How to stripe a lawn without a roller

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Is it possible to stripe a lawn without a roller

It’s absolutely possible to stripe a lawn without a mower with a roller attachment or separate roller.  There are two ways to achieve this.  The first being with a mower itself and the second being with a garden brush.

With a mower (no roller)

This method works best on lawns with slightly longer grass of say three inches or more.  

First, cut the grass to the height you want it to be.  Please note that this method works best on lawns with slightly longer grass of say three inches or more.  

Next, switch off the mower and keep it off for the rest of the exercise.  

Then lower the mower so it is at its lowest height setting.  Run the mower up and down your lawn in straight lines, changing directions when you get to the other end of the lawn.  The blade housing should act as a roller and push the blades of grass in the direction that you are walking.

It might be best to repeat the exercise a couple of times to ensure that the grass blades are sufficiently bent over.

You should now be left with a series of lawn stripes.  The best bit is that you haven’t had to pay for any expensive rolling kits!

With a brush

Again, this method works best on lawns with slightly longer grass of say three inches or more.  For best results, use a soft bristled garden brush.  The soft bristles should allow you to move up and down the lawn more freely than a harder bristled brush.  It will also prevent you from pulling out the grass from its roots.

This method is simple and just requires you to walk up and down the lawn keeping the brush pushed fairly firmly against the grass.

It might be best to repeat the exercise a couple of times to ensure that the grass blades are sufficiently bent over.

You should now be left with a series of lawn stripes.  Again, as with the technique using a mower without a roller, the best bit is that you haven’t had to pay for any expensive rolling kits!

What creates stripes in lawns?

It is worth understanding what creates stripes in your lawn.

A stripe is created by flattening the grass so that the grass blades are generally running in the same direction.  As the grass in one stripe is running in a different direction to the stripe next to it, the light bounces off the grass differently and gives the grass a different shade of green.

You can check this by standing at one end of your lawn looking up a stripe which will either be a light or dark green.  Then walk to the other end of the lawn and look at the same stripe and you will notice that it has changed to the opposite shade of what it was when you first looked at it.  This is because the grass is pointing at you from a different direction and therefore the light catches it differently.

Are stripes bad for your grass?

Stripes aren’t bad for your grass and won’t damage your lawn.  That said, it is worth changing the direction that you create the stripes in.  Ideally, it would be best to change the direction of the stripes every time that you cut the grass.

The reason is that if you don’t change the direction of the stripes, the grass will eventually start growing sideways instead of straight up.  This is a bit like how you can train your hair to part in a particular way if you comb it every day in that direction.

This won’t damage the grass but it will detrimentally affect the general healthy aesthetic that most gardeners want to achieve with their lawn.