how long does it take to mow an acre

How Long Does It Take To Mow An Acre?

Mowing your lawn can be a daunting task if you have a bigger garden. This means figuring out just how long it’ll take to get the job done so that you can set aside enough time. But when it comes to acreage mowing, the timeframes can vary dramatically.

It is possible to estimate the length of time it’ll take to mow your lawn by dividing the length of your lawn by the cutting width of your mower. Now divide this figure by the speed of your mower and you’ll have a rough idea of how long it’ll take to do one lane. Multiply the total number of lanes and you’ve got the overall time it’ll take to mow the entire lawn.

While this does give you a ballpark figure, this method isn’t going to help you when you consider all of the other factors that impact how long to mow an acre. So, in this guide, we’ll talk through all of the things you’ll need to think about to work out how long you’ll need to set aside to mow the lawn.

Determining how long it’ll take you to mow your lawn could be as difficult as answering the question how long is a piece of string? But if you want to get a rough idea then there are a few things that you’ll need to take into consideration.

Size Of The Lawn

Probably the most obvious factor is the size of your lawn. If you consider a half an acre plot compared to a one acre plot then it’s naturally going to take half the time to mow the former. But while that’s common sense, it’s not the only thing that’ll come into play.

For example, mowing is going to take far less time if you have a uniform, wide lawn without anything getting in the way like trees or tight spots. This means that you can mow in straight lines which will dramatically reduce how long it takes.

Lawns that have slopes, curves, or other irregularities are going to take much longer to mow so you’ll need to take this into account.

Type Of Lawn Mower

Not all lawn mowers are made equal and that’s something that a lot of people forget. But think about it; if you’ve got a big zero turn mower, you’re going to get things done much more quickly than if you’re using a 15cm battery push mower.

Push Mower

disadvantage of brushless lawn mower

Push mowers require the user to propel them across the lawn without the assistance of a self propelled drive. These are some of the smallest types of lawn mower and usually only have cutting decks between 16 and 22 inches.

You’d choose a push mower like this if you had a smaller garden as they’re affordable and ideal for getting into tighter spots. The downside is that you have to put in a lot more effort when mowing so how quickly you get things done relies heavily on your own physical ability.

Lawn Tractor

type of lawn mower - lawn tractor

Lawn tractors are a type of riding mower but they’re not to be confused with regular riding mowers whose blades are at the front. In this case, the blades are in the middle. Lawn tractors and other riding mowers are usually very quick at mowing the lawn and would be able to cover an acre in between 30 and 50 minutes, taking into account other factors.

They’re very effective when you have a larger lawn to cover but the one downside is that they aren’t great at getting into narrow areas so you may still need a push mower to finish things off.

Zero Turn Mower

tire pressure for zero turn mower

If you want something super quick and speedy then a zero turn mower is probably the way to go. They’re lightyears ahead of other mowers in terms of speed and even the residential models will cover an acre in less than an hour.

If you upgrade to a commercial model then you might even be able to cover an acre in as little as 15 minutes. But much like riding mowers and lawn tractors, there is the disadvantage of not being able to get into any tight spots.

Lawn Condition

If your lawn is perfectly level, smooth and has no lumps of bumps then it’s naturally going to take much less time to mow. But if there are wet patches, obstacles and other things that will slow you down, this is going to affect the overall time it takes to mow.

Deck Size

Different lawn mowers come with different cutting widths and this will affect how long it takes to mow an acre. The larger the deck, the more ground it will cover in one pass, reducing the time it takes to complete the job.

Let’s imagine that there are two lawn mowers that move at the same speed. One of them has a 16 inch deck while the other has a 32 inch deck. The larger model will be able to cover the same amount of ground in half the time owing to the fact that it needs to make fewer passes.

But that’s based on the lawn being a perfect shape with no irregularities. In fact, if you have a complex shaped lawn, a larger mower could be more of a hindrance than a help.

How To Mow Faster

Getting a huge lawn mower isn’t always the answer and in some cases, it can make life more difficult. It’s important to choose the right tool for the job as well as taking a few other steps to decrease how long you have to spend on this garden chore.

Do The Hard Bits First

The reality of it is that not many of us have a perfectly square lawn without any odd shapes or curves. If you have, then count yourself very lucky!

Most of us have things like pathways, flower beds, trees and other things in the way so it’s best to mow around these first to get them done. Doing this will allow you to work in a pattern later on and will prevent you from having to keep adjusting the mower when you come close to any obstructions.

Stick To A Pattern

lawn striping kit for lawnmower

Once you have gotten the tricky bits out the way, it’s time to move onto the main part of the lawn. But don’t just go at it in any old fashion. Sticking to a mowing pattern is one of the most efficient ways to mow and is a lot easier when you have a neatly shaped lawn.

A lot of people opt to mow in rows or lanes and this is great but it’s also possible to move in circular patterns which is brilliant if your lawn is round. You’ll begin at the edge and work your way in and you’d be surprised how effective this is.

Wait For The Grass To Dry

It can be tempting to get outside and mow the lawn first thing in the morning. After all, it’s out the way then and you don’t need to worry about it for the rest of the day. However, at this time, the grass is still going to be covered in morning dew and mowing a wet lawn is fraught with problems.

For this reason, it’s best to wait until mid morning when all of the dew will have evaporated. Furthermore, if there has been any recent rain, give the grass time to dry out completely before tackling it with your mower. You’ll find it mows more quickly and easily and you won’t end up with clogged clippings in the mower deck.

The Right Tool For The Right Job

Do you need a massive zero turn mower for a small lawn? The answer is no. While you might think that having a huge tool like this will make life easier, it can make it more difficult because it’ll be much harder to maneuver in tight spaces.

Don’t be fooled into buying a bigger mower than you need. Consider the size of your lawn and buy something that’s going to offer a good coverage on each pass but still be compact enough to get into any narrow areas.

Anything smaller than a quarter of an acre and you’ll only need a regular push mower. If you have something that is larger than an acre, that’s when you should start thinking about getting a bigger riding mower. For lawns that exceed three acres, you really need to bring out the big guns and a zero turn mower is usually the best option.

Of course, you should also make sure to take the shape of the lawn into account as this could throw a spanner in the works if the mower is too big.

Look After Your Lawn Mower

Sometimes, you may find that it takes so long to mow your lawn because your machine isn’t in tip top condition. Imagine trying to cut a thick piece of card with blunt scissors; it’s going to take a lot longer and much more effort than cutting it with freshly sharpened blades. The same can be said for your lawn mower.

If the blades are not regularly sharpened and kept free from rust and dirt then they aren’t going to perform as well and it’s going to add time onto what could already be a lengthy job.

If you have a gas lawn mower, you’ll need to make sure that the engine and fuel system are in good condition and perform regular maintenance.

Final Thoughts

Mowing your lawn can be a time consuming job so we understand that you’ll want to shave off minutes where possible. This might cause you to wonder how long does it take to mow an acre. From this, you can work out how much time you’ll need to dedicate to mowing your lawn.

The problem is that an acre on one lawn could take significantly more or less time than an acre on another lawn since there are so many factors that can affect this.

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Andrew Fisher

Andrew Fisher

Andrew is a dedicated father of three who really takes pride in his lawn and garden. You'll find Andrew behind the scenes of almost everything Edge Your Lawn produces. When he's not helping readers find all the information they need, he's in his backyard working on his lawn and garden landscaping. This year he hopes to build an outdoor deck and sort out his veg patches.

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