Man mowing straight lines with a riding lawn mower.

A Straight Answer To How To Mow Straight Lines With Riding Mower

5 minutes

We all want that beautiful-looking lawn with perfectly cut grass and straight lines. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy, even with a riding lawn mower, but it can be done. So, when it comes to how to mow straight lines with a riding lawn mower, let us show you how by starting with what to do before you even make your first cut

What To Do Before Starting To Mow Straight Lines With A Riding Lawn Mower

Man in the middle of mowing straight lines with a riding lawn mower.
There are some important steps to take before mowing straight lines on your lawn.

Your mower should be healthy before you start with the striping process. Here are the things you should diagnose in a healthy riding mower.

Check Your Cutting Blade

The blade on the riding lawn mower is the key to a good and smooth cut. The blade will leave uneven cuts and patches on the lawn if the blade is dull. So, make sure to check it before mowing.

Check The Fuel Tank

When mowing straight lines, it’s important that you have enough fuel to complete the whole job in one go. If you have to stop and start or if you have to stop to go and buy more fuel, that can throw off your lines. So, it’s best to have a full tank before even starting.

Adjust The Cutting Height

Although cutting height doesn’t change how straight a line is, you want to be sure what height you want the grass to be before starting to mow. The fewer things you have to adjust while mowing, the easier it’ll be to accomplish your task, whatever it is.

Be Realistic About Your Lawn

Some lawns are more uneven or rough than others, which can make cutting the lawn into straight lines even more difficult. So, it helps to have the right expectations for what you can get out of your lawn. This also allows you to work on your lawn over time so you can one day get those straight lines you want.

Sometimes It Just Takes Practice

Another area to keep good expectations about is your own skill level. We all start somewhere, so keep in mind you might not succeed the first time you try to mow straight lines. But with enough practice, you might get them the second time or the third time, and so on.

How To Mow The First Straight Line With A Riding Lawn Mower

When focusing on mowing straight lines on your lawn, the most important part is making the first cut. If you make that cut a straight line, you’ll have a reference line to use for all your further cuts. However, if the first pass isn’t right, it can become much harder, if not impossible, to get those straight lines you want.

Tips To Make A Good First Cut

Ever tried to freehand draw a straight line on a piece of paper? It can be really, really hard to do without tons of practice or something to help you. The same is true for that first cut line on a lawn, so here are some tips to make that first cut a successful one.

Follow The Edge Of The Road Or Sidewalk

Most of the time the edges of your lawn should come up against the road or sidewalk. These are great reference lines for making that first, ever so important cut. Here’s what you can do.

First, make sure the edge of your lawn is a straight edge. Every lawn is a bit different, so you may have to get creative if you’re dealing with curved edges, for example. Once you have your edge reference, place the wheel on the edge where the lawn meets the road or sidewalk, then follow it as you mow your line.

Pick The Shortest Distance Between Two Edges

Maybe your lawn just doesn’t have the straight edges you need or maybe following the road or sidewalk just isn’t working out. Your next option is to cut a straight line from one edge to the other. To make this easy, you’ll want to find the shortest distance between two of your edges, then mow that line to use as a reference for all the others.

If you pick a line that has edges that are too far from each other, there’s a higher chance of a mistake that doesn’t give you the straight line you’re looking for. You may not get this method to work right away anyway, but it should come with practice.

Create A Reference

The last option for your first cut is to make a reference of some kind. One way to do this is with string tightly tied to some garden stakes and set at least one inch above the ground.

This method can work, but it can also end up with the string tangled up in the lawn mower. So, you’ll have to be very careful to not run over the string as you’re making that first cut.

So, now that you have that first cut completed, how do you use it as a reference to keep mowing straight lines after it?

How To Mow The Rest Of The Straight Lines With A Riding Lawn Mower

Once you have your first, straight cut line, you don’t want to waste it. The good news is this step isn’t that difficult either. Here’s what you do.

First, make sure the lawn mower’s wheels are on the edge of that first reference cut. While driving, keep them on that edge and look ahead to see where you’re going.

Second, once you reach the edge of the lawn, turn the mower around carefully and line up the wheels with the cut you just made. When you reach the edge, don’t make any sharp turns.

Last, after finishing each line, check to make sure it’s following the same straight line you made the first time. This will help you to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. Plus, it’s always nice to see your hard work paying off, especially in real time.

Conclusion: How To Mow Straight Lines With A Riding Lawn Mower

While a beautiful-looking lawn with straight lines requires some work, it can be done. Sometimes, when it comes to how to mow straight lines with a riding lawn mower, it just takes a little setup and practice.

That said, what are your thoughts on all this? What’s got you interested in making your lawn look good? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Todd L Miles
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
I started "Landscape and Lawns Care" to provide clients with lawn care with better service, better products and, most importantly, better ethics. My promise to every customer is to give the greenest grass possible while controlling weeds, insects, and diseases! The most important thing is that I strive to always do the right thing for you, your lawn and your wallet!


Hello Todd, I am in the market for a 0 turn mower. So naturally I’m looking at your 10 best 0 turn platforms. The information is great pretty much everything I’m interested in.

I do wish 2 things were mentioned. One,which ones are built entirely in the US? Unless I missed it I don’t see any mention of where. Two its cool you added a link to check the price but why Amazon? I’ve found at least 6 other sites with discounts, 0 interest for 3 years and other perks. A link to competitive pricing would have been a more appropriate link. Just a few names to look at. I use Amazon alot but mostly when I need something yesterday. Their delivery methods are the best, no doubt,
but their prices? By far not the best.
Unless dare i say your choice to use Amazon has a reason behind it? Also, when I used your link to check on used lawnmowers… took me directly to of all places
Amazon which by the way i found No used anything.

Stay safe, stay healthy.
Neal in Western, NC.

Todd L Miles says:

Hi Neal,
Most of the John Deere factories are located in the North America, and Europe. And they also have a factory in India.
You asked why we recommend only Amazon. Alright, Amazon is the best platform so far for online shopping. That’s why we mostly recommend them.

Comments are closed.