When is the Best Time to Mow My Lawn?

Happy woman mows lawn with man sitting beside her

Creating and maintaining a great lawn takes know-how. Like mowing. Knowing the best time to mow your lawn, experts say, can be the difference between turf that is awesome and awful.

“People make so many mistakes when mowing because they think as long as they get the grass short, they’ve succeeded,” said Daniel Tengrove, owner of All Southern Lawn & Landscaping in Ocala, Florida. “When you mow plays a big part in how healthy and strong your grass will be.”

In this article:

Well maintained lawn in the morning, surrounds a modren home
Photo credit: Max Vakhtbovych / Pexels

When is the Best Time to Mow My Lawn?

The best time of day to cut grass is mid-morning, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Here’s why it’s the ideal time:

  • Moisture: The morning dew has typically dried by this time. Cutting wet grass is one of the worst things you can do for your lawn. The blades will tear, and the clippings will clog your mower, so mowing after the dew dries is the way to go.
  • Heat: Grass will need time to recover before heat stress starts. By mowing mid-morning, your turf will have several hours to heal before the scorching afternoon sun hits.
  • Recovery: Your lawn needs time to heal before the sun goes down. With the night comes moisture and an increased risk of disease and fungal infections. 

If you’re not a morning person, don’t worry, Tengrove said. The second best time to mow is late afternoon or early evening, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and here is why:

  • Moisture: The moisture is low during this time of day, so the risk of blade tearing and mower clogging is low.
  • Heat: The worst of the middle of the day sun has passed, so the heat of the day won’t stress your lawn too much.
  • Recovery: Your lawn will still have enough time to heal before nightfall comes, reducing the risk of disease and fungal infections.
Grass with dew on it
Photo credit: lahtiaberdeen / Pixabay

When is the Worst Time to Mow My Lawn?

The worst time of day to mow your lawn is early morning, between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Here are the reasons:

  • Moisture: In the early morning, dew still covers your turf. “Cutting wet grass is one of the worst things you can do,” Tengrove said. The mower blade will tear wet grass instead of slicing it cleanly, the soil will compact, and your lawn will have ruts.

    “Even a small mower can leave ruts in wet soil,” he adds, “and once they are there, they’re staying.”

The second worst time of day to mow your lawn is in the evening, after 6 p.m., and here’s why:

  • Recovery: Grass needs time to heal and recover before nightfall. The moisture that forms overnight and the cooler temperatures make your lawn susceptible to disease and fungus.
Lawn covered in leaves, boots standing on lawn
Photo credit: Mylene2401 / Pixabay

How Often Should I Mow (by Season)?

The mowing frequency will vary depending on your type of grass and climate. Mow at the ideal height for your cool-season or warm-season grass type. A consistent grass height is more important than a consistent mowing schedule.

Here are the general guidelines on how often to mow your lawn by season:


On average, mow your lawn once a week in the spring. Your first mow will generally be in March, then increase frequency to keep up with spring growth.


Lawn mowing in the summer months will fluctuate depending on the rainfall in your area. Most areas will need weekly to twice per week cuttings. The amount of rain your grass receives will dictate lawn mowing frequency. 

If your lawn isn’t receiving enough water, the grass will go dormant and appear dead. Do not cut the grass when it is dormant as that will cause damage. Usually, regular irrigation will bring dormant grass back to life.


As the temperature falls, your grass will grow slower. On average, mow your lawn weekly in the fall. However, as winter approaches, increase your grass length in preparation for frigid conditions.


In most areas, lawn care and lawn mowing are unnecessary in the winter. Mowing the lawn in winter can actually harm your grass if it’s dormant or wet (or both).

In the warmest climates, the occasional clipping is needed, but only using a high-cut setting. Never mow if the turf is frozen or moist, as it will hurt your lawn.

