How To Put Lush Deep Stripes In Your lawn

Let me show you how to get

beautiful rich deep Green stripes

in your lawn.

 

First off let me explain how I know.

As well as managing this website, I have also been running a very well established Lawn care business here in the uk (In South Yorkshire).

Let me show you my own lawn as of 2019

 


Getting stripes in your lawn – a how to guide

 

First of all, anyone can get stripes.  Just go out and buy a lawn mower that has a roller on the back and you will have stripes.

There are also other ways to put stripes. in which I will show you, but if you are wanting that gorgeous glowing vibrant Green coloured Grass that makes you stop and stare (and be super proud about), you need to be prepared to put in some work.

I’m not talking about hours and hours of back breaking work but I am talking about taking the time to mow regular, water regular, mow right and use the right products to bring your lawn to life.

 

Step 1: Have patience

Understand this.  A beautiful lawn takes time to achieve.  You can have a nicer weed free lawn in a few months that is Greener and more pleasing with the right products (weedkillers and fertilizers).

However these alone will not fix issues underneath the ground.

 

Step 2: Measure your lawn

You might not see this as necessary just yet, but as you start to apply products you will need to know the size of your lawn so you don’t over apply products or under apply them.

Silverline 633468 Large Diameter Surveyors Measuring Wheel 0-99,999m With my offline lawn care business I use a measuring wheel like this one on Amazon, but you can simply step out rough metre strides as best you can.

To measure the size of your lawn, if it is a square shape or rectangle is nice and easy, measure along one side, then measure along another side, for example one of the longer sides and one of the shorter sides.

Multiply both together.

So if the long side is 5 metres and the short side is 4 metres then 5 x 4 = 20, meaning your lawn is 20 square metres.

What if your lawn is a funny shape, or there are things in the way like sheds or rockeries or ponds?

Personally I get as close to an accurate measurement as I can but I don’t sweat if I’m not 100% accurate.

From my own experience, I’ve never had any issues with products being put down based on aproximate measurements.

I will look at a lawn and try to see a square in it or a rectangle.  I will try to break up a lawn into sections if it is a big lawn or goes around corners etc.

Look

lawn sizes

In the above example I will use imaginary sizes to get my “approximate” square meterage:

Lawn 1 is 5 metres across x 2 metres down – that’s 5 x 2 = 10 square metres

Lawn 2 I will still measure the 2 sides and multiply together, if you could physically push the top right corner across to the left it would be a rectangle, so it’s still the same area, lets imagine lawn 2 is 2 metres across x 7 metres down, so 2 x 7 = 14 square metres

Lawn 3 is a triangle.  Imagine you made a copy of lawn 3 and flipped it upside down, and pushed it to the left so its longest side touches lawn 3s longest side.. as they meet a rectangle is formed, so measure both sides, multiply together then divide by two.  So lets imagine lawn 3 is 7 metres tall x 2 metres wide, which would make 14, but its not a rectangle, it’s half one a rectangle so we divide that figure by 2 to get 7 square metres

Lawn 4 is an oval.  For an approximate I simply measure across the longest and then down the shortest bit, so lets imagine it is 4 metres across from left to right and 2 metres down from top to bottom, so thats 4 x 2 = 8 square metres.

Lawn 5 is a rectangle.  Measure the size of the rectangle, lets say 5 metres across x 2 metres down, so 10 square metres.  Then measure the shed, lets say its  2 metres x 2 metres so 4 square metres.  NOW… simply take away the shed size from the lawn size.  So 10 minus 4 = 6 square metres

 

The total “rough” square metres size is  10 + 14 + 7 + 8 + 6 = 45 square metres

If you want to be more accurate in your measurements there are tonnes of online tools to help you make the calculations.

Here’s some to get you going:

Step 3: Walk on your lawn

Seriously, take a walk around your lawn.  When was the last time you walked over it and looked down at what’s happening?  What do you see?

 

Does the lawn feel spongy under your feet?

  • It is either moss or thatch in the lawn.

Either way, the lawn will need to be raked or scarified to get that out of there.. Once that’s out the ground will feel firmer.  Rain, air and nutrients will be able to reach the soil much easier now instead of trying to get down through a layer of “stuff”.

Moss occurs due to a number of reasons.  Damp shaded areas, OR you are cutting the lawn to short.

