a much harder time establishing themselves in thick, healthy grass.
- Keep your grass cut shorter in the fall, and make sure it’s cut short before snow covers it. This will help to avoid dead spots caused by winter damage, and also prevents mold growth in early spring.
- Be sure to remove all the leaves and other debris from your lawn before winter in order to avoid dead spots in the lawn.
- Keep your lawn mower in tip-top shape, and always be sure the blade is sharp for a clean cut.
- To avoid ugly grass boogers when you mow, raise the lawn mower height. Then gradually lower it when it’s time to cut your grass shorter. Mowing more frequently, and only mowing when the grass is dry will also prevent grass boogers.
Troy-Built 4×4 Self-Propelled Mower
I’m thrilled with the Troy-Bilt 4×4 self-propelled mower, and it really makes it a snap to mow my lawn! I noticed the power of the mower as soon as I started using it. The mower pulls me forward when I engage the wheels, rather than having to push it like I did with my old mower. It’s really nice to be able to switch from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive (with very little effort) when I need to mow our steep side hill. Another thing I really like about this mower is that, since it’s so powerful, the wheels won’t spin on the hill like my old mower did, and that really makes a difference to prevent wheel damage. The self-propelled action really helps to speed up mowing, making the job easier while using less effort. Click here to find out where to buy your own!
With a little practice, you’ll be a lawn striping expert in no time! Not only will it look amazing, your lawn will be much healthier, and be easier to maintain too. Once you get some practice making nice straight lines, be sure to play around with other patterns to see which ones you like the best. Make grass mowing fun again by experimenting with different designs, and figuring out the best lawn mowing patterns for your yard!
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Share you favorite lawn mowing patterns or lawn maintenance tips in the comments section below.