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How do baseball fields get the dark green/light green strips of grass when they mow it?

My mother is infatuated with her lawn and gardens. Watching a Phillies game one day she saw how the stadium workers mowed the grass so one strip was dark green and the strip next to it was light green. She didn’t want the criss-cross pattern but she fell in love with the dark/light green pattern. How could a residential lawn achieve that?

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  1. The dark/light effect is achieved by mowing your lawn in a certain pattern. Here are the details:
    “ Picture Perfect: Mowing Techniques for Lawns, Landscapes, and Sports” shows homeowners how to stripe their lawns like a pro.
    Here are some of his basic lawn-care suggestions to get started:
    Cut grass at least once a week, trying not to remove more than one third of the blade in any cutting. If you let clippings fall, it’s an excellent way of returning nutrients to the soil.
    Keep mower blades sharp to ensure a crisp cut and prevent disease.
    Do a soil test. It will help you determine what kind and how much fertilizer to use. County co-operative extension agents can help you with soil test information for your area.
    Read fertilizer instructions carefully. Don’t assume that if a little is good, a lot must be better. Slow fertilizers last longer and don’t promote a “flush” of growth.
    For those who want to stripe their lawns like a pro, Mellors has these advanced pattern tips:
    Maintain patterns by going back over lines, or every other line, to etch them in.
    Change mowing pattern and direction every third week so the grass doesn’t get stressed or weak.
    To make straight lines, don’t look down! Pick a point in the distance and mow straight to it. Go slowly. (Tip: If you have an upstairs window, a bird’s eye view can enable you to spot-check your progress.)
    Make turns off the lawn, if possible. It will not only mean cleaner lines but will decrease stress at the turn points. Otherwise, make “Y” turns and lift the blades off the ground as you turn.
    A mower with blades that turn in an upright position (as opposed to most horizontal rotary mowers) will help promote patterns because it naturally lays down the blades.
    Use a roller with water added for weight. Some garden centers sell rollers, or they can be rented.
    Also, check to see if your dealer or landscape center can outfit rollers on the back of your mower. Be careful when using weighted rollers that they are not too heavy. You only want to bend the grass blades, not compact the soil.

  2. she would notice the same effect on a golf course. We use mowers that have rollers that “lay” the grass down. The light stripes are the grass that is laying away from you, and the dark stripes are the laying toward you. Most reel type mowers give you the effect, but there are a few (very few) rotary mowers that have rollers at the back.

  3. the different colors are actually a reflection of light. A light green color will be the dark green color if you look at it from the other side of the area.


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