Maintaining your lawn requires only a few commitments. Mowing is the easiest of these and the most important; it keeps the grass in premium condition as well as improves its appearance.
Yet, there’s more to mowing than just using the right tools. Timing matters.
There’s a debate about whether the time of mowing your lawn affects the grass quality, but we believe it does, for a few reasons. We’ll discuss those reasons here, as well as answer the question, “What is the best time of day to mow your lawn?”
Early Morning – (6 am – 8 am)
No, we won’t ask you to follow a farmer’s routine and wake up by the break of dawn to mow your lawn. In fact, quite the opposite.
Early morning is hands down the worst possible time to mow your lawn. Why? Because in the early morning, your grass will be super moist from morning dew, and moist grass is a mower’s worst enemy because it can easily clog it.
Additionally, mowing grass that’s wet from overnight torrential rain will cause the grass to tear, and the mower will leave track markings on it, making it prone to fungal infections. Plus, your lawn just won’t look good.
Mid-Morning – (8 am – 10 am)
If there’s an optimal time to mow your lawn throughout the day, it has to be mid-morning, which is somewhere between 8 am and 10 am.
Gardeners who advocate for mid-morning being the best time to cut the grass rely on the fact that your lawn will need some time to heal from the mowing process before the sun goes down. The grass will use the warmth of the sun to dry before nighttime. Plus, it won’t be wet from morning dew, so it won’t clog the mower’s tines.
You don’t want to cut your grass when it’s wet (early morning) so as not to clog the mower or damage it with uneven cuts. On the other hand, you don’t want to cut it when it’s too dry either (afternoon) so as not to burn it in the hot sun. Thus, cutting your grass in the mid-morning is the ideal time in this case, if there’s the best time to do it!
Midday – (12 pm – 2 pm)
Mowing your lawn midday is okay. The hot sun makes it suboptimal for you and your grass, though. Not only will you suffer from working under the burning sun, but the grass also will be affected and stressed if it’s being cut in this hot weather.
We’d say that if you’re going to give your lawn a regular trim, you can go and do it midday. However, if you need to go deeper than the top third of the grass, you might want to do it another time so as not to risk burning your lawn.
Keep in mind that your mower itself becomes hotter as it works, so operating it in hot weather could overheat it even faster. This might be annoying to the person who’s using it, and they might even get burnt. So we don’t recommend it, especially in the height of summer.
Afternoon – (4 pm – 6 pm)
Given that midday is an okay time to mow your lawn except for the risk of burning it if you cut too much off, then mowing in the afternoon is a better idea since the temperature is relatively cooler.
Mowing in the late afternoon comes with a bunch of perks. It’s more comfortable for you and less stressful on the grass. Besides, the sun is still there to provide good lighting and heat so that the grass can heal after mowing.
We’d say that late afternoon is the second-best time to mow your lawn. Your deadline should be somewhere around 6 pm because your grass is susceptible to fungal infections after the sun goes down.
Evening – (6 pm – 8 pm)
Just like the early morning, the evening is an awful time to mow your lawn.
You likely would have dew on your grass, and there’s no sun for your lawn to heal, as well as little light for you to see what you’re doing. On top of that, your lawn is prone to diseases and fungal infections the most at night.
Don’t forget that you want the grass to heal from the cutting before the sun goes down, so definitely don’t start mowing after it’s set.
Now that you know what time of day you should mow your lawn, you might be wondering about the right time of the year to do so. What’s the best season to mow my lawn?
Well, we’re not sure if this is the right question to ask because, as you know, you have to mow your lawn when it requires a cut. This is certainly more than once a year, so restricting it to a specific season is not practical. What’s more important, though, is to learn about the best practices of mowing your lawn in a particular season.
For example, given the facts we discussed above regarding the best time to mow your lawn, we need a time when the grass isn’t wet, the weather isn’t too hot, and there’s good lighting. All these factors make spring the optimal season for mowing your lawn. Accommodating to the spring’s weather (i.e. avoid mowing in the rain), you should be mowing your lawn weekly.
When it comes to summer, there’s that fiery sun and hot weather, so we recommend you mow your lawn every two weeks, in order to minimize the risk of burning the grass.
Autumn and winter pose some challenges to mowing because the rain results in an increased growth rate for the grass, so you need to mow regularly for your lawn’s upkeep. However, you’ve got to be careful and try to pick dry days so as not to mow wet grass and risk ruining your turf and clogging your mower.
Additionally, the sun sets a lot earlier in the winter, so late morning or even early afternoon would be the best times, rather than early evening.
You don’t have to wake up before the sun rises to mow your lawn, in fact the best time to do so is mid-morning, followed by later afternoon. However, mowing times can change with the seasons, so be flexible. The most important things to remember are to cut the grass when it’s dry and give it time to heal in the sun before nighttime.