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Can I Mow My Lawn At Night? (Read Before Trying)

Can I Mow My Lawn at Night?

Have you ever been tempted to mow your lawn at night? In the summer months, it can miserable to deal with the heat of the day, making many people consider mowing their lawns once the sun goes down. When trying to decide what time is best to mow your lawn, there are a few aspects you have to consider. Would your neighbors mind? Would this benefit the overall health of your grass?

So, can you mow your lawn at night? While you can mow your lawn at night, it isn’t the most optimal time to do so. Not only will your neighbors be getting ready for bed, but dew will start to settle on the grass once the temperature drops. Nighttime is also the prime time for your grass to be affected by fungi and turf diseases. 

If you work a day job or have a tight schedule, the only time slot you may have available to mow your lawn is at night. Keep reading to learn the best time of day to mow your lawn and other alternatives for mowing your yard at night.

Why You Shouldn’t Mow Your Lawn at Night:

Your Neighbors Will Be Going to Sleep

One reason you should avoid mowing your lawn at night is that your neighbors may be settling in and getting ready for bed. Imagine if you just laid down in your bed to go to sleep and then you hear your neighbor turn on their lawnmower. I would not be happy!

Not only would the noise be a nuisance, but if you’re mowing your grass at night, you’re going to need a light to see what you’re doing. With the noise, you’d be creating and the lights you’ll need flashing around, you’re sure to get some complaints.

If you live in an area where no one will be affected by your late-night lawnmowing, then go for it! You can read tips about mowing at night here.

Wet Grass Will Hinder Your Mower

Once the sun sets and the temperature starts to drop, dew will start to form on the grass. Wet grass is much harder to mow and can cause many difficulties in the process.

Uneven Turf

When grass is wet, it tends to bend under the weight of the water droplets. If you mow grass when it is like this, it can cause the lawn to be cut unevenly. The best time to mow your lawn is when the grass is dried and the blades are standing more upright. This will give you a clean cut.

Grass Clumps

Normally, your mower should discard the cut grass by spitting it back over the yard. This helps the blades that were cut to decompose and provide nutrients and nitrogen to the soil. When you cut wet grass, the grass will spit back over the yard in clumps. Not only will this look bad, but it will also take longer for the grass clumps to decompose.

Clogged Mower Deck & Blade

Wet grass tends to stick to everything, including the blades of your mower. Wet grass will clog up the mower deck and blade to the point where the mower won’t be able to effectively mow anymore. I’ve learned this from experience! Cutting a small yard once took me an hour because I had to keep stopping to remove the wet grass from the blades. (If you ever have to do this, make sure your lawnmower is turned off first.)

Fungi & Turf Diseases Flourish at Night

Have you ever noticed how mushrooms seem to randomly appear in your yard overnight? This happens because fungus and turf diseases flourish at nighttime. Fungus flourishes in wet environments with low light; since nighttime creates dew on the grass and very little light, many fungi thrive during this time.

At night, your grass is resting and is most susceptible to these attacks. Add the stress that mowing your yard puts on the grass on top of turf disease taking root, and you may be overwhelming your lawn.

To learn more, check out our article, Why Does My Lawn Have Mushrooms?

Lower Visibility Can Cause Uneven Turf

Another reason to avoid mowing your lawn at night is that lower visibility can cause you to mow unevenly. Mowing unevenly can leave streaks of tall grass in your yard and will take away from the look of a manicured lawn.

If the only time you can mow is at night, you’ll want to invest in a light you can use for mowing. Check out the Xprite CREE Spotlights on Amazon.

What is the Best Time of Day to Mow Your Lawn?

So, what is the best time of day to mow your lawn? The best time to mow your lawn is either mid-morning or late afternoon. Mid-morning is from 8 AM – 10 AM while the late afternoon is considered from 4 PM – 6 PM.

When you mow your lawn in the mid-morning, the grass has had time to wake up and start the process of photosynthesis. By this time, the dew on the grass should have evaporated to leave the blades standing more upright, perfect for cutting. When you mow at this time, it also saves you from having to work in the heat of the day.

When you mow your lawn in the late afternoon, you’re giving your grass time to recover before nightfall. When you cut your grass to late in the day, the grass won’t have any recovery time before the nighttime attacks of turf disease. This will leave your lawn more susceptible.

You should avoid mowing your lawn in the early morning, mid-day, and early evening. In the early morning, dew coats the grass, which will make it much more difficult to mow. At this time, the grass hasn’t woken up yet since the sun will barely be up in the sky.

During mid-day, your grass will have to deal with the high temperatures and the stress of being mowed; this can weaken the health of your grass. When you mow in the early evening, you’re not allowing your grass any recovery time before nightfall, and your lawn is at its weakest point since it has been working all day to produce sugar.

To learn more about the best time to mow your lawn, check out our article, What’s the Best Time of Day to Mow the Lawn: Complete Guide.

Alternative Lawn Care Options

If the only time you have to mow your lawn is at night, you may want to consider alternative lawn care options that will leave your lawn at its healthiest. A healthy lawn will look thick and lush, making all of your neighbors jealous! Here are some ideas to consider:

Break Up the Mowing Into Sections

If one of the reasons you have to mow your lawn at night is due to a tight schedule, one thing you can do is break up your lawn-mowing into sections. This way, you can mow the area in a shorter amount of time. You can mow your front yard before work and your backyard after work. However, if your schedule fits, you can mow one section at a time!

Pay a Lawn Care Service to Mow Your Yard

Another option you can invest in is paying for a lawn care service to mow your yard. While this may be challenging if you like doing yard work or if you have financial restraints, most lawn care companies cater to the health of your grass. They use mowing techniques that will benefit your lawn the most, and you can usually request the time of day you want the work to be done. This way, you can know you’ll have a nice-looking lawn, even if you don’t have time to get to it.

Plant Slow-Growing Grass

If your schedule is restricting you from yard work, another alternative option you can try instead of mowing your lawn at night is planting slow-growing grass. There are some grasses that only need to be cut a few times a year, which would take the burden off of you to find time to mow a couple of times a week.

Most fescue grass is slow-growing. Fescue grasses are usually low maintenance, thrive in dry soil, and don’t require fertilizer. When left uncut, the fescue will only grow to between 8 in. – 12 in. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance lawn, you should consider converting to a yard with mostly fescue.

I hope you find this article helpful! Mowing the lawn can be a tedious task, but I hope with the information given in this article, you will feel more knowledgeable on the subject.

Regardless if you’re mowing at night or mowing in the middle of the day, you’re going to need a reliable lawnmower. A self-propelled lawnmower can make the task of mowing your lawn much easier. To learn more, check out our article, Buying a Self-Propelled Lawn Mower: Complete Buyer’s Guide.

Written By

Hi there! My name is Matt and I write for American Lawns. I've been a home owner for over 15 years. I've also had the pleasure of working with some experts in lawn care and outdoor living. I enjoy writing about everything related to your lawn, pests and types of grass. In my spare time, I'm either spending time with my family, doing a DIY project or learning a new skill.