Last Updated on April 9, 2023 by Mattias
The light and dark stripes on baseball fields and golf courses make them look more impressive than if they have a single grass color. These stripes do not result from growing two different grass types or mowing at different heights, but a mowing technique known as lawn striping.
Lawn striping makes turfs more attractive and encourages healthy grass growth, but can you stripe bermuda grass to make your lawn look fit for the big leagues? Read on; let’s help you know if striping is possible for bermudagrass turfs.
Can You Stripe Bermuda Grass?
Yes, you can stripe bermuda grass.
Lawn striping is a process that involves bending blades of grass in different directions with the use of a striping kit attached to a lawn mower. Grass reflects sunlight at different angles when bent, creating the visual effect you see in turfs. The turf appears light in areas where the grass is bent in your direction, while it appears dark where it goes toward the opposite direction.
However, this process is easy if you have cool-season grasses like perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and tall fescue. Bermuda, St. Augustine, zoysia grasses, and other warm-season grasses can also be striped, but you may need more effort to achieve a perfectly striped lawn.
Bermuda grass is more coarse than any cool-season grass, making it harder to bend. More weight is also needed to turn bermuda grass in a direction, and your success may be short-lived due to its tendency to grow aggressively. The shorter grass height is another factor that could make bermuda grass harder to bend.
Let’s learn more about striping bermuda grass if you have not been discouraged by its difficulty.
How To Stripe Bermuda Grass
Striping bermuda grass is difficult, and you may not get a long-lasting, high-contrast lawn if you do not bring your “A-game.” Follow these tips if you want to stripe your bermudagrass lawn:
Make Sure The Lawn Is Healthy
Making stripes on a bermudagrass lawn is stressful enough for the grass; and even more stressful for unhealthy grass. You should ensure the grass is in its best condition before striping it.
The first thing to do is walk around the lawn to notice if there are bare spots, thinning patches, or uneven terrain. Ensure the grass is even over 80% of the turf and fill the holes you find.
Make Sure You Have The Right Tools
Before you start striping, make sure you have the right tools and ensure they are in the right working conditions. To stripe a bermudagrass lawn, you may need a weighted mower, reel mower, attachment groomer, or all three simultaneously. Due to the complexity of striping bermuda grass, you may need a weighted riding or push mower instead of a self-propelled or zero-turn mower.
Cut To The Right Mowing Height
Sharpen The Lawn Mower Blades
Sharp lawn mower blades are necessary for striping bermudagrass lawns or any other type of lawn. Striping bermuda grass may be difficult, but a sharp lawn mower blade could help make your work easier.
Have A Plan
Decide on the direction to mow your lawn before you start striping it. Many people prefer to use an East-to-West and West-to-East set of strips so they can adapt the next time they need to mow. However, you should first mow the grass around the perimeter of your lawn before you start striping, except a walkway surrounds it.
Follow Your Plan
Mow a strip around a large section of your lawn to know the starting and stopping points between stripes. Then mow the first stripe from one end to the other and turn the mower around the part you just striped. You need to keep a straight line while you head straight back the other way.
Striping bermuda grass is a process that can be successful if you have the right amount of patience. Grass growth patterns take a lot of time to change, and you need to convince it to grow how you want.
Stripes on bermudagrass lawns last longer if you dedicate more time to striping. The first stripe may not last longer than a day, but you notice it lasts longer with subsequent striping. Bermuda grass stripes should last about four days or more with consistent striping.
Use Grass Groomers
Grass groomers are large brushes fixed to the back of a tractor or mower; or used as a standalone tool to go over stripes on a lawn. They have bristles that can gently bend bermuda grass further than lawn mowers due to their ability to accommodate varying grass heights.
Avoid Creating Ruts
Ruts appear when you compact certain soil spots by mowing the lawn the same way each time. Mow your bermudagrass lawn in the same direction for a few weeks before switching things up in your next mowing session to avoid these shallow grooves.
Best Striping Patterns For Bermuda Grass
Due to the difficulty in striping bermudagrass lawns, you may find it hard to recreate the complex striping pattern you see on some sports fields. However, there are some patterns you can easily create on your turf:
You can create a basic stripe pattern by mowing the grass horizontally or vertically till the end. At the end of the lawn, turn the lawn mower around and make another set of straight stripes next to the previous one, maintaining a straight line border between two consecutive stripings.
You can create a checkerboard pattern on your bermudagrass lawn by initially creating a basic stripe pattern. Create another stripe pattern in the horizontal direction if the first stripe pattern was vertical, with each stripe at a right angle to the initial one.
Diagonal striping is similar to the basic striping pattern, but the stripes are in a diagonal direction. To create a diagonally striped bermudagrass lawn, mow the grass diagonally from one corner to the other instead of in a direction parallel to the sides of the turf. You can also create a checkerboard-style diagonally striped lawn by mowing in a diagonal direction from another corner of the turf to the other.
Does Topography Affect Striping Bermuda Grass?
Topography is a factor you need to consider before you decide to stripe a bermudagrass lawn. While it is negligible for cool-season grasses, bermuda grass does not have enough thickness to bend, and striping is harder in uneven lawns or ones shaded by trees or other structures. The stripes may not last for more than two days, even if you can get the grass groomed in the correct formation.
Is Overseeding A Good Alternative Strategy?
Overseeding is a process that involves planting grass seed directly into an existing turf to improve its density, establish grass varieties, and fill in bare spots. You can overseed your bermudagrass lawn with ryegrass, and striping would be easier in about a month. You can adopt this strategy if you do not want to go through the stress of striping pure bermuda grass turf.
Can You Stripe Bermuda Grass Summary
In this article, we have established that bermuda grass is not the type of grass for a striped lawn, but you can stripe it with extra effort and patience. We have also given some tips on striping bermudagrass lawns, the best striping patterns for bermuda grass, and how overseeding may be a better strategy for striping bermuda grass.
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Meet Mattias Jonsson, the head of content at RainSaucers. Passionate about gardening and water-related topics, he’s dedicated to providing expert information and resources to help improve your home, health, and wallet. Learn from his research and experience.