Raise the height of your cut so there is at least an inch of grass blade showing.  This way the sun can get to it, photosynthesize, create a sugar and feed itself… or in short become a thicker lusher lawn.

Thatch is simply a build up of organic stuff, i.e. grass clippings that fall in amongst the blades each time you mow.  It builds up like a thatched roof, or a sponge… and this holds on to water stopping it getting to the soil.

 

When you water it does the water sit on the ground before seeping in?

  • Likely it will be compacted, so I recommend hollow tine aerating the lawn.  You can hire these machines

An aerator punches holes in the soil every 3 inches roughly.. This lets air, rain and fertilizer get straight to the root zone.  It also encourages grass roots to push down deeper.  Aeration is something you should do annually.  As you walk on your lawn it compacts the ground bit by bit pushing air molecules together… ultimately though this slows down the rate of water getting in.

You can get by with every other year IF you are prepared to push the fork into any Brown areas that start to appear.  This will help a lot, but the fork is ultimately pushing soil further down creating more compacted areas in the log term.

 

Do you have any bare or thin areas?

Get some seeds into there as soon as possible.  Spring or Autumn are best as these are damper months.

The best way to seed is as follows:

  • Scarify to remove thatch (and you can see soil)
  • Aerate to ease compaction
  • Scatter seed
  • Scatter a thin layer of compost over it.
  • Roller it all in
  • Water 2 to 4 times a day for 4 weeks minimum

Ultimately your seeds need to touch the soil.  Seed to soil contact is a must.

So rake it around till you can see soil, throw seeds down not too heavy then compost and walk on it or roller it.

Choose shade tolerant grass seeds for shaded areas, and normal generic mixtures for most other lawns.  The generic bags will have some hardy tougher grass species in there as well as some of the finer fescue grasses that look prettier (but are usually the first to suffer in a drought).

When I am seeding if there are shaded areas, I will also mix in some normal seeds for the shaded areas and mix in some shaded seeds into the normal seed so that everything blends in across the whole lawn.  What you dont want is to be able to see different areas with different seeds.

 

So at this stage we have fixed any issues under the ground.  As long as the soil is decent soil you are good to go to the next stage.  If the soil isn’t great or there is clay in there, what you need to do is immediately after aeration and seeding, brush in several bags of compost and/or topsoil across the lawn.

This gives you an environment under the ground that is now more organic, and not just poor quality stuff.

 

Step 4: Fertilize

You want your grass in prime health so it needs to be fed.  People are going organic more and more now, so an easy route is to buy some organic fertilizer.  Chicken manure pellets work extremely well, and they do get used on my own lawn regularly.  This bag of chicken manure pellets is a recommended choice on Amazon Uk and should cover up to 264 square metres.

 

Look to fertilize once every 4 to 8 weeks.  I personally use this handy Green hand held spreader (I have it on setting 3 or 4, about halfway down) when fertilizing and I walk at a slow-ish pace, but not too slow.  BETTER TO PUT LESS ON YOUR LAWN THAN TO ADD TOO MUCH (AND BURN IT).  You can always go over it again a week later if needs be.

 

Step 5: Apply weedkiller

There’s nothing more off-putting than a lawn full of coloured weeds, dandelions, daisies or big thistles.

To spray professional chemicals you need to go on courses to gain herbicide and pesticide qualifications, but for everyone else there are now chemicals you can buy online which can be applied using a watering.

“Weedol for lawns” (available on Amazon Uk here) gets a consistently good number of reviews from past buyers so sounds like it will do the trick.  Just be careful not to over apply any weedkiller as you are likely to burn the lawn as well.  When I spray with a backpack sprayer I have to calibrate my sprayer to my own personal walking pace.

All I can offer here then is to walk at a constant steady pace when applying and not to walk to slowly, or stand in one spot for more than a second while applying.

So by now we’ve fixed under the ground, we’ve sorted above the ground and you should now have nice Green grass growing.

So, onto the main question for today.. drum roll..

 

How to put nice stripes in your lawn that are a deep Green colour

 

Step 6: Choose the right mower

So, you need a roller on the back.  Any mower with a roller will put nicer stripes in, whether you pay £150 or £1500!  There are loads for sale on Amazon right here.  Just make sure there is a rear roller where the back 2 wheels normally are.

By the way, the heavier the roller then better the stripes will come out, that’s why bowling Greens have expensive Atco mowers and so on.

Personaly I run two normal petrol mowers to do the main cut (Viking Mb248 mowers – and I did a review of them here on my site).

