The Q&A Archives: baseball park lawn appearance

Question: I am in zone 3a. I would like to know a practical way of achieving a baseball park lawn appearance (one strip of lawn is darker than the other) my front lawn if possible. thank you.

Answer: There's really no secret to creating a similar appearance in your own lawn. Groundskeepers at baseball parks have traditionally created checkerboard, diamond and argyle patterns in the field and these can be easily duplicated on your own lawn. The designs are created through a process called lawn striping. To create lawn-striping designs of your own, you only need two pieces of equipment: a lawnmower and a roller. Many professional groundskeepers use old-fashioned reel mowers to cut a stadium's grass. Attached just behind the blades of the mower is a lawn roller that bends the grass down. Some lawnmower manufacturers are beginning to make riding mowers with full-width rollers mounted to the rear of the mower to make this task easier.

Whatever pattern you make is revealed by the light shining off of the bent grass. A checkerboard design is created by passing over the grass in side-by-side rows, first going north to south, then making east-to-west stripes in the grass that intersect the north-south stripes. In this way, you alternate the way the grass bends. When you look at your lawn, the stripes of grass leaning away from you will look lighter. This lighter green is caused by the sunlight reflecting off the entire blade of grass. In the darker green stripes, formed by the blades of grass leaning toward you, the sunlight is reflecting only off the tips of the blades.

Now that you know how it's done, I'll be you can duplicate the look in your own front yard.

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