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 2020
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