The Best Time of Day to Mow the Lawn in the Summer or Hot Weather

lawn mower close up view

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Nobody wants a hideous lawn during the summer, mainly because it is when we get to use it the most. Thus, you should know the best time of day to mow the lawn in hot weather to keep it healthy and attractive. Our lawn care experts share all you need to know in this guide.

Summer Weather and the Growth of Grass

Warm-season grasses like Bermuda, which grows in USDA zones 7 through 10; Centipede, which grows in USDA zones 7 through 10; and St. Augustine, which grows in USDA zones 8 through 10, grow faster and thrive in the heat.

A well-fertilized lawn promotes thick grass, keeps weeds at bay, and cools the soil. When the weather warms up, water your lawn 1 inch per week. Avoid shallow, frequent watering when it’s hot out because it promotes short root growth, stressing the blades during a heat spell.

How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn in the Summer

Since grass grows about an inch in three to five days, you should mow your lawn every four days during the summer.

lady mowing the backyard

Your lawn care routine will also influence how fast your grass grows – the better you care for it, the healthier it will be and the longer it will grow! You should learn to trust your instincts for a healthy lawn all year.

Cutting Length

It is preferable to leave the grass longer in hot weather. You can leave it at 4 inches, the ideal length for cool-season grasses, and 2 inches is the perfect length for warm-season grasses.

Longer grass encourages the roots to extend deeper into the soil, where they are protected from the heat and have access to more water. It will also be beneficial to do deep watering less frequently during these months.

The Best Time to Mow Your Lawn During Hot Months

The best time to mow the lawn is during the evening after the heat of the day has passed. The grass can then rest for the night and retain moisture without the sun beating down on it. Any dew or irrigation in the morning will provide much-needed moisture to the grass before it faces the day’s heat again.

lawn mower close up view

Our gardening experts also recommend mowing during mid-morning so that the grass will have enough time to dry and heal before nighttime. Temperatures begin to rise after 10 a.m., and the turf becomes hot and stressed. So, if you don’t want your mower to overheat and disrupt your lawn, mow between 8 and 10 a.m.

Temperatures between 40F (10C) and 80F (26C) are ideal for mowing grass. Grass will not grow below that temperature. Above that temperature, grass becomes heat-stressed or dies. 

The Worst Times to Mow During Hot Months

Between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.is one of the worst times to cut your grass. The morning dew will leave the grass still damp, which can clog your mower. When the soil is too wet, a lawnmower can leave behind unsightly tracks that may be highly damaging to your lawn.

You should also not mow between 2 and 4 p.m. since this is the hottest part of the day, and the mower will struggle in this heat. The heat can also contribute to turf stress.

Health and Safety Tips

Assess Your Lawn Before Mowing

Evaluate the lawn before mowing and check if the grass goes dormant in the summer; if it does, it’s most likely due to heat stress or drought.

man mowing his front yard

When your grass blades begin to dry out from the top down, your yard will turn a hazy shade of brown, which is a sign of heat stress or drought. 

When this happens, walking on your grass will cause it to become crunchy, leaving a visible trail of footprints. The grass is in such bad condition due to the heat that the blades begin to break apart when touched.

Protect Yourself

Heat exhaustion [1] is a serious matter. It can occur when you engage in physical activity in high temperatures. 

There are numerous symptoms, but the most common are fatigue, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, and excessive sweating. Heat exhaustion (and heat stroke) can be fatal if left untreated.

riding a troy bilt zero turn mower

If you are mowing your lawn and begin to feel the effects of summer heat, we recommend that you stop all activity, move to a cool place, rest, and drink plenty of water. It’s too hot to mow your lawn right now.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water, especially if you’re taking electrolytes. Avoid sports drinks; instead, opt for coconut water, electrolyte packages such as Gastrolyte, or make your own.

Conclusion

The most critical aspect of lawn care is knowing the best time of day to mow the lawn in the summer. It’s also equally important to protect yourself, who is doing all of the work. The next step is to keep the grass from wilting. If you have to put off mowing the lawn for a little longer than you’d like, do so and wait for cooler weather.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson