What’s the Best Time of Day to Mow the Lawn: Complete Guide

The Best Time of Day to Mow Your Lawn

Finding the perfect time to do yard work can be tricky in the summer months. If you do it too early, you have to deal with dewy grass that gets caught in your mower, while if you wait until the middle of the day, you have to deal will excruciating heat. “Lawn work is supposed to be enjoyable,” you think to yourself, “not torturous.”  Believe it or not, but the health of your lawn can be affected by the time of day you choose to mow.

So, when is the best time of day to mow your lawn? The ideal time of day to mow your lawn is mid-morning, between 8 AM – 10 AM, and late afternoon, between 4 PM and 6 PM. By waiting until mid-morning, the dew on the grass has had time to evaporate. Mowing in the late afternoon can save you and your lawn from the mid-day heat and cause less turf stress.

Having a scheduled mowing time that caters to the health of your lawn is important. Mowing at ideal times will not only leave your lawn looking good, but it will also help it to maintain its health. Keep reading to learn how mowing your lawn at specific times of day affects the health of your lawn.

Mowing Your Lawn in the Early Morning (Not Recommended)

Mowing your lawn in the early morning may seem like a good idea; it would allow you to beat the heat of the day as well as enjoy the brisk and magical moments of early morning. (You’d probably only enjoy this if you’re a morning person.) There’s something nice about being up before the birds start singing.

While this may sound enticing, mowing your lawn in the early morning is not recommended. Early morning is from 5:30 AM – 8 AM. The main reason you should avoid cutting grass in the early morning is that the grass will be covered with dew. Dewy or wet grass can be a nuisance to mow.

Wet Grass Will Clog Your Lawnmower

When wet grass is mowed, it clumps up, sticks to the mower blade, and clogs up the mower deck. This means that if you decide to mow the grass in the early morning, it will take you much longer than normal. You’ll have to stop and remove the wet grass from the deck and the blade over and over again. (If you have to do this, make sure your lawnmower is off!)

You’ll Have Grass Clumps in Your Yard

Another disadvantage of cutting your lawn early when the grass is wet from dew is that the lawnmower will spit out clumps of grass. These clumps can ruin the appeal of a manicured lawn.

Wet Grass Will Cut Unevenly

Dewy or wet grass tends to bend under the weight of the water. This will cause the grass to be cut unevenly. You should wait to mow your lawn until the grass has dried and the blades of grass have become more upright.

No One Likes Wet Shoes

One of the biggest nuisances of cutting your lawn in the early morning is that your shoes and socks will get soaked by the dewy grass. No one likes this feeling. You can avoid this altogether by mowing your lawn at a different time of day.

Mowing Your Lawn in the Mid-Morning (Recommended)

The ideal time to mow your lawn is mid-morning, from 8 AM – 10 AM. Now, you’ll have time to drink a cup of coffee, let the dew evaporate, and still beat the heat of the day.

Allows For Dew to Evaporate Off the Grass

When you wait to mow your lawn in the mid-morning, the dew has had a chance to evaporate. This will leave the blades of grass standing more upright, which will allow for a nice even cut. It will also save you from having wet clumps of grass in your yard and grass clogging up your mower.

You Can Beat the Heat of the Day

Although temperatures rise between early morning and mid-morning, you can still beat the heat of the day by mowing your grass in mid-morning. You’ll want to mow your grass when the temperatures are cooler since it will be less stress on the health of your lawn.

Sugar Content is At its Lowest in the Grass

Grass produces sugar throughout the day through a process called photosynthesis. Grass usually peaks in its sugar production in the afternoon and is at its lowest during the morning hours. If you don’t want to interrupt the high-time of your grass’ sugar production, it’s best to mow in the morning.

Mowing Your Lawn at Mid-Day (Not Recommended)

Can you mow your lawn in the middle of the day? Mid-day is considered between 12 PM – 4 PM and, yes, you can mow your lawn at mid-day; although, it isn’t optimal. There are a number of reasons you should hold off from mowing your lawn in the middle of the day.

You’ll Have to Deal With the Heat

Mowing the yard is tedious work that usually requires you to be out in the sun laboring. The heat combined with the work can be exhausting, and even dangerous is you don’t hydrate and take breaks when you should. For this reason, we do not recommend mowing your yard in the middle of the day. Temperatures usually reach their highest between 1 PM – 3 PM, so you’ll want to avoid mowing at these times.

It Will Stress Your Turf

Another reason to avoid mowing your lawn in the middle of the day is that the heat combined with the mowing can cause stress on your lawn. Believe it or not, but grass can be healthy and unhealthy too. When stress is put on your lawn, it will cause the yard to become more unhealthy and more susceptible to fungi and lawn diseases.

Mowing Your Lawn in the Late Afternoon (Recommended)

One of the best times to mow your lawn is in the late afternoon; the late afternoon is from 4 PM – 6 PM. By this time, the outside temperatures may have cooled off and there is less stress on your yard.

The Temperatures Have Cooled Off

Although the day still may be hot, at least the sun isn’t directly overhead in the late afternoon. Waiting until the late afternoon will allow the temperatures to drop so mowing can be more enjoyable for you. At these hours, there are many shadows cast that can create great relief from the heat.

Less Stress on Your Yard

With cooler temperatures, there will be less stress on your lawn. When it’s already hot outside and you decide to mow your lawn, your grass is having a lot of stress put on it that can deplete the health of your yard. When it comes to keeping your yard healthy, remove any pets or kids from the yard before you mow so that the lawn will have time to recover from being walked on and run over. Want to know how to keep dogs off of your lawn? Read our article, Keeping Dogs Off Your Lawn: 7 Reliable Solutions.

Your Yard Has Recovery Time Before Nightfall

Nightfall is the prime time for yard fungus and lawn diseases to take root. A healthier lawn will have a better chance to withstand the attacks compared to a lawn that has been put through the stresses of the day and not allowed time to recover. Mowing in the late afternoon will still give your lawn a few hours to recover before nightfall.

Mowing Your Lawn in the Early Evening (Not Recommended)

Early evening is from 6 PM – 8 PM, and you should avoid mowing your lawn at this time. While it may be tempting to wait until dusk to mow for cooler temperatures, you shouldn’t consider mowing your lawn passed 6 PM. Keep reading to find out why!

Your Lawn Has Been Burning Energy All Day

At this point of the day, your lawn has been burning energy all day in order to produce sugar. Late evening is when the grass is at its weakest due to the work it has been doing all day. To mow the lawn at this time is striking it when it’s at its lowest point.

Grass Stops Producing Sugar Once the Sun Goes Down

The grass will stop producing sugar once the sun goes down, as it requires sunlight in order to do photosynthesis. At this point, the grass will enter into rest until morning. If you were to mow the grass once the sun has gone down, you’re causing stress on your grass when it should be rejuvenating and resting.

No Recovery Time for Your Lawn

Cutting your lawn in the evening will not allow your grass any recovery time before nightfall. Have you ever noticed how one day, your yard looks fine, and then the next morning, there are mushrooms in it? This is because of lawn fungus taking root in the middle of the night when the grass is resting. A weaker lawn will not be able to fend off fungus or other lawn diseases. Allow your lawn some time to recover and prepare for the night by mowing earlier in the day. (Check out our article, Why Does My lawn have Mushrooms? Complete Guide.)

We hope this article was helpful when it comes to planning what time of day to cut your grass. Another thing you’ll have to plan is how to keep your lawn free of crabgrass during the Summer. Read our article, Getting Rid of Crabgrass in the Summer: Complete Guide.