Then I came across a second hand old mower.  A swordsman reel mower on Facebook market place.  It was only £40 !  That was the bargain of the year!  This thing has a huge steel roller on it and is responsible for the stripes in the video at the top of this post.

 

Step 7: Mow properly

If you go by the RHS you should mow every 5 days, ie 3 times a fortnight.  You can manage fine with once a week most of the time, but there may be the odd time when you have to mow it after 4 or 5 days.

When mowing, never take off more than one third of the grass in any one cut.  Taking to much off stresses the grass.  Better to cut off a third, wait a day or two, cut another third of and so on, if you need to get it down from a high length.

Make sure your blade is always sharp.  A dull blade will bend the grass over and tear at it leaving a jagged cut with White whispery tips.  This can lead to disease getting in.

 

Step 8: Water regularly

You are aiming for about an inch or two a week, or roughly 90 minutes of water a week.

This should really be done over 2 or 3 watering sessions a week of about 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

Leaving a few days between each watering forces the grass roots to push down deeper to seek moisture.  This leads to stronger roots.

 

Step 9:  Mow over the stripes 2 or 3 times

You will find that when you mow the stripes if you go over them 2 or 3 times you will get a better result.

 

 

Thank you!

Did you like this information?

I live and breathe this lawn stuff every day so  know these steps work as I preach them daily.

Please share this if you like it, please follow it and let me know how you got on.  Any questions?  please comment below for an answer 🙂

 

Our 2019 Viking MB248 Lawn Mowers Review (And MB248T)

Get to know the Viking MB 248 (and Viking MB 248T) petrol mower – up close, and personal.  First of all, we have tested and used the Viking mower “extensively” for 5 to 10 hours a day over the last 3 years.  We’ve now accumulated 2 of these (hint, we really love this mower!)  Hence here we have our Viking MB248 Lawn Mower Review 🙂

Are viking mowers any good?  Watch our video review below and decide for yourself.

Somewhere in the “real world” offline, we have an established gardening and lawn care business and use a wide range of tools each and every day, even right through winter.

We have two MB 248 models.  One is the standard Mb 248, and we also have the Mb 248T model (the viking self propelled lawn mower version).

Click here to find out more on Amazon

Viking MB 248 T Petrol Mower
“Countless hours of use proves these are winning lawn mowers”
Viking MB 248 Petrol Mower
“This one is with out the self-propelled “drive” mechanism”

They cut a 46cm wide cut, are petrol powered and through our own personal use, we believe they’re very reliable.

First of all, we wanted the one with the drive on to make life easier.

What we found is that it slowed us down.

If you are using the mower at your home address for a once a week mow then the added benefit of having “drive” makes it a far more pleasing way to cut the grass.  Start the mower, and pull the drive, and life is a breeze as the mower pulls itself along without you having to push it.

Drive is good for almost every situation.. but if you are wanting this mower to go out and cut 20 lawns a day then forget it.. just go for the basic MB 248 model.. it’s more than good enough.  You won’t have time for enjoying nice leisurely mows.  The drive capability while nice, is not fast enough for my demanding schedule.

So, what’s this Viking lawn mower like?

So, continuing on with our full-hearted Viking MB248 Lawn Mower Review, our overall “In a nutshell” feeling about this mower is:

“Great for heavy extended daily tireless use but you do need to keep emptying the box fairly often..”

Viking MB 248 Mower
Folds small enough to fit into a car

It’s a SOLID reliable workhorse that can easily work for 2 years at 40 hours per week for 6 months equating to 12 x 40 equals 480 mows at 1 hour…  that equates to a good “10 years of once a week mowing for an hour”.. so if you have a mower that lasts 10 years you should feel pretty happy with that.

As previously mentioned, we own two 248 mowers.

We have one of the earlier engine models and one of the more recent engine models.

Both work flawlessly.

You don’t “really” need to worry about the differences between them but I have been reliably told that the 2nd model came about as a cost cutting exercise by Stihl (the parent company).. so it’s a kind of cheaper version.  Still works fine though..

Dishing out HEAVY daily lawn mower abuse!

From April to December both mowers are used 5 days a week for 10 hours a day.

Nothing major has gone wrong.

All we do is once every few months (equates to several years when used once a week) we have to change the pull cord cable that is used to start the engine.

