What Temperature is Too Hot to Mow the Lawn?

Heat and cold are stress factors for your lawn. With temperature fluctuations the grass on your lawn becomes dehydrated. So, what temperature is too hot to mow the lawn?

You should never mow your lawn when the temperature is above 32° Celsius. The perfect temperature to mow your lawn is when it’s neither too hot nor too damp. Usually, a range of 16°C to 25°C is the optimal temperature condition for mowing your lawn. 

What Temperature is Too Hot to Mow the Lawn

Understanding the Impact of Temperature on Grass Growth

The right temperature setting is important for optimal grass growth. This is why you don’t see every type of grass in one place.

Let’s look at the impact of temperature on grass growth:

The Ideal Temperature Range for Grass Growth

Temperature change doesn’t immediately affect grass growth. Soil takes more time to retain or dissipate heat. So it takes a few days for the grass to stop growing.

Grass needs a relatively high temperature to germinate and grow. There are two types of grass and the ideal temperature for their growth is different as well.

  1. Warm-Season Grass: Grasses like Bermuda or Zoysia grass grow best at 26°C to 30°C.
  2. Cool-Season Grass: These include Ryegrass and Fescue which grow best at temperatures of 22°C to 28°C.

The Effects of High Temperature on Grass Health

When the temperature rises too much the grass starts to become dormant. Dormancy is a survival method for grass in extreme heat. These grass turn brown and change the overall look of the lawn itself.

Extreme temperatures reduce wilting and photosynthesis which is crucial for grass growth. 

Signs of Heat Stress in Grass

You can easily identify a stressed lawn. The drought-stressed lawn becomes purple. If it is stressed from heat it will develop a patchy brown look. 

The grass becomes dry and there will be uneven light brown areas that look like the grass is dead. This is known as the grass dormancy period. It will develop an excessive amount of thatch.

This is a heat-stressed lawn looks like:

heat-stressed lawn
Heat-Stressed Lawn

You can easily identify if your lawn grass is suffering from heat stress by walking around it. Footprints or mowing tracks will remain visible for a longer period. 

What Temperature is Too Hot to Mow the Lawn?

Heat stress during extreme temperatures already weakens the integrity of grass and roots. Mowing while the grass is in this condition will introduce heaps of problems like thatch build-up, weed attacks, etc.  

The Maximum Temperature for Mowing Your Lawn

The maximum temperature for mowing your lawn is 90°F or 32°C. 

For cool-season grass, you should keep some headway and not mow when the temperature is hovering around 30°C.

The Risks of Mowing Your Lawn in High Temperatures

Mowing in extreme temperature conditions can cause several problems that you will need to deal with. 

Let’s look at the risks of lawn mowing in high temperatures:

  1. Mowing will reduce the already stressed grass’s growth even further.
  2. The glass blades will tear easily and even scalp parts of your lawn.
  3. High temperatures increase the risk of thatch and mowing will slow down the decomposition rate of the thatch as more piles up.
  4. If you mow heat-stressed grass it becomes more vulnerable to diseases and weed growth.
  5. Pests will be able to get a hold of the grass and weaken the integrity of your lawn.

Alternatives to Mowing Your Lawn in High Temperatures

You should mow only during mid-warm temperatures. You can do other stuff for your lawn while waiting for the temperatures to drop to optimal levels for mowing.

Here are some alternatives to mowing during high temperatures:

  1. Improving the soil condition: Use a sprinkler to reduce water deficiency in the soil because heat makes the soil dry. 
  2. Overseeding: Apply compost fertilizers and overseed the lawn to give the grass a better chance to survive.
  3. Pest Control: Also keep an eye on weeds and pests and manage any infestation that is a hazard to your lawn’s growth.
  4. Aeration: You can aerate the lawn as well for better air and water circulation. It will reduce compaction giving the grass easy access to all the good nutrients in the soil.

Related Post: Worst Time to Water Grass: A Perfect Guide

Best Practices to Mow Your Lawn in Hot Weather

If you want to mow your lawn when it’s hot outside you should take special care to ensure the health of your grass and your well-being as well.

Lawn care in hot weather is an extremely daunting task. But if you want to take care of your lawn follow these tips for mowing your lawn in hot weather:

Mow Your Lawn in Hot Weather
Mow Your Lawn in Hot Weather

Pre-Mowing Preparation:

  1. Schedule mowing sessions beforehand so you can prepare your lawn.
  2. Sharpen the mower blades so they cut evenly.
  3. Clear the lawn of debris, crowns, and dead grass roots.
  4. Clean the mower deck before you start mowing your lawn.

Mowing Techniques for Hot Weather:

  1. If you have to mow the lawn during high temperatures, adjust the blade height so you leave taller grass and reduce the mowing frequency. 
  2. Mow when the grass isn’t wet but has a little bit of moisture. You can check by rubbing the grass blades to see how dry the grass is.
  3. To ensure an even cut across the lawn, mow in overlapping rows. Don’t turn aggressively or you will end up creating uneven patches.

Post-Mowing Care:

  1. If you dethatched recently leave the grass clippings on the lawn as mulch.
  2. Water the lawn so the soil doesn’t lose moisture. This also helps keep the soil temperature low.
  3. Stay off the lawn as much as you can until new baby grass blades show up.
  4. Keep an eye out for scalps or brown patches around the lawn. If you notice any overseed the area to fill up the gaps.

Related Post: Can You Cut Grass with Morning Dew? 

Verdict: Best Time to Mow Your Lawn

You can mow the lawn any time of the day if you can make sure the temperature isn’t over the top.

But usually, the optimal time of day to mow the lawn is early morning or late afternoon. The temperature during this time is lower than what it is during a broad day.

Mowing in the morning won’t stress the grass as much. This is the same with late afternoon mowing. The grass can retain more moisture if you mow during these times.

There is no rule of thumb when it comes to which days of the week are best for mowing. Lawn care is mostly a personal preference. 

You can do it on weekends and the weekdays. Make sure to take extra time for preparation and post-mowing care.

However, you can consider some factors in choosing when to mow your lawn. Avoid droughts or heat waves.

Check weather forecasts before deciding to mow your lawn. Check for rain because you shouldn’t mow wet grass. Wet grass clumps together and the cuts will be uneven.

Remember this golden rule any day with a slight breeze is a good day to mow and take care of your lawn.

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