When should you cut your grass? - By season and time of day (2024)

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Mowing is something every lawn needs in order to stay healthy and presentable. It is the most important lawn maintenance task there is. And choosing when to start mowing your lawn can make a huge difference on your garden’s overall appearance.

It’s also essential you choose the right time of day to do the mowing. Otherwise, you might be left with some sub-par results.

When to mow your lawn depending on the season

Mowing is normally performed between March and October, however, depending on the weather (whether it’s mild), might continue throughout winter as well. Yet, bear in mind the starting date for mowing will depend on local conditions and won’t always start in March.

Over spring

Perform the first grass cut of the year in spring, around mid-March. From there on, mow the lawn at least once every week.

Try to keep your grass’ height the same all throughout spring. For most lawns the ideal height would be 2.5-4cm (1-1.5in). However, for those that take a lot of wear and tear, strive to keep their grass raised at around 5cm (2in) in height. If a part of your lawn is covered by shade, maintain the grass at a height of 7.5cm (3in).

Also, avoid mowing your grass too short as that can weaken it and allow weeds and moss to run rampant.

Over summer

When summer comes creeping in around the corner, double the frequency of your mowing. Mow your lawn bi-weekly(twice a week) on average, only dropping to weekly, during periods of drought. As for the mower settings, raise your mower blades a little during hot weather. Longer grass copes better with drought and keeps its colors more vibrant. It’s also stronger and is less prone to wear and tear.

In weeks of drought nip off only a few stalks of longer grass, to stimulate its growth and to keep it nice and healthy.

Over autumn

With the days growing shorter and temperatures getting colder, grass will begin to grow slower. This means that the lawn will need less mowing, less frequently.

So when autumn comes around, do the same as in spring, mow your lawn, once a week. However, be sure to raise the height of your mower blades as winter approaches. Autumn is usually the season during which you will perform your last cut.

Over winter

Mowing the lawn in winter isn’t usually necessary unless the weather is warm and the grass still growing. If this is the case, it might need the occasional mow, but only on a high cut setting.

However, avoid doing this if the ground conditions are too soft or frozen. Never mow grass which is wet or frosty, as this can compact the soil and harm your turf. Wait until after the lawn has dried to perform mowing.

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When should you cut your grass? - By season and time of day (6)

What time of day should you mow your lawn?

Opinions on what time of day is best for lawn mowing usually vary, with some saying it doesn’t matter, while others claim it does. There is however an optimal time of day for lawn mowing but it might require you to be more flexible.

To avoid mowing during the wrong time of day, keep on reading!

Early morning (6 AM - 8 AM)

Avoid early mornings, as this is the worst time of day to mow a lawn.

So if you hate getting up early, you’re in luck! During this time, grass will usually be wet because of morning dew, rain or irrigation, making it hard on your mower to do its job.

Mowing a wet lawn can clog up and damage your mower. It can also cause your grass to tear, leave visible ruts, and compact the soil and believe us that is not something you want.

Mid-Morning (8 AM - 10 AM)

There’s some debate in the gardening community as to how important it’s to actually choose a particular time of day to mow your lawn.

However, most professional gardeners would agree that between 8 AM and 10 AM is the best time of day to cut your grass. The reason for that is that lawns need time to heal before evening. Grass needs the benefit of the day to dry and heal before dusk settles.

Since mowing your grass in the early morning can damage it and mowing it during the early afternoon can burn it because of all the high temperatures, the ideal time is mid-morning. That is of course if you’re free during that time of day.

Midday (12 PM - 2 PM)

Although midday isn’t the most optimal time to mow your lawn, it is generally safe. The main downside of mowing during this time of day is the scorching sun. Aside from causing your t-shirt to stick to your skin, the hot weather can also stress out the turf.

Therefore, if for some reason you decide to mow the lawn at midday, cut no more than the top third of the grass. Cut more and you might expose all the tiny plants your lawn consists of to the unforgiving sun and that isn’t something they’d enjoy.

Another thing to take into account if you’re mowing during midday is that your mower will get extra hot and you might end up burning yourself on it.

Altogether it’s best to avoid cutting your grass in hot weather.

Late Afternoon (4 PM - 6 PM)

The afternoon is the second-best time of day to mow your lawn.

So if you couldn’t get up between 8 AM and 10 AM to tend your lawn in the morning, now’s your chance. The weather during the late afternoon is still a tad warm but there’s no risk of the sun burning the lawn. It’s also early enough to give your lawn enough time to recover before late evening.

You see lawns are most susceptible to fungal infection attacks after dark, so don’t cut your grass after 6 PM under any circ*mstances as that will weaken it even further.

Therefore stick to a schedule and try to do all your mowing by 6 PM.

Evening (6 PM - 8 PM)

Mowing your lawn super late is the same as mowing it very early, it’s not a good idea. Yes, it’s cooler in the evening compared to midday or the late afternoon, but believe us, mowing your lawn during this time is not worth it.