Man mowing lawn
Photo credit: andreas160578 / Pixabay

Lawn Mowing Tips and Tricks

Keep your mower blade sharp

With a sharp blade, your mower can make a clean slice. With dull blades, you risk tearing the grass. Keeping your mower blades sharp is especially important if you have a mulching mower due to the extra cutting.

“It’s kind of like shaving,” Tengrove said. “When a blade gets dull it starts pulling the hair, not cutting the hair. It’s the same concept with grass. When you have a dull blade, it just rips it, it doesn’t cut it cleanly. Then you have unhealthy ends.”

Vary your mowing pattern

Mowing in the same direction can cause the grass to lean in the direction you mow, which can cause ruts. Varying your mowing pattern leads to turf that stands up tall.

Leave grass clippings on your lawn

This may seem strange, but when you let clippings stay, they break down and fertilize your lawn. The process is called mulching your lawn clippings or grasscycling.

Just be sure to trim at regular intervals. Long grass clippings will not easily break down and can smother your turf instead of feeding it. A healthy lawn increases photosynthesis, making your lawn lush.

When using a push mower, mow forward

Mowing in reverse presents performance and safety concerns. Backward mowing causes a choppy lawn and incorrectly discharged grass clippings. It also limits your visibility, leading to falls, injury, or bumping over a pet or child.

Protect yourself

Be safe when you mow your lawn. From our Lawn Care for Beginners Guide, always wear closed-toed shoes, sunscreen, and eye protection like sunglasses when you mow your grass. Even on cloudy days, sun rays will filter through, causing sunburn on your exposed skin.

FAQ About the Best Time to Mow My Lawn

When should I not mow my grass?

There are some no-no’s when it comes to DIY lawn mowing. 

  • Never mow when the grass is wet.
  • Don’t mow when there is a drought. In times of high heat and low water, grass will go dormant. Cutting dormant grass will cause damage.
  • Don’t cut grass soon after fertilization. It takes time for grass to absorb the nutrients applied during fertilization. Cutting your lawn will disrupt this process. You can mow and fertilize your lawn on the same day, but you should always mow first.
  • Never mow your lawn if it has a disease. Mowing flings the diseased clippings around your healthy lawn, creating more sickness. Like coughing without covering your mouth, lawn mowing diseased grass is a bad idea.

What is the correct way to mow your lawn?

There are three best practices for lawn maintenance:

  1. Cut grass at the correct height. Lawn mowing too short is the most common mistake and will turn your lawn brown.
  2. Cut grass regularly. With regular mowing, you can fertilize with your lawn clippings, encouraging thicker growth and a healthy lawn.
  3. Keep your lawn mower blades sharp. This creates a nice clean slice and prevents rips and tears, giving your lawn a beautiful, crisp look.

When is the best time to water my lawn?

Early in the morning between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. Winds tend to be calm this time of day, and because the sun is just beginning to rise, the grass won’t have to compete with evaporation.

Here are a few lawn watering tips to keep in mind:

  • Water your lawn deeply, especially in times of low rainfall.
  • Watering pattern and frequency will vary depending on your soil type.
  • Different grass types have different watering needs.
  • Heed any local watering restrictions covering days of the week or hours of the day when you are permitted to water.

What causes bare spots on the lawn?

There are a few things that can cause bare spots on your lawn. These are the most common causes:

Hire a Lawn Care Professional

With our busy lives, it can be challenging to keep up with mowing maintenance, and schedules often take priority over lawn care. To ensure a beautiful lawn without eating into your invaluable time, hiring a local lawn care professional is your best option.

LawnStarter’s knowledgeable pros have years of experience and plenty of accolades, so you can relax and enjoy your outdoor space without breaking a sweat or the bank.

Main photo credit: Gustavo Fring / Pexels

Nicki DeStasi

Nicki DeStasi

Nicki DeStasi is a writer, author, and teacher who grew up in western Massachusetts and currently resides in the Austin area. She enjoys flower and vegetable gardening, reading, cooking, listening to true-crime podcasts, and spending time with her husband, three children, dog, and cat.