Advice on how to cut stripes in lawns

Hello, I've been reading about striping lawns on here and think the pictures always look really nice. Does anyone have any tips on how to achieve a straight line? My lines at times end up a bit like a banana! I don't currently have a roller mower but obviously I can see where I've been. I'll add photo's of my cut later, as i've miss placed my phone. Thanks - Sam

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  • PRO
    A good mower with a roller, cutting at the correct hight and plenty of practice too.

    The lawn type is a factor too. A treated lawn will look better.
  • PRO Supplier

    A roller is the best for really good stripes, it flattens the grass though so ideally you need to mow in a different direction each time to keep the lawn good.

    When starting a new line, fix your eye on a point in the distance and look at it while you mow in that direction. That might help. Otherwise, I guess you'll need to set out a string line for the first one and then work outwards from that.

  • PRO

    Quality of cut and or a roller mower will do it for you.

    To get those straight lines straight is as daisy says pick something in the distance, however the further away it is the more likely your line won't be straight.

    So aim for a bush or tree ect that is in the garden and walk to it. If you end up with a banana strip, just re-do it.  If your half way down a stripe and you think its going bendy its best to carry on regardless as if you change mid flow it will defo go bendy.

  • PRO
    One thing to always remember is on us humans one leg is slightly longer than the other, so unless you have a fixed point to walk towards you will always go off course, usually left to right. One other thing to remember is you are in control of your mower, I see so many people just pull the drive handle and then think that the mower will do the work of going in the right direction all on its own, all they think they have to do is walk behind it and go with the flow, this isn't the case. The way I will usually cut a lawn is go all the way around the edges of the lawns twice, this will allow for your turning of the mower, then go to the centre point of the lawn you are cutting and do a gauge stripe, it really doesn't matter how off course this stripe is, once you've done this then use the second stripe to adjust any offset so the second stripe is straight then go from there. It's much easier to get a stripe straight once you've done the initial gauge stripe... good luck
  • PRO

    My stripes tend to have a bend but I have found that looking at a something at the other end of the lawn helped a bit, but then I found that if it is at eye level it worked a lot better. It is hard to keep looking ahead at eye level, the temptation is to look down and at the mower. Practice is the only way.

    If I have gone a bit off line I go back the other way with a bit more on an overlap of the last cut because I find that a slightly norrower straight stripe is less noticeable than curved strips. 

  • Hi Thanks for all your replys. I feel reassured that it's not just me who finds it hard not to look at the mower. I tried to fix on a point in the distance and it was a big garden (I was mowing for 2hr 30 mins) so I got plenty of practice in. I think I got better as I went along. I certainly stopped caring so much at the end!!! Here's a few pics of my best efforts….

    • PRO
      To be fair that's a tough one as it's so long! So not a bad effort! You need a roller though.
      You could also try putting a stick or something about halfway up the lawn in line with a fence post or tree or something to mow at on your first line.
      • Ah yes this one is a bit of a optical illusion! There is a path half way! But it is still quite a long stretch! Thanks for your advice, I'll give it another go.

  • PRO

    As has been said a roller on the mower is a must - don't set the blades too low. I was asked to use a client's mower last summer - it was a all singing all dancing Honda, which was meant to do stripes thanks to a plastic guard at the back that brushed the grass - the stripe effect lasted for about an hour. My ancient old Mountfield puts a stripe on the lawn that lasts about a week if I am lucky :)

    Re the banana problem, if you go off line, overlap the next cut to get a straight line

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