Add Baseball Field Mowing Patterns to Your Lawn
Learn the secrets to cutting grass like a pro, plus three different patterns to try
If you’ve ever attended a major league baseball game, you probably took a second to admire the perfectly mown outfield. You may have even asked yourself if you can achieve this look on your own property. The answer is yes; the creative techniques, lush look, and unmistakable appearance of a healthy, well maintained lawn can be recreated. Here’s how to give your grass a professional cut and create those big-league patterns that’ll have your neighbors envying every acre.
The Secret to Baseball Field Patterns
The No. 1 secret to creating a pattern is understanding how the light will reflect off the individual blades of grass. Facing your lawn, when grass is bent away from you, the light is reflecting off the wider part of the blade, making it appear lighter in color. When the grass is bent toward you, you’re seeing the tips of the blades and the shadows from underneath, making the grass appear darker.
Tips for the Best-Looking Lawn
Any riding mower or push mower can be used to create eye-catching lawn patterns; you don’t have to buy special attachments. Before you get started, consider these four additional tips.
1. Use turf feed. No matter how great your lawn maintenance skills may be, the quality of your grass begins with a solid foundation. A bag of turf-building lawn food can help to strengthen the grass , build strong, deep roots, and boost your lawn's ability to absorb nutrients and water.
2. Make sure your grass is healthy. Creating a lawn pattern requires grass that is 3 to 3 ½ inches high after you’re done mowing. This height is tall enough for the grass to achieve a decent bend. This will also help ensure that your lawn stays healthier, since taller grass has a larger surface area to soak up sunlight and convert it to nourishment. The result is a thriving, better-fed lawn with a root system that is strong and vibrant enough to endure extended dry periods. To achieve the 3- to 3 ½-inch grass height, adjust the placement of the mower deck and blade as instructed in your owner’s manual.
3. Conceal imperfections. No one’s lawn is flawless, but with the right techniques, your lawn can appear that way because mowing patterns can hide imperfections. When it comes to dry spots or an area of grass that is struggling to sprout, patterns help create the illusion of trouble-free turf.
4. The more patterns, the better. When you create a pattern in your lawn, it’s important to change it up each time you mow. When grass is mowed in the same direction repeatedly, it becomes trained to lean in one direction versus standing up straight, tall, and strong. In addition, going over the same tracks each time can result in the soil becoming compacted. This can make it difficult for air and water to reach the roots, which can weaken the grass, allowing disease to creep in and leave unsightly dead spots. It also invites weeds to take over .
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Choose Your Lawn’s Patterns
Now that you know the how and why, here are three patterns you can test out based on your skill level.
Easy: Striped Lawn Pattern
This pattern is more common because it is the most efficient way to cut grass. Start by mowing around the perimeter of your yard, then mow back and forth in opposing directions across the rest of your property. Once you’re done, give your lawn a polished look by taking one final pass with your mower around the perimeter. This will eliminate any irregularities that were created from turning your mower around at the end of each pass.
Intermediate: Checkerboard Lawn Pattern
This pattern builds off the striped lawn with an additional step. Simply mow across the stripes you’ve already completed by also mowing stripes in the opposite direction. For example, if the first strips were north to south, the second set of stripes will be east and west. As with the striped lawn pattern, be sure to mow around the perimeter one last time for a more polished look.
Expert: Diamond Lawn Pattern
This pattern really makes your efforts shine. After mowing a checkerboard pattern into your lawn, mow from one corner of the yard to the other in diagonal stripes to create a diamond pattern.
TIP: Instead of making circular turns at the end of each stripe, which can leave swirls in your lawn, consider using a "Y" formation turn. At the end of each stripe, simply stop, reverse, and turn into the next row for your next stripe.
You’re now ready to test out different lawn cutting strategies throughout the season. Maintaining your lawn may start to feel less like a chore and more like an artistic creation.