What Is The Best Time To Mow Lawn?
To the unaware, mowing the lawn is an activity that can happen at any time of the day.
While mowing is a good lawn care practice, doing it at the wrong time can hurt your lawn’s appearance and health.
So, what’s the best time to mow lawn? Keep reading to find out.
Best Times of the Day to Mow Your Lawn
There are a couple of times during the day when mowing your lawn will yield the best results.
To help you understand this better, we’ve broken the day into five different times so you’ll know the optimal times to mow your lawn and when to completely avoid the activity.
Early Morning (6am – 8am)
Early in the morning is the worst time of the day to mow your lawn.
Avoid mowing at this time at all costs! It is not good for your grass as the mower blades will likely tear the grass instead of cutting it.
In addition to leaving visible ruts, wet grass makes it easy for fungal spores to spread all over the grass blades.
And because the grass is still wet from dew, irrigation, or rain, it makes it a lot difficult for the mower to do a good job.
That means you’ll end up clogging your mower. Besides, you’ll also have tire marks all over your lawn.
But that’s pale in comparison to soil compaction issues you might have.
Here’s our candid advice: avoid doing any kind of lawn maintenance early in the morning.
Mid-Morning (8am – 10am)
If we have to choose only one best time to mow lawn, it would be the mid-morning hours between 8am and 10am.
During this time, the morning dew has dried up yet the temperature is not harsh enough to burn the grass exposed blades and hamper proper healing.
When you cut your grass in the mid-morning, you give your lawn enough time to recover before the temperatures peak during mid-day.
Also, the grass will have plenty of time to heal before the cool evening air sets in and dusk falls.
This period is also a good time for you, as you won’t have to work under the uncomfortably hot afternoon sun.
Keep in mind that the exact time to mow your lawn during mid-morning will vary depending on where you live and the time of year.
Also, if your lawn has plenty of shade, it might be necessary to wait a bit longer for the dew to dry completely before mowing.
In general, you should start mowing when the grass is dry and the air temperature has not risen.
While mid-morning is the best time to mow lawn, it might not be feasible for everyone. Thankfully, there are other times of the day you can perform this activity.
Midday (12pm – 2pm)
Midday is the worse time to mow your lawn, especially in a hot climate. The scorching heat of the sun isn’t something you want to expose your grass to.
The hot afternoon sun will dry and damage your grass if you choose to mow your yard during this time of the day.
Besides hurting your grass, you also run the risk of having sunburns.
Here’s another thing to keep in mind. Mowing during the middle of the day means your mower will likely get extremely hot.
You might end up burning yourself if you are extra careful.
You want to skip lawn mowing during the middle of the day unless the weather is very mild and cool.
Late Afternoon (4pm – 6pm)
If mid-morning isn’t convenient for you, late afternoon is the next best time to cut your grass.
During this time of the day, there is a significant drop in the temperature. That means even though the weather is still a bit warm, it won’t do any damage to your lawn.
Also, there is still enough time for the grass to recover before the cool evening air sets in.
If late afternoon works well for you, make sure to finish tending to your lawn by 6pm. Anything after this time will expose your grass to fungal infections that can weaken it.
Evening (6pm – 8pm)
Mowing your yard during the cool of the evening might seem like a good idea, but it is not.
Of course, the heat from the afternoon sun is no longer a threat, but there is another risk that comes with nightfall.
Fungal infections and other plant diseases are more likely to develop if you cut your grass after 6pm.
That’s because the cool night temperature and moisture during the cooler hours of the day are great for these pathogens.
There is simply not enough time for freshly-cut grass to heal between late evening and nightfall. For this reason, avoid mowing your yard during this time.
Best time to Mow Lawn Based on Seasons
Usually, you can mow your lawn from March through October. However, when the weather is mild, mowing can be done throughout the colder months as well.
That being said, the exact starting date for mowing won’t always be March. Instead, it will depend on your local weather conditions.
Here is a general guide for when to mow your lawn based on the different seasons.
Your first grass cut of the year should fall around the middle of March. Throughout the spring season, you can aim to mow your lawn once a week or thereabout.
In general, it is a good practice to maintain the same grass height all through spring. That means staying between 1.5 inches and 3 inches, depending on the type of grass and the lawn condition.
Typically, 1.5 inches is an ideal grass height for most lawns. But maintaining 3 inches grass height is better for the parts of your lawn that are covered by shade.
However, if your grass can endure a lot of punishment, try to keep the height at 2 inches.
Whatever you do, steer clear of “scalping” or mowing too short! And here’s why.
Cutting too short will prevent your grass from getting adequate nutrients. As you probably already know, a lack of nutrients means weak grass.
And that’s an open invitation to weeds and moss! To top it all, mowing too short will ultimately kill your lawn, and that’s not what you want.
For the best results, double the mowing frequency to twice a week during summer. But keep it down to once weekly when drought sets in.
Only trim a small amount of the long grass during drought to stimulate growth. Mowing long in summer is ideal because longer grass can handle drought better.
But that’s not all. Longer grass is less prone to wear and tear and makes your lawn looks more vibrant during periods of drought.
The last cut is usually performed in the fall. During this season, the temperature gets colder so the growth rate of grasses slows down.
For this reason, it is best to mow your lawn about once a week or less. Remember to raise the mower blades’ height as winter sets in.
You want to skip mowing altogether in winter unless your grass is still growing probably because the weather is a bit warm.
If mowing becomes necessary, make sure to use a high-cut setting and only mow occasionally. Besides, you want to wait until your lawn is completely dry before mowing.
Do not mow when the ground is frozen or too soft because it can lead to soil compaction.
In general, winter is when you store your mower. But just before you put it in storage until the next season, you might want to learn How To Winterize A Lawn Mower.
Is it bad to mow the lawn when it’s hot?
Yes, it is bad to mow your lawn when it’s hot, and here’s why.
When you cut your grass, the blades need time and the right weather condition to heal. Unfortunately, extreme heat doesn’t help grass blades to recover quickly.
If you cut your grass in dry or hot weather too often, your lawn will be stressed. Also, grasses are likely to turn brown or yellow if you mow too low in hot weather.
Mowing when it’s hot also means that the grass will lose moisture and eventually becomes weak.
Besides, working outside is usually uncomfortable when the weather is hot. So, mowing at this time is not comfortable even for you.
For more information, read our guide on the Best Time To Water Lawn In Hot Weather.
Should you mow first or water first?
For the best results, mow your lawn first before watering if the lawn needs to be watered.
You want to avoid watering first for the same reason you shouldn’t mow your lawn very early in the morning or right after rain.
Wet grass is generally a pain to mow. Attempting to mow wet grass will result in clumping and clogging the mower.
You want to wait for the grass to dry first before you mow to make the process easier and smoother.