What Temperature Is Too Hot To Mow The Lawn

What Temperature Is Too Hot To Mow The Lawn?

When summer comes around, it’s important to mow your lawn regularly as it is this time of the year that it’ll grow the most. But you’re worried about whether cutting your grass when it’s too hot will damage it, not to mention the sweat you’ll break once you get out there with the mower. But what temperature is too hot to mow the lawn?

If the temperature is above 80 degrees fahrenheit then you should consider this a time when it is too hot to mow the lawn. This is because of the risk of heatstroke as you’ll be exerting a lot of effort. The best thing you can do is to wait until things cool down a bit before getting on with your garden chores.

If you have a cool season grass then it’s actually a good idea to avoid mowing your lawn altogether when there is a heatwave. However, if the lawn has gotten out of control and you can no longer wait to cut it then we would suggest waiting until most of the heat of the day has gone and stick to mowing in the evening.

The good thing about this is that your lawn will have plenty of time to recover from the mow without the sun causing even more damage. This way, it will retain much of its moisture as well as benefiting from the dew in the morning.

Best Temperature To Mow Grass

If you are wondering what is the best temperature to mow grass then you’ll need to make sure you only get the lawn mower out if the mercury is between 40 and 80 degrees fahrenheit. Any lower than this and you won’t need to mow because the grass simply won’t grow.

However, if you try to mow above these temperatures then you will harm the lawn as it will already be stressed from the heat. Moreover, you have to consider the very realistic prospect of you getting heat stroke as yard work can be strenuous at the best of times, never mind when the sun is beating down on you.

How To Avoid Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a condition that affects humans when they are exposed to high levels of heat. It is a particular problem for people that are working outdoors during hot weather and can come with a wide range of symptoms which include nausea, feeling faint, extreme fatigue, seating and even death.

If you decided to mow the lawn during a heatwave and have started to feel a little ‘off’ then it’s highly recommended that you stop what you’re doing and take a break. You’ll need to drink lots of water and stay out of the sun as your body is dehydrated. Do not push yourself to finish the job; in this case it’s too hot to mow the lawn.

A lot of people opt to use a riding mower during hot weather as this takes a lot of the exertion out of mowing. All you need to do is sit on the mower and drive it. When you use a push mower, you’re more physically active and this will raise your core temperature. Couple this with the heat from the sun and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Also make sure that you drink plenty of water. Take a bottle of cold water out into the yard with you and have it within reach at all times. If mowing the lawn takes a little longer than usual because you have to keep stopping to rehydrate then so be it. It’s worth it. The colder the drink the better as iced drinks will help to bring your body temperature down which is essential in avoiding heat stroke.

Avoid Heat Exhaustion

It is imperative that you wear light colored clothing when you’re working in the heat. It’s also best to go for loose fitting garments as tight clothes are only going to make you sweat more. Don’t wear jeans or anything made from polyester but choose natural materials such as cotton.

Try to cover as much of your skin in lightweight clothing as possible. But for the parts that are exposed, be sure to use sunscreen to prevent burning. On top of this, wear a sunhat which will protect your neck and head from the intense rays of the sun. Where possible, avoid working during the hottest hours of the day.

When it’s hot, you should be in no immediate rush to get those garden chores done. Set aside an entire afternoon if you need to, which will give you plenty of opportunity to stop and rest in the shade as needed. You’ll naturally feel more tired and hot when working in a heatwave so listen to what your body is telling you.

It can often feel as though you lose your appetite in the heat but it’s important to make sure that your body is fuelled up and ready for action. Eat a light meal to keep your energy levels up for mowing.

How Short Should I Cut My Grass When It’s Hot?

Many of us have a preference on how long or short we like to cut our lawns. However, when the weather is exceptionally hot, you may have to throw your preference out of the window and go with what’s best for your grass. If you cut it too short then this will massively affect its health when it’s already struggling to cope in extreme temperatures.

If you want your lawn to remain as healthy as possible then you’ll need to allow it to get a little longer. The type of grass you have will determine the ideal length for summer weather. With cool season grasses, you’re going to need to let it grow a little longer with around four inches being ideal. However, if you have a warm season grass, it will be able to cope better with hot weather so two inches would typically suffice.

How Often Should You Cut Grass In Hot Weather?

As we have already discussed, it is a good idea to avoid cutting your lawn at all when the weather is hot. This is because the grass will become dormant and won’t grow as it usually does. Cutting it is only going to put it under unnecessary stress. However, as a general rule for summer, you should aim to cut grass every seven to ten days.

How Do I Protect My Grass When It’s Hot?

Keeping your grass protected in hot weather is so important as this will prevent it from dying out altogether. Here are some tips on things you can do to give your grass that extra level of protection in a heatwave.

  • Make sure that you aerate the lawn as in very hot conditions, it is possible that the soil will actually begin to repel moisture. When the lawn has been spiked, this allows for much better water penetration ensuring that the grass roots remain healthy.
  • As well as making sure the roots receive enough water through aeration, you’ll also need to make sure that you’re providing the lawn with additional moisture. In some areas, during a heatwave, there may be restrictions on whether you can use a hose or sprinkler so be sure to check this first.
  • If you can water the lawn then try to do this at night when there is plenty of time for the moisture to penetrate the ground without the risk of it being evaporated by the sun.
  • It may not be possible but if it is then keeping your lawn in the shade is one of the best things you can do. Canopies, parasols and even lawn furniture can all provide a decent level of cover to keep the grass out of the sun. If you live in a hot climate where high temperatures are a regular problem then planting trees around the grass will provide a long term solution.
  • During a heatwave, your grass won’t benefit from being fertilized. This may seem like an odd thing to say but the reality is that all that nitrogen could cause an adverse reaction during hot weather. The main problem is something known as reverse osmosis where the grass will become deprived of water. What’s more, the lawn can become burned so it’s best to lay off the feed for now.
protect lawn when it is hot

Can The Heat Damage My Lawn Mower?

Lawn mowers are pretty robust tools that are designed to work in all kinds of conditions. It is unlikely that the sun will do much damage to the mower unless it causes it to overheat. But most machines have overheat protection anyway so this won’t be an issue.

That said, it’s a good idea to make sure that you store the lawn mower out of the elements to prolong its lifespan.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a healthy lawn involves mowing it regularly but there are times that it might be better to stay away from the mower. During hot weather, the grass may become dormant and when the thermometer reaches more than 80 degrees, it’s probably not safe to mow the lawn due to the risk of heatstroke.

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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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