You can pay a garden tools company to do this for around £20, or buy some 3mm rope pull cord yourself online and do it yourself.  It’s really easy.

Other than that, that’s it.  I think both have had one service each, and blades sharpened a few times.

Price wise we paid around the £270 region for the basic model and closer to £300 for the “t” version, which equates to mere pennies. talking about £10 a month worth of value..

That’s over 300 lawns a month which easily pays for the mower.

So, yeah, we REALLY like this mower.

We continue to use it day in day out.

Many years ago we worked for the council in their gardening teams and their huge budgets allowed us to test out some very expensive mowers (over £1400) which were just so heavy and performed very poorly in wet weather.. they would leave grass cuttings every few inches on the lawn.

The 248 however fares a lot better.. but…

Wet weather cutting is a pain..!

It’s not perfect for cutting wet grass and never will be.

In wet weather the mower cuts well (just remember to keep your blades sharpened though!) but I think the engine doesn’t have enough power to push the wet stuff right to the back of the collection box and so you’ll have to stop each time the box is about a quarter to half full (in wet weather remember…) to empty it.

Whereas by contrast when cutting on a dry day you can go till the box is very full before needing to stop and empty.

Seeing as most folks don’t cut in the wet you’ll not often have to worry about the above problems.

What else has gone wrong with the mb 248?

One other issue we have found (and it is very minor) is after a lot of use you might start to find the box falls off when mowing.

Why?

Well there are two metal brackets secured to the left and right of the mower via bolts.

 

Where the mower box sits

Over time the bolts can work loose (and we are talking about once a year with daily 10 hours a day use), but for most situations, domestic lawns being cut won’t really ever notice this issue.

To fix this issue, you need spanners to tighten the bolts up.

One bolt is in a tight spot up inside the mower body which you have to access from underneath.. so be sure to keep the underside of the mower clean.

This simply means after every use give it a squirt with the hosepipe.  You’ll be thankful for this later down the line.

How big is the mower?

Well it’s actually aimed at the domestic market, and therefore is comparable to many similar petrol mowers.

For commercial purposes it’s a bit small.. but we prefer these over bigger heavier mowers out there… and have never been let down!

Hence why our Viking MB248 Lawn Mower Review was produced!  We have been there and got the t-shirt.

 

What’s it like to start and use?

What we do (and it works 99% of the time) is to press the primer bulb (a rubber squeezy kind of nipple filled with fuel at the front of the engine) and it usually starts on the second pull.

Other occasions we have primed it, as above.. then left the mower for a moment (as little as 20 seconds) and then gone to start it, and it fires up on the first pull.  This seems more noticeable on dry days.

Once you’ve got it running, you should set your desired cut height.  Thankfully there is just one height adjuster to fiddle with and it’s situated just in front of the right rear wheel.  I cut most lawns on setting 2 or 3 (where setting 1 is the lowest), but it depends on what my customer wants too.

When you’ve finished mowing it’s good practice to adjust the height to it’s highest setting – helps avoid catching the blade on path edges etc when putting it back in the shed or garage.

On an average lawn mowed every 2 weeks you will probably have to empty the box every 30 to 40 metres.. but this can vary especially if your grass is very long…

I used to cut a certain garden and I knew that I could get 3 full strrips cut before needing to empty the box.  It worked like a charm each time, so I would do 3 strips then empty!

What are the cutting heights on the MB 248 mowers?

Viking MB248 Lawn Mower Review
“You can make 7 height adjustments when cutting ranging from 25mm (lowest cut height) up to a maximum of 75mm cut height”

There are 7 heights you can adjust.  These allow you to cut grass to a height of a minimum of 25mm up to a maximum of 75mm.  So unless you are after a bowling Green that is scalped to within an inch of it’s life (using a cylinder mower), you will find this mower meets the needs of the vast majority of people who buy one.

Who else wants a striped lawn?

Even though this mower doesn’t have a rear roller, it actually does create some pretty reasonable stripes in the lawn.  It always puts a smile on my face when I do my own garden.

Don’t know about you but I do enjoy making things look nice and clean outside ready for the BBQ efforts!

We sometimes get out our pressure washer (here’s some of our favourite pressure washers we reviewed by the way) just to add that nice clean fresh look.

So, in summary I hope you’ve managed to get a bit of sense from this review.  If you have any questions please comment below or get in touch – we are here to help.

Ready to get one of these fab mowers? Click here and see it on Amazon