How late can you mow your lawn? This is a fairly common question but the answer can be a complicated one to decide on.
There are a lot of differing opinions concerning when you should mow your lawn and how long you can wait until you mow your lawn.
From my personal experience with lawn care, the answer to the ‘how late can you mow your lawn?’ question is majorly determined by the climate where you live amongst many other factors that must be put into careful consideration.
However, as a general rule of thumb, you should never mow more than ⅓ of all the leaf surface whenever you decide to mow. To make it simpler, if you wish to maintain your lawn at 4 inches, you should mow your turf when it is about 51/2 inches tall.
Mowing height is that height you want your lawn to get to before doing the big chop. It is usually a compromise between getting a beautiful looking lawn and allowing the grass to get enough leaves to be healthy.
When conditions like warmth, moderate sunshine, moderate rainfall and adequate fertiliser are present, this is when your grass is healthiest and can recover easily from low cutting especially when it’s regular.
When these conditions are high-stress ones and unfavourable such as heat, drought or cold, your lawn will need high infrequent mowing to survive.
Growth Rate Of The Turf Grass
Another determining factor of how late or early you should mow your lawn is the growth rate of the grass. The ‘if the grass is growing then you should be mowing’ rule doesn’t apply in all cases. How fast the grass grows is a more important parameter.
If your lawn grass is the type that grows half an inch in one month, then there is no reason to mow early or frequently as this could damage your lawn in the long run.
Mowing According To Climate
Each month of the year may come with its distinctive climate as well as temperature. However, typically these are the climates of each month in major parts of the Northern Hemisphere and how they relate to grass care and mowing time.
This month marks the start of spring and grass growth generally begins at this time of the year. At this point, you may simply choose to trim your lawn without any extensive mowing.
The temperature begins to increase gradually in April and turf grass begins to grow as well. Now, you can mow your lawn once every ten days or two weeks depending on how fast the grass grows.
- May and June
At this time of the year, it is advisable to mow more frequently and consistently.
Once in a week may be a perfect schedule to follow. You could also choose to lower the cutting height.
- July and August
Here, the temperature and moisture levels could either remain the same as in May and June or become higher or lower. Whatever the case may be, you should continue to mow at least once in 2 weeks as the climate is still favourable for plant growth at this point.
Due to autumn rains during this period, August and September are perfect for frequent mowing. You can as well choose to lower the cut if it was raised in the summer. However, if your lawn is prone to moss, you should increase the cut and not lower it as lowering could promote moss growth.
Any mowing in this month would most likely be the last regular cut of the year. If you own a rotary mower, you can use it to get rid of autumn leaves that may fall on the lawn.
- Winter Months; ( December- February)
During these months, you can mow only lightly once in a while. However, if the lawn is wet or frosty, it is best to squeegee it and avoid mowing at that point.
Best Time of the Day to Mow Your Lawn
Early Mornings (6 am – 8 am)
Mowing early in the morning is usually a terrible idea as the grass will usually be wet due to morning dew or rain. This makes it hard to manoeuvre the lawn mower and can even clog the lawnmower leading to damage.
Mid Morning (8 am – 10 am)
According to consensus, this is the best time of the day to mow your lawn if you’re free at that time of the day.
This is best because mowing too early in the morning can damage the grass and mowing it during the early afternoon can burn it due to the high temperatures. The grass also needs time to rest before evening.
Midday (12 pm – 2 pm)
Although mowing during this time may be considered safe to an extent, the intensity of the sun might be a drawback to consider.
The hot weather might stress the turf especially if you cut it too low exposing them to the scorching sun. It could also make your mower really hot.
Late Afternoon (4 pm – 6 pm)
This may be considered as the second-best time of the day to mow your lawn.
So if you were busy around mid-morning, this may be your next chance to get it done as there’s little to no risk of the sun burning the lawn although the weather might still be a bit warm.
It also gives the lawn enough recovery time before late evening.
It is worthy of note that lawns are most vulnerable to fungal infection attacks after dark, so all grass cutting should be done before 6 pm.
Evening (6 pm – 8 pm)
Mowing your lawn super late is a bad idea the same way mowing it very early is.
Evenings are cooler but expose your lawn to more risk of infections and disease.
The grass also wouldn’t have enough time to recover before nightfall.
So, considering all the factors we’ve talked about, choosing the best time to mow your lawn, how low to mow it and how frequent to mow it go hand in hand.
I hope this post helps you get the perfect healthy looking lawn you deserve.