Regardless of whether you’re a morning person or not, the mowing noises from the yard next door aren’t the most pleasant thing to hear early in the morning. This is especially not pleasant during the weekend. But it goes both ways, no? You don’t want to be an inconsiderate neighbor as well. So, if you also have a lawn to take care of, you must be wondering how early is too early to mow it. There are two aspects that I will discuss:
- Legal – what does the law say, because it can get quite loud
- Gardening – when is the best time to mow the lawn for the grass itself.
How Early Can You LEGALLY Mow Your Lawn?
The rules vary in this segment, but there are some generally accepted guidelines. This also depends on the neighborhood you’re in, and your neighbors! If it’s a reel lawn mower, you can start whenever, but if it’s a gas-powered lawn mower or one that runs on electricity, you might want to wait a bit.
On Week Days (Monday to Friday)
During weekdays, you can start fairly early. Legally, landscapers can start as early as 7 to 8 am, depending on the state, and any communal rules that you have to adhere to. It is recommended that you don’t start before 9 AM.
On Weekends (Saturday and Sunday)
Now, whether it’s a holiday, or a weekend, I think that you should really respect your neighbors. Just put yourself in their (shoes) beds, and imagine how loud, and annoying it must be. In most areas, it’s not allowed to mow lawns before 9 am. I think this is not enough. I usually start after 10 am.
What is the Best Time of the Day to Cut the Grass?
First of all, time is of the utmost importance when it comes to mowing. Not only because of the noise that can disturb the neighbors, but also because of the damage you can cause to the lawn if you mow it at the wrong time of the day. Therefore, take note of the following things before you take the lawn mower in your hands.
The early morning – that is, 6-8 am, is the worst time to cut the grass. The grass is usually still damp from the morning dew, so it won’t cut as well as when it’s dry. Additionally, this way diseases can spread quickly since the freshly cut grass blades are an easy target for disease-carrying organisms. And lastly, the wet grass blades can clog your mower. Thus, avoid mowing between these hours. Both your neighbors and your lawn will thank you.
The optimum time of the day to mow the lawn is between the hours of 8 and 10 am, after the grass has dried off, but before it gets hot outside. This way you’ll reduce lawn stress, as well as prevent many diseases from spreading across the lawn.
The period between 10 am and 2 pm is when the grass is most vulnerable. In other words, that’s when the sun damages it the most. Hence, mowing during excessive heat can accelerate moisture loss and weaken the grass.
The temperatures may have dropped between 2 and 4 pm, but still, it’s not the best time to mow since there’s still a possibility to strain the grass. However, it’s better than cutting it in the early morning.
If you weren’t able to mow the lawn in the morning, you can get things done in the late afternoon – that is, between 4 and 6 pm, when the temperatures drop even more. This way, since mowing is a stressor for a lawn, the grass will have time to recover before the night falls, when diseases and fungi can take hold.
As we mentioned before, avoid cutting the grass late in the day since it’s prone to turf diseases and damages caused by fungi. Moreover, you probably don’t want to interrupt your neighbors’ dinner talk.
All things considered, regardless of whether it’s a weekend or not, the most appropriate time to start mowing your lawn is after 9 am. This way, you’ll keep your lawn green and healthy, as well as a good relationship with your neighbors.
What can I do if my neighbor is mowing the lawn too early?
The reasonable thing to do is to approach him/her and let them know that it’s bothering you, and that it’s too early. This is the only thing you can do if it’s within the legal timeframe. If it’s earlier than that, and your neighbor is ignoring you, you can report him to the police. Be civil.
What can happen if I mow my lawn too early?
You will get a bad reputation with your neighbors, which is kind of long-term. The other thing that can happen, especially if you’re mowing your lawn before 7 am is to get reported to the police. This can and will go in your file.
Is it OK to mow the lawn before frost?
The grass doesn’t stop growing in winter; however, once the temperatures are below 40°F, it grows much slower. So, mowing during this period won’t be necessary. The frost causes excessive rupturing of the grass cells, and freshly cut grass is more prone to frost damages. Hence, avoid mowing the lawn between November and March.
Can you mow wet grass?
It’s not recommended to mow the grass when it’s wet. Firstly, wet grass, especially when it’s tall, can cause damage to some lawn mowers. The wet grass clippings can block the mower deck since they usually clump together. Secondly, you won’t be able to cut the whole grass evenly since the wet grass blades tend to bend over. In other words, the mower blades will probably cut only the ones that are standing up off the ground. And finally, fungi diseases can spread on the lawn that’s been cut while wet. Therefore, mowing wet grass isn’t good neither for the lawn nor for the lawn mower.