Best time to mow a lawn? We explain the optimal time to get the mower out

scarifying a lawn
The time you mow your lawn can affect the overall health of the grass (Image credit: Getty)

Considering the amount of effort it takes to keep the garden looking neat and tidy, most of us probably think the best time to mow a lawn is whenever we can find a spare moment to haul the mower out of the shed.

But the exact time you tackle the chore can have an effect on the overall health and appearance of your lawn. And then there’s the small matter of not annoying your neighbours when they’re trying to work or enjoy their own garden!

You can also check out our guide on the best petrol lawn mowers for in-depth analysis of the optimal kit for the chore.

What is the best time to mow a lawn?

Gardening expert Harry Bodell at, says most people need to start cutting the grass in March, with the 18th being the average date of the first lawn cut of the year in the UK, as grass begins to grow when the soil temperature goes above 6C.

However, the local conditions, location of the property, and the weather will affect the date that you should start cutting the lawn.

He adds: “Around 9-10am is the best time to cut the grass. This is so that the lawn has time to properly heal before the evening comes around. 

"The grass needs the time in the day to properly dry and heal before dusk settles. If you mow the grass too early, the lawn may be damp with dew and this could cause the grass to tear rather than cutting cleanly.

“If the grass is too wet, the weight of the mower may damage the grass and compact the soil. This will then make it harder for the grass to establish healthy roots. If it has been raining a lot or if the soil is heavy, wait a few days before completing the first mow.”

Harry adds that midday during the summer is often too hot to mow as the intense sun could stress the newly-cut grass.

Guy Johnson, Consumer Manager at Johnsons Lawn Seed, says: “Grass needs to be dried after mowing and maintained before nightfall. We say that mid-morning is the ideal time.

“Morning dew is a problem because it wets the blades like rain does, so we say wait until it dries, and the grass is straight.”

When should you not cut grass?

You should always wait until the soil is dry before cutting the grass. “Cutting wet grass can damage the grass and lead to disease,” Harry said.

“It could also cause some damage to your lawn mower. You should also avoid mowing your lawn during the winter months when the grass is dormant.”

Guy adds:” Mowing early in the morning can damage the grass if still damp with dew, and mowing in the early afternoon can burn the grass in the warmer months.

If you have any more questions about mowing the lawn, Homebuilding and Renovating has a series of in-depth guides for questions like ‘when should I stop cutting my grass?’ and ‘can I cut wet grass?’ 

And looking ahead, you may be wondering when is it OK to cut grass in winter?

What time can I legally mow my lawn UK?

Although there is no specific law in the UK regarding lawnmowing times, councils can investigate and issue warning notices about noises that are above permitted levels between 11pm and 7am.

Harry adds: “Realistically, it’s unlikely anyone would want to mow their lawn between these hours as it’ll be mostly dark and you would likely end up with some very annoyed neighbours.”

Most gardeners would agree that mowing the lawn before 10am – or even 12pm – on a Sunday may be a little inconsiderate for people enjoying a lie-in or sleeping off a night on the tiles.

Guy adds: “Considering that the average electric lawnmower produces 70 decibels of sound, whereas the average petrol lawnmower produces 85 decibels, we suggest you mow between 9am and 6pm (or later at weekends) to avoid waking up and irritating your neighbours!”

Sam Webb

Sam is based in Coventry and has been a news reporter for nearly 20 years. His work has featured in the Mirror, The Sun, MailOnline, the Independent, and news outlets throughout the world.  As a copywriter, he has written for clients as diverse as Saint-Gobain, Michelin, Halfords Autocentre, Great British Heating, and Irwin Industrial Tools. During the pandemic, he converted a van into a mini-camper and is currently planning to convert his shed into an office and Star Wars shrine.