David R. Mellor, the head groundskeeper at Fenway Park, said in an interview with the "New York Times" that you can create any pattern in your lawn at home simply by pushing the grass in different directions. Pushing the grass away from you creates a reflective surface on the grass, and pushing it toward you creates shadows and a darker surface. Start with basic, straight-line patterns in your lawn, and with practice and imagination, your lawn can look like the outfield of your favorite baseball team.
Things You'll Need
- Hand trowel
- Plastic bag or container
- Lawn fertilizers or amendments
- Lawnmower blade sharpener
- Replacement lawnmower blade
Take samples of your soil with a hand trowel from at least 10 different locations in your yard, making sure each sample you take is at least 8 inches deep. Mix the samples together, and place 1 cup of the mixed soil sample into a plastic bag or container.
Carry the sample to your local Cooperative Extension office for a free soil test. The test results let you know which fertilizers or amendments to add to your lawn for the greenest grass to highlight the patterns you cut.
Sharpen or replace the blade on your lawnmower. A sharp lawnmower blade makes a clean cut to the grass blade and keeps the lawn healthy. A dull blade rips at the grass, creating an unhealthy lawn that is more susceptible to weed invasion.
Mow the outside perimeter of your entire lawn before you begin your cutting pattern. Decide on a striped, checkerboard or diagonal checkerboard cutting pattern to know where to make your first cut inside the initial perimeter cut.
Push or ride your lawnmower in a straight line along the inside edge of the perimeter to begin cutting the basic striped pattern in your lawn. At the end of your first stripe, make your turn in your perimeter cut.
Mow the remainder of the stripes in the lawn, changing the direction you mow with each stripe. Mow the perimeter cut once again to clean up the edges and finish the pattern.
Add additional stripes to your lawn perpendicular to the original stripes to create a checkerboard pattern. Use the same mowing pattern of changing directions for each stripe and turning in the perimeter cut. Mow the perimeter cut again to finish.
Create a diagonal pattern using the same checkerboard mowing steps, but start your diagonal cuts at one corner of your lawn. Always make the turn in your perimeter cut. Begin the checkerboard diagonal pattern at the corner next to the corner you began your first cut. For example, if you made the first diagonal cut in the northwest corner of your yard, begin the checkerboard cuts in the southwest corner.
Follow the same cutting pattern for three weeks at the most; cutting the pattern any longer than that could stress your grass. Change your cutting pattern at the end of the three weeks.
- "The New York Times"; From Outfields to Art, One Blade at a Time; John Leland; July 2001
- SCAG Power Equipment: Lawn Striping and Lawn Patterns - How Do They Work?
- "Picture Perfect Mowing Techniques for Lawns, Landscapes, and Sports"; David R. Mellor; 2001
- CBSNews.com; Stripe Your Lawn Like A Pro; June 2001
- Photo Credit Chris Trotman/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images
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