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

A man mowing the lawn.

Creating a lush, healthy lawn is more difficult than it looks. While grass seems to grow anywhere, cultivating a thick lawn requires excellent care. One of the factors that can impact the grass health in your lawn is mowing. How frequently the grass is cut and even the time of day when its cut can affect the health of your grass. Here is what you need to know about mowing and lawn health, focusing on the best time of day to mow the lawn.

Grass is continually growing and rejuvenating during the active seasons. Each day is a cycle of events for the grass in your lawn, from nourishment in the morning, the stress of heat during the day and rejuvenating during the night. To ensure your grass is allowed to complete its daily cycle, you want to choose the best time of day to mow your lawn. There are good reasons to avoid certain times of day to make it easier for you and benefit the health of your lawn.

Early Morning Mowing

If you are an early bird riser, you may want to get out when it is cool and mow your lawn. While it may seem like a good idea to finish your mowing chores first thing in the morning, you may be making more work for yourself than is needed. Before 8 am, your grass is usually still wet from dew and irrigation. This can clog your mower and leave tire tracks in your lawn, making more work to achieve an attractive lawn. Plus, your neighbors may not appreciate your early morning efforts, especially if they are trying to sleep in. More importantly, this is not the best time to mow your lawn.

Mid-Morning Mowing

The ideal time to mow your lawn is mid-morning. As the day warms up, the dew dries, and it is easy to mow your lawn efficiently. In most cases, 8 am to 10 am is the best time to mow the lawn. You should not have the problems of the early morning and it is healthier for your grass. Wet grass and turf can be problematic when mowing, which can damage blades and compact the soil; this is why it is better to wait until some of the morning moisture has dissipated. Plus, it is still cool and comfortable during mid-morning and your neighbors will likely be less bothered by your mower.

Mid-Day Mowing

One of the worst times to mow is mid-day. This is the hottest time of day and when your grass is under the most stress. Cutting the grass when it is already cycling through the heat can cause unneeded harm. Slicing the blades and allowing the grass to be exposed to the strongest sun rays of the day can damage your lawn. Plus, it can be overly warm for you, especially during the summer months. Avoid mowing from 10 am to 4 pm when possible to minimize stress on your lawn.

Late Afternoon Mowing

If you are unable to mow in the mid-morning, the next best time is late afternoon. When the temperatures begin to drop and the sun is less scorching between 4 pm and 6 pm, it is a decent time of day to mow your lawn. The temperatures are lessening, which means less stress on the grass. Plus, there is still time for the blades to repair before the sun sets. If you are busy in the mornings, fitting in a late afternoon mow is the second best time of the day.

Early Evening Mowing

While it may seem ideal to mow your lawn in the early evening, it is one of the worst times. Even though the temperatures are lower than late afternoon, there is less time for the grass to repair from the cut before nightfall. Freshly cut blades can be susceptible to fungus and other diseases that are more likely to strike during the cool of night. It is better to wait until the next day, preferably mid-morning, to cut your grass.

A senior man mowing the fall lawn.

Seasonal Changes

Keep in mind that these recommendations are based on dry hot days and cool nights that are common in the summer season in most regions. Obviously, every day or season does not follow this weather pattern. When the temperatures are more moderate in the spring and fall, mowing during the midday may not be as stressful on the grass. However, early morning, early evenings and wet conditions are not the right times to mow your lawn during any season.

If you are concerned about the best time of day to mow your lawn, check with your local landscaping or lawn care company. They can suggest the best time for the season and your local climate – or they can perform your mowing and other lawn care needs for you.