You probably have a favorite time of day to cut the grass, but is that the best time to mow your lawn? Industry professionals agree that the best time of day to cut the lawn is midmorning between 8-10 a.m.
The second-best time for lawn mowing is late afternoon between 4-6 p.m.
Why are these the optimum times to mow your grass? Midmorning and late afternoon cuts allow the grass enough time to recover before the hot sun or evening dew, protecting it from too much evaporation at midday or exposure to fungus at night.
Why Midmorning is the Best Time of the Day to Mow Grass
✓ The grass is dry.
✓ The grass has plenty of time to recover before the heat of the day or the dew at night.
✓ Equipment is less likely to overheat if used during cooler times of day.
✓ YOU are less likely to overheat.
✓ You won’t disturb the neighbors (unless they have different work/sleep schedules).
An added bonus of a midmorning mow: You’ll get to smell your freshly cut grass all day long.
Worst Time of the Day to Mow Your Lawn
The hottest time of the day is the worst time to mow your lawn, and that also is probably not your favorite time to be pushing a mower.
So, when is the hottest time of the day? The middle of the day, before and after high noon, is generally the hottest. During this time, the grass experiences stress due to the hot temperatures. Since mowing also places stress on your lawn, avoid cutting your grass during these midday hours.
The second worst time to mow is early morning before 8 a.m.
Here’s why: Mowing in the early morning, or at any time when you have wet grass or morning dew, will leave clumps of grass on the lawn and may even clog your mower. Mowing when the grass is wet can cause ruts in the lawn and may even pull the grass from the roots instead of shearing the blades of grass.
And when you’re all done mowing dewy or wet grass? You will have to clean those wet clumps of grass from your mower blade — not fun.
Grass Height and the Best Time to Mow
Besides time of day, the height of your grass also can determine when it’s the best time to mow. Mowing when your grass is too short could harm your lawn, and cutting too-long grass will take more of your time.
These are general guidelines for when is the best time to mow your grass based on various common types of grass:
|WARM SEASON GRASS TYPES||INCHES|
|Bermuda||1.5” – 3”|
|Centipede||1” – 2”|
|St. Augustine||2” – 4”|
|Zoysia||1” – 2.5”|
|COOL SEASON GRASS TYPES||INCHES|
|Fine Fescue||1.5” – 4”|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||2” – 3.5”|
|Perennial Ryegrass||2.5”- 3.5”|
|Tall Fescue||2”- 4”|
There are many other factors that affect your mowing height:
✓ Sun or shade (Cut shaded areas higher by about half an inch)
✓ Periods of stress (Cut higher and less often during drought or extreme heat.)
✓ Time of year
✓ Grass use (lawn vs. athletic field vs. golf green)
✓ Type of equipment (push mower vs. rotary mower)
To get local, professional advice, search for and contact your nearest Cooperative Extension Service office.
Best Day of the Week to Mow Your Grass
The best day of the week to mow your lawn is probably one of your days off work. However, if you work the night shift and get off at 8 a.m. or go in early and get off at 4 or 5 p.m., you could get out the mower after work and cut your grass at an optimal time.
The Right Time to Mow Your Grass is Whenever You Can
There are great and not-so-great times to mow the lawn. In the end, the best time to mow (or do any lawn care, for that matter) is whenever you can get the job done.
If that happens to be a morning from 8-10 a.m. or an afternoon from 4-6 p.m., know that your grass has been mowed at a time that is optimal for its health and recovery.
If you would rather not worry about mowing your grass at the perfect time, you can contract that out to lawn care professionals. We can help you to find a lawn care mowing crew near you.
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