The best time to mow the lawn and why.




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What is the best time of day to mow your lawn? 

This is a question that most homeowners will ask themselves at some stage. While the is no “one size fits all” answer because of a multitude of factors such as location, season, type of lawn I will give some advice here based on my thirty-plus years in the industry. 

The best time to mow your lawn is at around 9 am in the morning. This is usually the sweet spot when the day starts to heat up but has not got too hot and the lawn has dried off. Mowing at this time will cause less stress on your lawn and will give you better all-round results. Do not start before 8 am or mow past 10 am and you will be mowing your lawn at the ideal time.

As I said earlier there are a few more things that you would want to take into consideration. 

There is another window of time if you miss that one and you will want to avoid certain times of the day for different reasons as mentioned further on.

Is there another time that I can mow my lawn if I miss that window?

If you missed that very narrow window of 8 to 10 am, don’t despair. All is not lost.

The next best time is between 4 pm to 6 pm. This time is not as good as the early morning spot as you are closer to it having the sun go down and it becomes cooler but your lawn will still thank you, as you will have missed the midday sun. The lawn will also have time to recover before it gets dark. 

How is the temperature? 

One good idea is to take the temperature into consideration. I prefer it to be somewhere between 60 to 80 degrees and not wet when I mow a lawn. If you are experiencing a mild autumn day with no dew you can mow it anytime that day without any issues. 

Here is a selection of nice outdoor thermometers on Amazon if you are a numbers guy like me.

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When is it too early to mow the lawn?

There is another reason why your neighbor should not be mowing their lawn at the crack of dawn. Apart from the fact that this is really annoying, it is also bad for the lawn. Anytime, before 8 am, is going to do more harm than good to the lawn. Usually, there is dew in the morning and if you mow your lawn before it evaporates that is going to stress the lawn. It will be too cold for the lawn and dealing with wet grass you are going to struggle to do a good job. The grass will tear and bruise more easily when wet and this will invite fungus and other diseases.

When is it too late to mow the lawn?

You should not mow your lawn after 6 pm for pretty much the same reasons you shouldn’t cut it too early.  You need to also take into consideration what time the sun goes down.

Back in the day where I sometimes worked 10 hour days mowing lawns. I did my share of twilight lawn mowing when I was running late and running out of daylight. I would not recommend it. 

As you are working and the sun is setting you don’t really notice that loss of daylight but unless you are extremely methodical you will miss pieces. As it gets darker it gets harder to see but you are usually so busy rushing that you don’t notice. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, the overall quality of the job will be substandard.  It is better to leave it for another day.

Is your lawn overgrown?

If your lawn is overgrown then you should not cut it in the midday sun. You should also use the rule of thumb for plants and trees and never remove more than a third off the lawn. I would give it a high cut between 8-10 am. I would then leave it for a few days and give it a cut just a bit lower again in that time window. Bring it down slowly and avoid the midday sun for the best results. 

If you were to cut it low and the temperature got up then your grass can get burnt. Remember that the stalks and roots have never experienced direct sunlight so they could burn easily. I have known of more than one occasion when someone has cut a long lawn too short on a baking hot day and experienced some die off because of this. 

What if the grass is wet?

My best advice there is to wait until the lawn is dry. If you need to go ahead and mow a wet lawn due to time constraints then I would suggest that you pull off your blade first and give it a quick sharpen. This will help. I would also recommend you read my post about “how to mow lawns on a wet day” and implement as many of the tips from the article as you can before going ahead. 

What if you never seem to have time to fit mow your lawn.?

If you are busy working all day and never seem to find time in the weekends then you could try this trick that I used. 

When I was out mowing other people’s lawns every day it was always my lawn that suffered. I never found time to mow it. I would never find time in the week and the last thing I felt like doing in the weekend was mowing another lawn. 

My wife and I even went as far as discussing getting another lawn mowing contractor to mow our lawn. 

Then I worked out a way to mow my lawn without thinking about it. The answer was so simple and it might work for you too.

I booked my lawn for a regular mow as my last lawn on a Monday with myself. As soon as I pulled in the drive I would pull the mower off the truck and mow my lawn.

You could do the same thing even if you don’t mow lawns for a living. Simply take the garage keys to work on the allotted day and when you get home don’t go inside until you have mowed the lawn. Have your mower, a pair of overalls, and a pair of boots ready to go in the garage. Go straight there and get out and get that lawn done. Don’t go inside for any reason until you are finished or you will never make it back out. 

If this doesn’t work. Maybe its time to call your local lawn mowing contractor.

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