Being a good neighbor is key to having a pleasant neighborhood experience (and good neighbors).
A bit of courtesy goes a long way to establish positive rapport with others on your street. One area where etiquette is especially important is when it comes to lawn care.
Mowing the lawn can be a loud and messy event even for the most seasoned landscape artists. It is very important to consider those who live nearby before you fire up the mower and start hacking away at the grass.
Today we are sharing are favorite lawn mowing etiquette tips to ensure you are a being good neighbor when it comes to caring for your lawn and landscape.
Timing is Everything
Nothing is worse than being jolted awake from a deep morning of sleeping in on the weekend by a neighbor’s noisy lawnmower.
While I know that many of us like to get up and get going on outdoor projects, this isn’t the case for everyone. Although you may have been awake for hours, your neighbors could still be asleep.
Generally speaking, anytime between 8-10 a.m. is a widely acceptable time to start any noisy work you need to get done on the weekend. Any earlier than that and you risk being the black sheep of the block.
By starting after 8 am, you can assume that most people are awake by then and should not be too upset by someone’s lawnmower rumbling away.
By delaying your lawn mowing until that time, you will not have to worry about any of your neighbors beginning their days annoyed with you for waking them at the crack of dawn, or reporting you to the H.O.A.
Speaking of home owner’s associations, if you have one you will want to check to see what it says about approved yard work hours. Many HOA’s have guidelines that specifically state when you can mow your lawn or use noisy lawn care equipment.
Some associations even go so far as to forbid mowing on certain days of the week.
Thankfully, the majority of homeowner’s we checked with said their HOA allows mowing anytime after 8am.
If You Need to Start Earlier
That being said, some of us will want to get a headstart on the outdoor chores in order to beat the heat, or to head off to work.
In our area of the country, summer temps can hit 85-90 degrees by 10am, making early morning mowing a necessity for everyone’s health and safety.
If you intend to get after your grass in the early morning before the sun gets too high, you can look into the options below. This will still allow you to work early without upsetting your neighbors.
- Use a noiseless push mower, if you have a small lot.
- Trim bushes and brush with hedging shears
- Use a trowel or weeding tool for landscape maintenance
Using this strategy, those of us who like a well maintained lawn, often have plenty of other outdoor projects to keep us busy until later in the morning.
If you feel like you need to get started as soon as possible, head outside early and use that time to take care of those other tasks that have been on your to-do list, then bust out your lawn mower, weed wacker and leaf blower once a decent hour has arrived.
This is a great compromise to ensure that you are working and making progress, while you avoid ticking off your neighbors.
Another option is just to check in with your neighbors and just ask, “Hey, do you mind if I do my yard work at 7:30 on Saturday mornings?”
You can even poll the block or neighborhood and see if anyone has an issue. If not, then you are good to go!
Being a good neighbor means being considerate of others, which includes mowing the lawn or doing any other noisy yard work.
If all neighbors agree to do this, the neighborhood will grow into a community of empathy and consideration. Just remember to be reasonable and plan on scheduling your loudest yard work when everyone on the street is up and at ‘em.
Don’t Blow Your Grass Trimmings into the Road
The road is no place for your lawn clippings.
Not only can grass end up clogging drains, which won’t make your neighbors happy, they can also create dangerous conditions on the roads.
Clumps of grass clippings on roadways can cause motorcyclists to lose control of their bikes and crash. Unfortunately, this is not a well-known fact. These accidents can cause serious damage or death.
The same is true for kids or adults who may be riding bikes, scooters or skateboards. Grass clippings on sidewalks or streets can be an issue for others trying to enjoy some outside time.
Make sure that your cut grass does not end up on the road. If you notice fresh-cut grass on the road at any point, stop to sweep it into the curb, or better yet gather it up.
Here are a few ways to recycle and dispose of grass trimmings:
- Use a compost shredder to break them down and use for gardening
- Dry the clippings and use them as fire starter for the fire pit
- Bag them up and put them out for yard waster day.
Your grass clippings can also get stuck to vehicles parked on the street. Your neighbors will not appreciate this surprise, especially if the sun has had a chance to bake the sticky green grass onto their vehicles.
