The Best (and Worst) Time of Day to Cut the Grass and Why it Matters

There’s more to mowing the lawn than many people think.

Aside from knowing when to cut the grass throughout the year, how often you should mow, and how to mow the lawn properly, have you ever thought about the best time of day to cut the grass?

Now, there are varying opinions as to which is the best part of the day to mow the lawn.

Some experts say it matters, others say it doesn’t.

I’m on the side which believes it does matter. At least, if you care enough about your lawn to want to make it as healthy and as lush as possible.


The Best Times of Day to Mow the Lawn

Mid Morning: 8am – 10am

Mid-morning is one of the best times of day to cut the grass.

By 10am, any morning dew or moisture from early irrigation should have evaporated. Your lawn should be dry enough to cut and the grass can recover before the heat of the day sets in.

After 10am the temperature starts to rise which can cause further stress to your grass.

Plus, working when its hot isn’t much fun.

The only time mid-morning might not be the best time to mow is if you have a north-facing lawn. It might take a while for any dew to evaporate due to shade being cast by your house.

In which case, choose the next best time.

Late Afternoon: 4pm – 6pm

Late afternoon, between 4pm – 6pm is also a good time to cut the grass.

The temperature is generally cooler so you don’t have to worry about the heating stressing the grass.

There’s also plenty of time for the grass to heal before nightfall and the onset of another dew.

If you have a mulching mower, mulching the grass clippings into your lawn will recycle valuable nutrients and moisture back into the turf.

This infographic by YourGreenPal perfectly sums up when the best time of day to cut the grass;


The Worst Times of Day to Mow the Lawn

Just like there are the best times to mow, there are also the worst times.

It’s just as important to know when NOT to get the mower out so you can avoid causing any unnecessary damage or stress.

Early Morning: 6am – 8am

Early morning is the worst time of day to mow the lawn as morning due makes the grass wet.

Cutting wet grass is never recommended.

Not only does it cause safety issues, especially if you use an electric lawn mower but the quality of cut is nowhere near as good as mowing dry grass. Even cylinder mowers struggle.

The grass tends to tear instead of slice and in the worst cases, you risk ripping chunks of grass from your lawn.

This can stress and weaken the grass making is susceptible to disease.

Plus, wet grass sticks to your mower which makes cleaning it harder work than it needs to be.

Midday: 2pm – 4pm

Midday is another time of day you should avoid.

While the sun is at its peak, your grass is busy photosynthesising, producing food and trying to keep hold of its moisture.

If you cut the grass now, you’ll almost hear it cry. Even edging your lawn could cause the grass to turn brown as the sun dries it out.

And again, pushing a heavy lawn mower around in the midday sun isn’t fun. Petrol mowers can overheat too.

Evenings: 7pm – 9pm

Mowing your lawn too late in the day is just as bad as mowing it too early.

Exposing freshly cut grass to overnight dew without giving it time to heal will open the door for fungal diseases.


A Couple of Caveats

Of course, all this depends on us having perfect weather, which let’s be honest, is rarely the case.

The reality is that weather conditions change and some days might be dry, overcast and relatively cool. In which it’s perfectly acceptable to cut the grass in the middle of the day.

Other times, it might rain all night and mowing at mid-morning might not be possible.

So use common sense and adapt your mowing schedule to the conditions.


In Conclusion

There are good and bad times of day to mow your lawn but they might not always apply, depending on the weather.

However, as long as you understand why these rules matter you can make a better judgement as to when might be the best time on any given day.

Again, some people don’t think it matters at all but I do, for all of the reasons I’ve mentioned above.

Whatever time of day you cut the grass, make sure you never remove more than a third of the length of the grass. This will mean you never risk cutting the grass too short, especially when cutting long grass.

Also, make sure the blade on your lawn mower is sharp and cuts cleanly. Even the best lawn mowers can ruin a lawn if the blade is blunt.

About Tim Stephens

I'm a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. I want your garden to look like it’s maintained by a professional. As if I was there doing it all for you!

2 thoughts on “The Best (and Worst) Time of Day to Cut the Grass and Why it Matters”

  1. Thanks Tim! Definitely be using again. I found my question was answered in full, thanks to you sharing your expert knowledge with practical advice also given . When is the best time of day to mow your lawn? Now I really know!

  2. I work 6 days a week so when I have the chance and the time, the mower comes out as my time to mow is very very limited due to not being home to do it.


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