How Late Can I Mow My Lawn?

It is a common question for many homeowners: how late can I mow my lawn? In today’s post, we will be discussing the best time to mow your lawn and how to know when it’s too late to mow.

Can you mow at night? | How to know when it's too late to mow at night.

How Late Is Too Late To Mow?

-How late can I mow my lawn?

-Is it illegal to mow at night?

-What are the consequences of violating these laws?

These are just a few of the questions you may be wondering.

As a general rule, you want to finish mowing your yard before it gets too dark.

While we know it’s tempting to mow after the sun sets to avoid the heat of the day there are a few things you need to consider.

Not only is it difficult and dangerous to mow in the dark, but it’s also possible that you could be charged for violating your local noise ordinance.

Obviously, the exact time of nightfall is going to depend on where you live and the time of year. In the winter months, it may be dark by the time you get home from work, but during the summer it stays light much later.

Just because it’s still light out until 9 pm doesn’t mean that this is a good time to mow. Doing so would be against proper lawn mowing etiquette since your neighbors and their children may be trying to sleep at that time.

Common courtesy would support that finish all mowing or loud yard work like blowing or weed-eating before 8 pm. That would be the absolute latest that most folks would consider reasonable. Ideally, finishing up by 7pm would be even better.

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Is It Illegal To Mow Your Lawn At Night?

Although it is not technically illegal to mow your lawn at night, it is not recommended

While there are no actual state or federal laws against it, there are noise ordinances that take effect in residential areas at various times depending on where you live. Doing so may also violate your HOA agreement. While you might not be in legal trouble, there is the potential for police involvement and a strained relationship with your neighbors.

Typically municipalities have laws on how loud sounds can get before they become a disturbance or issue of public safety. These local ordinances are often enforced by your local law enforcement agency and can result in a citation or ticket being issued to the offender (ranging from $50 to $1000) if they do not comply with them.

If neighbors take issue with how late you are mowing or how loud a particular chore is at night, they can file a noise complaint.

What To Do If You Want To Mow At Night

Noise Laws Enforced Sign | Is it illegal to mow at night?

If you absolutely need to mow at night, make sure that it’s not something you do frequently. This definitely isn’t when you want to do your regular weekly mowing.

Once or twice per season would probably be tolerated.

Try to get started as early as possible to give yourself enough time to finish up the job in the early evening.

Additionally, you will want to make sure you follow these general guidelines to keep yourself in the good graces of your friends and neighbors:

Be Quiet

If you are cutting at night, try to be as quiet as possible.

We recommend you use a push mower or electric lawnmower since they produce less noise than riding mowers and gas-powered models respectively.

Also, avoid using any tools that would make loud noises like hedge trimmers or blowers. The clean-up work can wait until the next day.

Talk With Your Neighbors

One of the best things you can do when there is the potential for upsetting your neighbors is to talk to them first.

When you open a good line of communication and speak with them first, they will have an instant appreciation for you asking for permission before forgiveness in this case. You never know, some people might work a night shift and could even prefer that do your lawn work at night. 

Worst case scenario, your neighbors ask you not to mow after a certain time. If that happens, maybe you resort to an earlier morning mow.

Most people are up early getting ready for work, getting their kids ready for school, and would be less bothered by you resorting to an early morning time instead.

Know the Noise Ordinances

Typically, most noise ordinances are in effect from 11pm to 7am, but can vary by city, town and neighborhood. They allow people to enjoy their homes as they choose, without having too much overreach or noise that could cause complaints.

To stay out of trouble make sure your are familiar with any restrictions in your area.

Why You Shouldn’t Mow At Night

Ultimately, it’s not a good idea to mow late in the day if you’re concerned for the health of your lawn.

Not only do you risk being labeled an inconsiderate neighbor, mowing your lawn when it’s dark isn’t good for your grass.

When you mow at night, your grass doesn’t have time to recover before it is stressed again by the hot morning sun.

If you’re mowing at night after you’ve already run your sprinklers, your lawn will most likely be wet and it’s not a good idea to mow wet grass.

Mowing a wet lawn makes the grass more susceptible to disease and fungal infections.

Another reason to avoid mowing at night is that you will end up with an uneven cut since it will be difficult to see and follow your lines.

If you want a gorgeous and healthy lawn, then you’ll want to avoid mowing in the dark.

When is the Best Time to Mow?

According to the experts, the best time of day to mow your lawn is mid-morning.

Your goal should be to mow after the morning dew has evaporated, but before the hot, middle-of-the-day sun has a chance to cause any damage.

It’s best to cut your grass when the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. which makes daytime mowing more ideal.

Final Thoughts

While it is not illegal to mow your lawn at night, how late you can do so and how loud the noise level should be depends on where you live and how far away the neighbors are from the property line.

Some cities even have bylaws that prohibit certain types of outdoor power equipment within a threshold distance after a given time every day.

If you are mowing at night, it is best to be as quiet and unobtrusive about it as possible. Make sure that what you do won’t disturb your neighbors or how late they can use their backyards for recreation without being disturbed by noise from your yard equipment.

Also, talk with them first if there is the potential for conflict since some people might prefer not having a lawnmower running after 8 pm while others have no problem whatsoever with how loud of a job mowing the lawn is in general.

Lastly, if nighttime is the only time you can find to do yard work, considering hiring lawn care professionals that can take care of it for you during the day at an appropriate time.

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