And just like with the early morning by cutting your grass during this time you risk exposing it to disease and fungal infections.

To top it all off, the grass won’t have enough time to recover before nightfall. So, it’s best you stray away from mowing in the evening.

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When should you cut your grass? - By season and time of day (2024)

FAQs

When should you cut your grass? - By season and time of day? ›

Mid-morning (between 8 and 10 a.m.) tends to be the best time of day for mowing your lawn. It allows enough time for dew to dry, resulting in strong, perky blades of grades, while avoiding the hottest periods of the day.

What time is best to cut grass when it's hot? ›

The best time of day to mow the lawn is in the evening when the sun goes down. This will help maintain moisture in the roots of the long grass blades.

When not to cut grass? ›

Never mow wet or frosty grass

This can damage your turf and compact the soil. Wait until later in the day when the lawn has dried out or defrosted, or postpone mowing to another day.

Is it better to mow before or after it rains? ›

Is mowing before or after rain better? It is always better to mow before rain if possible. If your grass is dry, but you see rain on the way, it is a good idea to mow the yard before the rain arrives. Otherwise, the next best time to mow is when your grass has completely dried after rainfall.

Is it okay to mow grass in late afternoon? ›

The best time to mow the lawn is late afternoon or early evening. During this time, the day's heat has passed, but there's still enough light to see what you're doing. Mowing at this time allows the grass to heal before nightfall, reducing the risk of disease and fungal infections.

Is it better to cut grass in the morning or evening on a hot day? ›

Mowing early in the morning means you beat the heat and your lawn has more than enough time to recover before night falls again.

Is it okay to cut grass on a hot day? ›

'There isn't an exact temperature limit for cutting grass in hot weather, but when there are sustained temperatures above 90˚F, turf struggles to retain the moisture that it needs, especially when there is a lack of rainfall. '

Why no mow may? ›

No Mow May was first popularized by Plantlife, an organization based in the United Kingdom, but is now gaining traction across North America. The goal of No Mow May is to pause mowing during the month of May, allowing flowers to bloom in your lawn to help early season pollinators.

Is it better to leave your lawn long or short for winter? ›

The ideal grass height for winter is between 2 inches and 2.5 inches. This keeps grass short enough to resist disease spread, but not so short that it becomes overly stressed by cold temperatures.

Why shouldn't you mow your lawn every week? ›

Mowing every two weeks — instead of weekly — and not dousing grass with chemical herbicides and fertilizers, helps the environment and supports the health of bees, which are among the world's most important pollinators.

How many hours after rain can you mow? ›

How soon can you cut grass after rain? Wait until the grass is dry, which will usually take at least a few hours. Walk through the lawn before mowing, and if your shoes or feet come away wet, don't mow yet. If they're mostly dry, you should be good to go.

Can I cut the grass if it's wet? ›

It's best to wait for wet grass to dry before mowing. Wet grass clippings can clog your mower, causing it to choke and spit out clumps of wet grass that could smother and kill your lawn if left unraked. It's best to wait for wet grass to dry before mowing.

Why do people mow after rain? ›

the yard actually will look the best if you mow it right after a rain or when the grass is still a bit wet if you can avoid damaging the soil with ruts and so forth. the main problem about mowing in the rain is the soil being too soft or the deck clogging up with clippings.

Is 7pm too late to mow the lawn? ›

Therefore stick to a schedule and try to do all your mowing by 6 PM. Mowing your lawn super late is the same as mowing it very early, it's not a good idea. Yes, it's cooler in the evening compared to midday or the late afternoon, but believe us, mowing your lawn during this time is not worth it.

Can you cut grass with morning dew? ›

There are mixed opinions on whether to mow grass with morning dew. It is undoubtedly best to wait until your grass is completely dry before you mow and in the case of morning dew this is likely to only take a few hours – however, there is nothing stopping you getting the mower out while it's still a little wet.

What temperature is too hot for grass? ›

Once temperatures reach 77 degrees, it becomes too hot for root growth, and root growth ceases. When temperatures reach 90 degrees, it becomes too hot for shoot growth and the grasses stop growing and begin to fall dormant, with the surface grass turning a brown hue.

Should you water grass every day when it's hot? ›

In general, lawns in summer need about ½” of water every 3 days or so. If it's a little cooler where you are, say, in the high 70s, then you could get away with ½” every 3-4 days. If it's hotter where you are, say, 85 and sun all day, then maybe every 2-3 days.

How high to cut grass in extreme heat? ›

What length should I keep my grass in extreme heat? If you can, try adjusting the height of your mower blade to keep the grass about an inch higher. Longer grass will keep the roots cooler by providing more shade. Another way to think about this is to avoid cutting more than a third of the grass off the top.

Should you water grass when it's really hot? ›

Water at the right times

Experts advise the best time to water your lawn is early morning or late evening when it's cooler. If you water during hot periods of the day, most of the water will evaporate, and won't absorb into the lawn.

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