If you tend to a garden, chances are you’ve heard of garden art before. You’ve probably seen pictures of elaborately shaped hedges in gardening magazines, too. But what about lawn mower art?
We don’t just mean those perfectly uniform lines at Wimbledon and Wembley. We mean art that’s cut into the grass, much like crop circles.
Increasingly, you’ll find lawn mower art on the lawns of gardening enthusiasts and in the statelier grounds of country manors.
The Basics of Lawn Art: Mowing Patterns
While some of the most intricate lawn mower art can be intimidating, learning the basics can be fun. If you’ve been mowing lawns for a while now, then you might want to try a few basic patterns.
While there are countless different patterns to try, these four can get you started on a new and interesting hobby.
Mow a straight, even first stripe. Keep in mind a “line of sight” to use as a guide for the rest of the stripes. Mow in slow Y-turns rather than making sharp turns. Sharp turns with a lawn mower can damage grass.
The direction that the grass is bent determines the light- or dark-colored stripe. When the blades of grass are bent away from you, the grass appears lighter. That is because the light is reflected off the wide, lengthy part of the blade.
When the blades of grass are bent towards you, the grass appears darker as you are looking more of the tips of the blades. These present a smaller reflective surface. So, cutting a lawn in an opposing pattern – up and down, right and left – allows the most contrast.
Start by mowing the first diagonal stripe down the center of the lawn. Then mow another stripe right next to it. Move around the edge of the lawn and mow a second stripe in the same direction. This creates one light stripe with two dark stripes next to it.
Continue this pattern until both sides of the lawn are striped. Make the crossing stripes by making a diagonal first stripe in the opposite direction. Then make a return pass right next to it, just like the first time.
Continue the same pattern, one stripe then two stripes back. Do this until the lawn is completely cut.
Circles are an excellent mowing pattern for highlighting flowerbeds, trees, and other features on your lawn. When mowing circles, instead of starting to mow from the edge of the yard, start from the middle and mow outwards.
If you don’t have a circular flowerbed or feature in the middle of the lawn, use a substitute with any circular item. Use this as a guide to mow your first circle.
Mow the second circle in the opposite direction. This will permit you to achieve a pronounced circular effect. Use the first circle as a guide.
One wheel of your mower should align with the first circle’s outer ring. Continue to mow in circles in alternating opposite directions until you get to the edge of the lawn.
Do you want to try something a little more elaborate? Why not try a checkerboard lawn pattern? You achieve the look in almost the same way as when you choose a diamond pattern. Start by mowing parallel to a straight sidewalk or driveway. To keep mowing straight, look 10 feet ahead while you mow.
When you come to the end of a row, lift the mower deck as you turn. That done, mow in the opposite direction next to your previous pass.
To create a checkerboard, mow the lawn a second time at 90 degrees to your first mowing. Finish by mowing a strip around the edges of the lawn.
Make Lawncare Less of a Chore!
Mowing different patterns and lawn art are a fun and unique way to make lawn maintenance less of a chore. They set your yard apart. A good pattern can boost curb appeal and property value. Certain patterns draw the eye inward, too, which means you can highlight your house even more. Be creative. Try combinations of patterns where these might apply.
But no matter what pattern you choose, always keep basic lawn mowing tips in mind. Keep your mower blades sharp to ensure an even cut. Mow when grass is dry as it’s best for the grass and mower performance.