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Stripes 101

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  • Stripes 101

    Ok, I must confess to being a weekend warrior. I have been watching this site for a few months getting info on what ZTR's seem to be worth having. I currently mow my property with a 40 hp Kubota tractor, and an old JD 214, and just can't take it any more. I am ready to start enjoying mowing again! But enough about that.

    I have lived in Oklahoma for a very long time, and don't believe I have ever seen a striped lawn. Maybe there are a some, but around here, they all just seem to be a green carpet of bermuda. Is the striping thing a regional thing, dependant on grass types? Some of them look really nice, but I would go nuts if I was doing it on my property. I can't drive in a straight line.

    I know you guys are pros, and take pride in your workmanship. I am not questioning that, but when did striping become so popular?

    Thanks to all of you that take time to contribute to this board. It's full of great information!


  • #2
    Striping became popular when solo & small mom & pop lawn monkeys aspired to something greater than just cutting the grass. For some reason they take great pride in the hideous light & dark definition left by their mowers & assume a badge of honor because they are able to mow a straight line.

    Most of our well-heeled customers find this defination tacky & prefer a pool table look which is more natural.


    • #3
      Welcome to the Lawn Service Forum Community, LawnDart!
      GrassMaster, LSF Administrator!
      LawnPro - Lawn Care Business Software: ---


      • #4
        "Striping" can't be seen on many of the southern grasses from what I've heard. With Northern grasses, you see the path that the mowers have taken. 2 opposing directions of the mower will show a darker "stripe" & a lighter one. The most efficient way to mow a lawn with commercial mowers with zero degree turning capabilities is to start at one side of a property, and go back & forth until you reach the other side. Since these stripes will show, we tend to drive our mowers straight & make sure it looks nice after we're done.


        • #5
          BRL is correct, certain grasses stripe better than others.

          There really is nothing "new" about stripes. Most commercial mowers stripe the lawn automatically when you cut back and forth. Depending on the type of grass of course.

          When cutting in Ohio, there's nothing fancy about it, just back and forth with the lawn mower.
          a.k.a.---> Erich

          Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
          Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


          • #6
            cool season northern grasses like blugrass, rye the different fescues are hard NOT to stripe.Warm season bermuda ,centipede,zoysia saint augustine are difficult at best.Of the warm season grasses probably zoysia would do the best .
            Scottish by birth British by law
            A highlander by the grace of god


            • #7
              I suspect it is challenging to not make stripes in tall grasses like that. So is it safe to say it's hard not to make some sort of stripes in the tall stuff? I would think the weight of the mower would leave tire tracks in all but the most resilient grasses.

              Thanks for the education!


              • #8
                I don't know if you want to try it or not. Doing some bermuda and schmoozing with other members of the Ky. Sports Turf Management Assn. who are almost exclusively bermuda ( believe it or not Universtiy OF Michigans Football field is bermuda) Most of the stripes on Football fields, which are generally cut with Reel Mowers are caused by the rollers on the back of the reels. I understand that these are there to keep scalping to a minimum and keep the head at the right angle of attack. I have alwats wondered if you couldnt build a small drag frame with an industrial material conveyer as a roller.

                I saw last year that Exmark began offering a striping kit that replace the two rear antiscalp wheels. This unit is not meant to stay in constant contact with the ground. On Cool season grasses you would ordinarily mount it low enoung to be about 1/2 inch below the edge of the deck.

                May take on where the striping fetsih came from was some Major League Baseball grounds Keepers fascination with the look of their fields on Nationwide TV. Only rarely are they ever interviewed, so you gotta make your mark somehow.
                Tis easier to take someone with a good personality and teach them the skills they need, than it will be to take a skilled person and change their personality


                • #9
                  How long will the striping last after a lawn is mowed? Hours, days??


                  • #10
                    In Iowa I have found that blue grass stripes better than fescue and tends to hold the pattern longer. Around here if your work is not patterned, commercial customers especially will wonder what the hell you are doing. Patterning is one of those things that can define the quality of your work and emphasize the over-all appearance of a job. Not to say that if your work is not patterened then it looks like crap, but patterning is just a given around here and is expected by most customers.

                    Reasons for pattering:

                    1) Avoid excessive clipping accumulation caused by circle mowing.
                    2) Alternating mowing directions to decrease ground compaction.
                    3) More efficeint and cuts down on mowing time.
                    4) Creates a eye-appealing curb appearance.

                    To pattern:

                    1) Circle property perimiter 2 or 3 times depending on size of deck.

                    2) Start on one side of the lawn and mow back and forwth until you reach the end of the property. If you start on one side of the property, most of the time you are paralleling a straight line (fence line, driveway, sidewalk, building side, ect.) This is how you get your first straight line. On your next pass mow parallel to the first cut making sure to overlap a few inches.

                    3) When you reach an obstacle in the lawn, circle the object while your pattern is one deck length away from the object. On your next pass go on the side of the object parallel to your pattern. This will make the pattern flow through your object and avoid a un-uniform pattern.
                    “veni, vidi, vici.”


                    • #11
                      Anyone tried the striping attachment behind the mower that looks like a roller? Said it lasts all week. Saw it on one of the lawn mower parts websites. Saw it at .
                      Last edited by Weeder; 06-03-03, 09:23 PM.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Weeder
                        Anyone tried the striping attachment behind the mower that looks like a roller? Said it lasts all week. Saw it on one of the lawn mower parts websites. Saw it at .
                        In that picture it looks like the roller is attached to a 21"er. Is that right? Have you looked into this anymore?


                        • #13
                          That's what it looks like to me. It is apparently new. Has the Inventek name over it.


                          • #14
                            i have the stripe kit for my exmark 60" z mower, works awesome!


                            • #15
                              LAWN STRIPING

                              Lawn striping is very desirable on golf course turf, among others. I've read reviews for golf resorts that refer to their "manicured and carefully striped turfs". A properly striped lawn is an attention getter, and brings in more new customer inquiries than the yellow pages, for a lot cheaper.
                              There are two Turflex striping attachments up for auction on ebay right now. Seller says he'll be placing other stripers of different styles up in the next few weeks.