Experts’ Tips: Striping using a walk-behind

April 10, 2019 -  By
Striping with a walk-behind (Photo: iStock.com/Nastco)

(Photo: iStock.com/Nastco)

The Challenge: Striping using a walk-behind

Carl Agee

Carl Agee

John Deere

Carl Agee
Product marketing manager

DO ensure the mower is equipped with a striping kit and that it provides smooth steering, allowing the operator to maintain straight lines. DO keep cut widths consistent on each pass and keep in mind that varying the applied pressure will change the contrast of the stripe. This is important to make sure the operator is creating a uniform pattern. DON’T forget to consider elements such as the type of grass, turf health, height of cut, positioning of the sun throughout day and shady locations, as these will all factor in to the final striping appearance.

Lubor Hladik

Lubor Hladik

Spider

Lubor Hladik
International sales manager, Spider remote-controlled mowers

DO ensure the walk-behind mower has a roller. Striping can be achieved with a reel mower, but also with a rotary, as long as it has a roller. DO bend the grass over in one direction on the first pass. On the return pass, the grass is pushed over in the opposite direction. The striping effect is caused by the light shining off the grass blade as the roller pushes the grass over in the direction of cutting. DON’T forget to properly maintain the roller. The quality of the sward and the sharpness of the blade have a bearing on the appearance of the stripe. A well-maintained roller mower on a fine turf area will always provide the best visual effect.

Joe Ferris

Joe Ferris

Ferris

Joe Ferris
Product manager, commercial turf

DO ensure that grass is healthy. We recommend keeping grass as tall as possible, as it’s much healthier that way. Grass creates its own nutrients through photosynthesis, so the longer the grass blade, the more surface area it has to capture the energy it needs. DO consider double cutting the grass. Cut the grass at a high cut height, and then mow it again in the same path and direction, but this time at a lower cut height. DON’T forget to mow in the same path and same direction each time.

Chad Bishop

Chad Bishop

Greenworks

Chad Bishop
North America product development manager

DO purchase a striping kit that easily attaches to a walk-behind mower. Striping kits can be purchased online or even from big box retailers. The kit can be used with or without a bag attached. DO set the walk-behind mower to the highest setting and mow in a straight line. DON’T forget to lift the mower deck when turning at the end of each row. Lower the deck as you start mowing in the opposite direction from the previous line.

Kubota

Tom Vachal
Kubota senior turf product manager

Tom Vachal

Tom Vachal

DO use a striping kit consisting of either a roller behind the deck or a striping wiper installed on the deck. Both are intended to lay the grass down in the mowed direction. DO make sure grass is laying down in the intended direction. DON’T forget, it may also help to set the rear of the cutting deck slightly lower than the front of the cutting deck. This will help ensure that the grass is laying in the same direction and enhance the striped appearance left behind by a walk-behind mower.

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's associate editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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