Proper Lawn Mowing Techniques

Fenway Park and the Green Monster
Fenway Park lush turf

C’mon, most of us have said it-

“I wish I could make my lawn look like Fenway”  you know, the pattern, the lush green carpet. Well, we’d like to offer up some tips on how you can achieve something similar.

Stripes are a visual effect caused by laying (or bending) grass leaf blades over as you mow in opposite directions. Reflecting sunlight gives the appearance of alternating light and dark green stripes. The grass blades that are bent in the direction you are mowing will appear as light green stripes and the blades bent toward you will appear to be a darker shade of green. Lawn stripes are not created by using special fertilizer techniques, cutting at different heights, painting different colors of green or using different grass species. This is best achieved if you have a roller attachment on your mower, if you don’t you still can make it happen, and if you want- you can actually buy a striping kit!

We’d like you to remember a few key facts: When we’re in a period of extreme heat and or drought you can actually kill your lawn with one single improper mowing. In general, you should never remove more than 33% of the blade of grass. This holds true all throughout the year, no matter the season. Grass does not need to be mowed shorter in the spring or fall. A target length depends upon the type of grass you have for optimal health.  There is a direct relationship between mowing height and the depth of the root-the shorter you mow, the shorter the root. When it’s extremely hot and dry, it’s okay to mow at an even longer length to preserve any moisture. Properly watering your lawn and fertilizating are also key factors

To achieve the striped pattern in your lawn follow these basic steps:

To create the Straight Pattern:
1. Cut the perimeter of your lawn (2 passes are recommended to allow for consistent turning and clean visual patterns)
2. Mow your first ‘stripe’ while keeping in mind a ‘line of sight’ to keep stripe alignment straight.
3. Continue to align ‘stripes’ paralleled to the first.

To create the Checkerboard Pattern:
Helpful Hint: Plan your pattern so that both sets of stripes are positioned diagonally with your intended line of sight.

Pattern in lawn
Striped pattern in lawn


1. Cut the perimeter of your lawn (2 passes are recommended)
2. Mow your first ‘stripe’ just as in the ‘Straight Pattern’ keeping a ‘line of sight’.
3. Continue to align ‘stripes’ with the original.
4. Your second pass will criss cross over the first patterned design, helping to create the checkerboard effect.

 

 

 

 

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