End of School, Beginning of Summer: Healthy Lawns are Ready for Patterning

lawn striping testing

While many consider Memorial Day the official start to summer, technically it is still springtime, and Southeastern Wisconsin has been stingy so far this year with “summer like” days. While sunny warm days have been few, the proper rainy days have created explosions of green around the state, which likely includes your lawn. By this time, the spring cleanup task list should be nearly complete, having attended to any necessary lawn maintenance, including but not limited to: turf repair, pre-emergent weed control, core aeration and fertilizing. Now, it’s time to have fun grooming your healthy lawn.

Despite Wisconsin’s chilly and rainy spring, it is not atypical for our region. By the end of May, most lawns in Southeastern Wisconsin are ready for cutting every week, rather than the recommended two weeks coming out of the winter thaw.  Despite the sweater weather, temperatures have been warm enough that, paired with the rain, any healthy and cared-for lawn should be nearly all green and growing quickly. Now that lawns are ready for an increase in the mowing frequency, typically every 5-7 days, they are also ready for patterning.

For lawn enthusiasts new to lawn patterning, the Lawn Stryper mower attachment is an easy-to-use implement that yields professional-looking results and will transform any yard into the neighborhood envy. However, the most important disclaimer is that lawns should be in good condition prior to patterning, and there are certain conditions that will produce optimal patterning results:

  • The first basic rule worth remembering is to never cut off more than one-third the height of your grass at one time.
  • It is important to monitor the growth of one’s lawn to establish the right balance for mowing according to height and frequency; this not only maintains the health of the lawn, but also ensures optimal patterning conditions.
  • If the lawn has grown too long due to personal or weather conditions, maintain the one-third rule, increasing the frequency of cuts until the optimal length is achieved.
  • Avoid mowing when grass is wet, as this may cause a “matting” effect of the lawn.
  • Keep the mower blades sharp, as that will ensure an even cut; dull blades will have a tearing effect and leave a ragged appearance.
  • Once lawn patterning has been incorporated into the mowing routine, mixing up the patterns should also be part of the routine to avoid literal “ruts”. Using the same routine each time can lead to soil compaction from the mower’s wheels. Additionally, mowing in the same direction or pattern over time will push the grass in one direction.

While the official start of summer is a few short weeks away, your lawn is ready now to be the showcase feature of your property.