Your neighbors will not be too happy if grass cuttings from your yard makes their way over to their otherwise neat and clean yards. This could lead to resentment and even conflict between neighbors because it shows a lack of respect and concern for others.
Not ideal if you are trying to build a strong bond with others in your community.
Follow proper lawn mowing etiquette and do your best to make sure your mess does not become their problem.
Cut Your Grass with the Blower Facing Your Yard
The best way to keep grass trimmings from flying into a neighbor’s yard is to ensure that your lawn mower’s blower is always facing toward the center of your yard.
If your blower is pointed at your neighbor’s yard, the grass trimmings are sure to end up on their property at some point.
The benefits of keeping your blower facing toward the center of your yard include:
- You can neatly pile your grass trimmings
- It is less work to clean up
- It keeps everyone’s fences clean
- There is less weed growth on fences
If mowing with your blower in this direction isn’t practical or possible, you should consider using a lawnmower with a trimmings collector.
These suck up any clumps of grass and store them away neatly for later disposal. You can finish up your yard work without having to worry about your grass trimmings messing up your neighbor’s tidy yard.
Grass trimmings can cause unwanted weeds to grow against a fence or in mulched areas, making maintenance much more troublesome than it needs to be. Your next-door neighbors will be much happier of your grass clippings are cleaned up properly and stay away from their fences, flower beds and mulched areas.
When you mow, be mindful of the orientation of the blower and where your clippings are ending up. Common courtesy can go quite a long way to ensure that a neighborhood maintains a harmonious balance of empathy and understanding.
Be a good neighbor and plan to keep your grass trimmings and debris in your own yard, or better yet, clean up after yourself.
Keep Allergies in Mind
You would never intentionally make someone else miserable, but that’s exactly what can happen when you do yard work.
Some of your neighbors may suffer from seasonal allergies and the simple act of mowing the lawn can cause pollen and other irritants to fill the air and cause misery for an allergy sufferer.
Some possible irritants to those with allergies caused by lawncare include:
- Pollinating grasses and plants
- Debris in the air from the lawnmower
- Dust and dirt in the air from the lawnmower
While allergies are mild for some, for others it can seriously hinder someone’s ability to function as they normally would. Before cutting grass, think about this possibility.
In most cases, they will let you know if your mowing is causing a problem.
If they do, it’s the courteous thing to do to avoid mowing when they are in immediate area. You may even want to consider sending them a text to let them know you are going to get started so they can head inside and close any open windows.
Another strategy you might employ would be to spray the yard down with a hose after cutting and trimming your grass.
This can seriously reduce the amount of pollen and debris that floats into the air and irritates those with allergies.
Keep the comfort of those who live close to you in the back of your mind when you’re planning yard work. Doing so will go a long way in creating a peaceful community. It can also limit conflict within the neighborhood.
Lawn Mowing Etiquette FAQ’s
Is 7am too early to mow?
Ultimately this is going to depend on where you live and the lifestyle of those around you. If you have lived in your home long enough, you probably have a good idea how many of your neighbors wake up early as well.
If you notice that there are many people in your area out and about or also doing yard work in the morning, then 7am in not too early to mow.
However, like we mentioned above you will want to check for any HOA guidelines and noise ordinances in your area. Even if there are no rules, if it’s too early for your neighbor and they let you know, then it’s best to work out an agreement.
Is it ok to mow my neighbors lawn if their grass is too long?
No, not without permission.
Stepping foot on someone else’s property and mowing their lawn can have consequences, including legal action since it’s trespassing.
Instead you may want to reach out to them and offer your services so that you have their permission. You may be surprised to find that there could be a health or mobility issue that is preventing them for caring for their lawn and maybe they just need a little help.
Is it rude to mow your lawn on Sunday?
Rude, no. I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone who would consider doing yard work on the weekends rude.
However, you may encounter people who believe that Sunday, or any Sabbath day of the week should be free from physical work, but that doesn’t mean that you doing so is rude.
Again, there are some HOA’s that don’t allow lawn mowing on Sunday’s.