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When is the Best Time to Mow the Lawn?

One of the most common questions we get about lawn care is “When is the best time to mow my lawn?”

It can be a tricky chore to fit into a busy schedule, as plenty of homeowners will tell you (especially those with large lawns). While it’d be nice to have some flexibility, the fact is that certain times of day are better for mowing than others.

That isn’t to say your lawn is doomed if you occasionally mow during off hours, but if you want a lawn that looks its absolute best, there are optimal times to mow, so let’s dive in.

When is the best time to mow?
Throughout the day, the grass in your lawn goes through several different processes and without getting too scientific, mowing the lawn while the grass is either wet or trying to protect itself from the day’s heat can make post-mow recovery more difficult for the grass.

When you’re trying to find the best time to mow, it helps to understand what’s happening at different times of the day. So, let’s take a second to see what a day in the life of your lawn looks like.

6:00 A.M.-8:00 A.M.
As you’re waking up for work, grass often starts a summer day coated in dew. The cool, night air warms with the sunrise and creates condensation, leaving the lawn wet. Mowing a wet lawn is not ideal for lawn health, as it creates conditions that can lead to disease in grass. You can learn more about mowing a wet lawn here.

8:00 A.M-10:00 A.M. AKA: The Best Time to Mow
By this time, the dew normally evaporates while the sun rises, meaning that the grass is growing healthy without being exposed to too much heat. That makes this the best time of the day to mow. The lawn will have a full day to absorb nutrients, recover from the mow, and keep on growing.

10:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M.
This time of day can be tricky because if it gets particularly hot, or if the grass can’t get the water or nutrients it needs, it’ll go dormant. In these conditions, grass hibernates during the day to try and stay healthy, making it much weaker than normal, which can impact growth.

Put simply, if it’s too hot for you to mow without sweating through your shirt, it’s too hot for your lawn as well.

4:00 P.M-6:00 P.M.
In the evening, cooler air allows grass to leave its dormant state and start absorbing nutrients again. That primes the grass for growth immediately after the mow and on dry days, grass will be thoroughly dry by this time, which is good for mowing. So, if the mid-morning window doesn’t work for you, the early evening is your next-best option.

The Basic Rule of Thumb: Try to avoid mowing if your lawn is either very wet or very dry.
Either one can cause damage to the lawn and compromise its health.

But in the end, if you want a more definitive answer, the best time to mow is between 8:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M., with a close second being the early evening between 4:00 P.M. and 6:00 P.M. Happy mowing!