Are DIY Lawn Stripers A Good Idea Or Are You Better Off Hiring A Professional?

You've probably seen manicured lawns that resemble a freshly mowed baseball field or a sophisticated golf course and you can't help but want to step up to the big leagues. The same look can be achieved by mowing your lawn in alternating patterns through lawn striping. Lawn striping boils down to bending the grass blades to create the visual effect of stripes in the sunlight. This doesn't necessarily require a specific kind of lawnmower or a special grass. You're probably aware of the online discussions that assure you that you can do this yourself. Whether you're thinking of getting a professional because you feel you lack the experience or you're determined to do it yourself to avoid being overcharged for your landscaping, you can weigh the pros and cons and decide if it is worth doing on your own.

The trick is to have a striping kit attached to your lawn mower to weigh the grass down as you mow. You can do this by making your own striping kit from material you can get from your local hardware store from as little as $10-$15. If you don't feel you're up for making your own lawn striper, you can order one online for about $130. As for calling hiring a professional, Angi estimates the cost of mowing lawn in 2024 to be around $123 with rates ranging between $49 and $200. Even though this number might be high, there's still a lot to consider.

DIY lawn striping vs professional striping

The best thing about making and installing your own striper kit is that you will always have it attached and ready to go whenever you want to give your lawn another touch up without worrying about the cost of calling a professional. This will save you money on the service fees but it comes with its own set of risks. Making your own striping kit may seem fairly cheap at first, but it could cost you more in the long run. You can't overlook the risk of damaging parts of your machine when installing the striping kit. Even after you've successfully installed your striping kit, you still need to think about not over-mowing your lawn, compacting your soil, or running into other common lawn mowing mistakes.

Besides saving time and effort trying to stripe your lawn, lawn care professionals do more for your lawn than just mowing. Even though DIY lawn striping may seem like the cheaper option, the damage you could do to your lawn or the soil beneath could cost you more to fix in the long run. Over time, mowing your lawn in a repeating pattern when you stripe can lead to over-mowing that could open your garden up to weeds, nutritional issues, and pests. Lawn care professionals will know how to care for the health of your lawn and the nutritional health of your soil. 

Benefits of lawn striping

Besides giving your lawn a striking manicured look, lawn striping has great benefits for your lawn. Mowing your lawn frequently can help you grow thicker and healthier grass as well as reduce thatch while making it difficult for pests to hide in your lawn and feed off of it. Lawn striping allows all of your grass to get more sunlight which also aids in your lawn's overall health. A regularly mowed lawn can also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. 

Mowing grass in the same direction can cause soil compaction. According to North Carolina State University Extension, soil compaction affects the distribution of vital water and nutrients beneath the soil and should be avoided. If you have concerns about your lawn, a professional can examine your grass and assess its overall health and condition. While it is okay to stripe your own lawn, it would be wise to periodically consult with a lawn care expert to be sure your lawn is in tip-top shape.