We’ve all seen it before: the big, beautiful houses; backyards filled with in-ground pools; lush, green gardens and well-trimmed hedges in the shape of various animals; and a huge yard, freshly mowed, checkered and beautiful. What would you give to have that kind of lifestyle? It’s the American dream, and while getting a team of butlers and maids is a bit more difficult, mowing professional-looking patterns in your grass is easy once you know how.
Know Before You Mow
The patterns you see in your neighbors’ grass are caused by the angle of the sunlight reflecting off the grass blades. Grass bends in the direction you mow. When grass is facing up toward the sunlight, it reflects off and creates a lighter appearance, while the darker sections are caused by the shadows of grass blades bending over. Some say that different grasses or other factors have an effect on the appearance of the patterns, and that can be true to an extent. In Minnesota, however, you can easily mow professional-looking patterns in your yard with just about any type of grass and without any fancy equipment.
How to Get Patterns in Your Yard
The first step to mowing patterns is to adjust your mower’s blade a bit higher, so you leave your grass a little bit longer. Even a slight adjustment of half an inch taller will make the patterns (which, again, is based on the way the grass is bending) more dramatic and obvious.
Start by mowing the perimeter of your lawn. Once this is done, find a straight guide, such as your driveway or a fence, and mow a strip parallel to it. Continue to mow your lawn in these strips, alternating the direction you mow. The straighter the line, the better the pattern will look. When this is done, you should have alternating light and dark strips of grass. The classic striped pattern is tried and true and is an easy way to make your lawn stand out. If you want to really take your landscaping game to the next level, mow your grass in the same method perpendicular to the stripes to create a checkered grass pattern.
You can also try mowing diagonally across the lawn, or even try gentle curved lines or go crazy with a spiral pattern throughout. The pattern possibilities are endless! Striping kits can give your lawn an even further professional-grade manicure.
Win Your Lawn Game
Creating checkered patterns in your yard doesn’t just make it stand out, but it can actually promote healthier grass. By cutting your grass a little longer in the heat of the summer, you can protect the roots from drying out. Mowing in different directions can also prevent long-term damage from the mower’s tires going over the same blades each time.
Whether you have multiple acres to cut or a few square feet, it is easy to make your yard stand out with professional-looking patterns. And, like a bad haircut, your grass will grow back. Don’t worry if it takes a few tries to get it right.
Minnesota Equipment can help you with all your lawn care needs, including equipment, parts, service and more. Read more tips on how to make your lawn stand out this year, or visit one of our four locations to get started on upping your landscaping game.