Mowing straight lines is not something that comes easy to most people, especially if you don’t have much experience mowing lawns. It can be a little tricky so you’re likely to end up with some strange looking patterns if you’re not careful. Getting nice straight stripes might require quite a bit of practice because even the slightest of deviations with the mower can get you well off course and leave you with stripes that look a little wonky.
It’s even more difficult to do if you have a larger lawn. You’re much more likely to stray from the desired path when your passes are long.
Getting the first line is really key, once you know how to make sure your first line isn’t crooked, you’ll avoid wavy patterns on your subsequent passes.
In this article, I’ll share more about how you can use the following five tips to help you keep your mower on track in order to get straighter stripes in your grass. Hopefully these tips will help you to achieve that manicured look in your lawn that looks so awesome!
- Use a self-propelled mower
- Avoid using a front wheel drive mower
- Use a straight edge to line up your first pass if possible
- Use objects in the distance as a reference point
- Begin with the shortest line possible
Use a self-propelled mower
Self-propelled mowers are the preferred choice for many lawn owners because you don’t have to supply any power yourself and so it’s a lot less exhausting than pushing a mower around your yard.
A self-propelled mower pulls itself across the lawn while you walk behind it and this is actually a lot better than using push mower if you’re trying to get nice straight stripes in your lawn.
Push mowers are more likely to veer off course…
A self-propelled mower is going to be a lot more stable than a push mower when you inevitably encounter obstacles or bumps in your lawn that can cause instability. With a self-propelled mower, you’re much less likely to have a wheel come up off the ground because you have a constant power source that drives the wheels.
Avoid using a front wheel drive mower
Front wheel drive mowers are very popular in the US. The benefit of these is that you can lift the front wheels up and make a turn without releasing the power which ultimately saves you time.
As a concept, front wheel drive mowers are a great idea because they allow you turn quickly.
They are typically quick and agile.
The problem is that torque steering will likely leave you with wonky stripes because it’s challenging to control. Whenever you hit a bump, the drive wheels come off the ground and once they return back down, the mower can skip off path.
If you’re looking for an easier time getting straight lines, stay away from front wheel drive mowers.
I’d recommend using a front wheel drive or an an all-wheel drive mower.
Some mowers will even come with a ‘personal pace’ handle that adjusts to your desired walking speed. These are great for gaining greater control and staying on the right path.
Use a straight edge to line up your first pass if possible
If you have a path or something that has a straight edge, then you can use this to line up the wheels on your first pass. You want to try to keep the tire on the edge the entire time so that your first line remains straight
Then, once you go to make the second pass, you can put the tire just inside the previous wheel track.
You can repeat this process until you’ve covered your whole lawn!
It doesn’t matter how long the path is, as long as you keep the wheels on track, you’ll end up with a straight line.
Mowing the first line straight is key to set you up for straight lines on the remainder of the lawn.
Use objects in the distance as a reference point
If you don’t have anything on the ground, you can use an object to line up with. You’ll need to pick a vantage point in the distance that you focus on in order to keep you aligned on your first pass.
Try and pick a point and keep your head up while mowing towards it. This is going work a lot better than looking at the floor just a few feet ahead.
While this can be tricky to get right, you’ll only need to do this on your first pass. Once you’ve established your first straight pass, you can then just follow the line using the method detailed above.
Begin with the shortest line possible
Obviously the longer the pass, the harder it’s going to be to mow in a straight line. To make things easy for yourself, choose your first line to be as short as possible. If you have a rectangular lawn, then obviously each pass will be of equal length in a given direction but most lawns have their own unique shape.