Using a Cylinder Mower to Create a Beautifully Striped Lawn
Why do we want lawn stripes?
The lawn is the canvas on which your garden is painted. There is nothing better than relaxing in your garden in the summer sun enjoying the fruits of your hard work. Stripes are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they can be beneficial when fertilising or spraying your lawn as you can use the stripes as guidance.
To get you started, we thought we would take you through step by step on how to achieve those perfect lawn stripes, using our stunning Allett cylinder mowers . We have been making cylinder mowers since 1965 and believe that our machines are expertly-built, reliable, well-proven grass-cutting machines producing a seemingly effortless first-class finish to every lawn on which they are used. There are several factors involved in creating a striped lawn; the type mower used, the grass type of your lawn, the health of your grass, and so on!
The first thing we need to consider is choosing whether to use a cylinder mower or a rotary mower.
We highly recommend a cylinder mower because you can achieve a much more uniform, crisp line, with no gradient change in each lawn stripe. The main benefit of using a cylinder mower lies in the close cut it can achieve and the cleanness of the cut. The ragged action of a rotary blade leaves your grass blade with jagged edges which just doesn't look as neat and will reflect light at different angles affecting the stripe. As the blade rotates on a horizontal plane on a rotary mower, the grass on each side of the blade is being pushed in different directions. This can mean that you may have a shade variation in your lawn stripes (usually in the centre of each stripe) which can mean the lawn stripes aren't as pristine as you would like.
Because a cylinder mower cuts the grass very short, the lawn must be absolutely level or the mower will scalp it meaning the blade cuts into the roots or even the soil. These scalped areas will become bare and unsightly - which is not what you want! A rotary may be best for a bumpy/uneven rough lawn. We would advise you to cut at a higher height of cut, since this means that there is a larger surface area of grass blade to reflect the light off, giving you a better contrast between lawn stripes. The basic rule says only remove one-third of the leaf-blade when mowing, to ensure that enough length is left to feed the replacement leaves that will be produced. You need to keep on top of your mowing when using a cylinder mower - during the summer this could mean mowing twice a week or even more. If you haven't got the time to be mowing regularly in the summer, or if you go away for a week we suggest the optional front wheel kit to higher your mower- this will allow you to cut longer grass with your cylinder mower.
The striping is caused by the layering of the grass, which is aided using the rear roller. The heavier the roller, the stronger the stripe, and the longer the stripe will last. Grass leaning away from the eye achieves a light stripe, and the grass leaning towards the eye gives a darker stripe. Once you get more at home with your mower, you can even begin to use your lawn stripes to achieve more complex designs (see our 2016 Stripes post) - by making the lawn stripes draw the eye in that direction. The height of the cut will also affect how sharp a contrast you'll be able to accomplish. The longer the grass, the more it will lay down, meaning you'll have a stronger stripe. On an Allett mower, it's incredibly easy to change the cut height. The cutting action of the cylinder is the same all the way across. At this time of year, the optimal height is between 30 and 40 mm - any lower than this and you'll be welcoming moss growth.
If you're wanting a luscious, green, healthy-looking lawn, we have some further tips for you too in our lawncare calendar. It's best to keep your thatch level down as much as possible (view our previous blog post here) because having too much thatch can prevent the water and fertiliser getting to the root, nourishing the grass and making it competitive against weeds. You can put a Scarifier or Dethatcher cartridge into our mowers in order to get rid of any thatch and dead grass.
If you have any questions about achieving a beautifully striped lawn, purchasing a mower or for any questions about any of our mowers, please drop us an email at email@example.com or call 01889 271503. You can also use our handy chat feature at the bottom right of the page or fill out our quick-submit form here someone will be in touch as soon as is possible! In the meantime, you can find your local Allett dealer here.
Find a video here on how to create a beautifully striped lawn with an Allett Cylinder Mower