Lawn Mowing Etiquette

Lawn Mowing Etiquette: How to Be a Good Neighbor

When you think about etiquette, you think about things such as table manners or how to act in a restaurant or how to hold the door open for someone. What you don’t think about is lawn work. Yet practicing lawn mowing etiquette will help you be considered a good neighbor.

A common task that many want to get out of the way before it gets too hot, lawn work is not only messy, but it is noisy. There’s nothing worse than getting woken up at 6:00 am by your neighbor mowing the lawn and then having to dig your newspaper out of his lawn clippings.

While there may not be a formal handbook about how and when you should mow your lawn, there are unspoken rules of lawn mowing etiquette.

Aside from city and town mandated noise restrictions, here are some things to keep in mind the next time you want to get your yard work done at odd hours.

In today’s article I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned in 12+ years of homeownership. I’m also mindful of a few horror stories my readers have shared with me while asking for advice.

Trust and Accuracy Information

This article was last updated on by Lawn Chick Owner Sarah Jameson
Article content reviewed for accuracy by Horticulturist Arthur Davidson, A.S.

Don’t Start Mowing Too Early

One of the most important rules to follow when thinking about mowing your lawn is to look at what time it is before you start. Nobody likes being woken up early, especially by the sound of a lawn mower.

Don't Start Mowing Too Early in the Day

A basic rule of thumb to follow when thinking about when to mow your lawn is to avoid doing it when the majority of people around you may be asleep.

I recommend not starting to mow your lawn until at least 9:00 am. By that time, most people should be awake, and you won’t run the risk of disturbing your neighbors.

But who your neighbors are, and the morning schedule of your neighborhood should be considered. For some people, earlier may be ok – for others, waiting longer may be appropriate.

Debby Mayne, an etiquette expert and writer at The Spruce says 10:00 am and later may be the best choice.

The same thing goes for mowing your lawn late at night, which bring us to our second tip.

Don’t Mow Your Lawn Too Late in the Day

Following the same logic as not mowing your lawn too early, it is proper lawn mowing etiquette not to wait until it is too late to mow your lawn.

Don't Start Mowing Too Late or Mow at Night

The rule for this differs slightly in the sense that the time in which it is too late to start mowing your lawn is roughly around 6:00 pm.

This is not because, after 6:00 pm, most people will be sleeping, but rather because after 6:00 pm, most people are settling down, eating dinner, and spending time with their families.

You do not want to be the neighbor to ruin the family game night with your lawn mower.

Keeping all of that mind, the right time to mow your lawn is roughly between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm.

Don’t Let Your Lawn Become Overgrown

I get it! You’re a new homeowner, you have a lawn for the first time, and there are about a million things on your to-do list to get the house to your liking.

Overgrown Lawn

Alternatively, maybe you’ve owned a home for a while and mowing the lawn is your least favorite thing to do. Regardless of the circumstances, mowing your lawn regularly is essential.

Not only does an unmowed lawn look messy and is a bit of an eyesore, but it is also only making your job harder.

If you let your grass too long, it will just take you longer to mow it when you do so. Not only that, you’ll have a bigger mess when you’re finished.

If this is a problem you’re dealing with, check out my guide to mowing tall grass, and my tips for figuring out exactly how often to mow your lawn.

Likewise, tall grass will start to look like weeds if left untouched. It will begin to seed, and then you will have trouble on your hands. Like anything else in your home, it is vital to take regular care of your lawn. 

If not for yourself, then for your neighbors who have to look at your lawn every day.

Clean Up After Yourself

Not only can mowing your lawn take a long time and require some effort to do, but it is one of the few household chores that creates a mess while doing it.

This is especially true if you have let your lawn grow long, mowing your grass can leave grass clippings everywhere.

Clumps of Grass Clippings Left to Sit on Your Lawn Look Bad, and Cause Lawn Damage

It is essential to either put the clippings in a bag, removing them from the lawn, or rake them around the lawn.

If left untouched, the clippings you leave on your lawn can clump together and negatively affect the health of your lawn. 

An unhealthy lawn is an unsightly thing and very easily preventable.

I recommend spreading the clumps of clippings around. Clippings, when properly distributed, are a great way to help bring life back into your lawn as they break down and provide nitrogen to the soil naturally. 

If you don’t want to do the hard work of raking the clippings around, another great way to spread them is to mow over them again. This will ensure they are distributed and your lawn stays in tip-top shape. Most mowers have a “mulch” setting for just this purpose.

Likewise, clippings not only get on your lawn, but they also get on the surrounding streets and sidewalks. 

Lawn Mowing Etiquette in a Neighborhood - Don't Leave Grass Clippings on the Street Like This

While most people leave them, it is proper etiquette to rake or blow them back onto your lawn. This keeps your community clean and your neighbors happy.

Practice Good Lawn Mowing Etiquette and Be a Good Neighbor

While lawn etiquette may not be the first thing you think of when doing your weekly household chores, it is still very important.

We have all had that one neighbor that interrupts your family dinner or wakes you up on the one day that you get to sleep in; that one person that leaves his grass a mess and then leaves a mess when they finally mow their lawn.

We all want to grow and build better communities, and an easy way to do so is through remembering your lawn etiquette.

Being a Good Neighbor Is Good for Everyone

In summary, be sure to be mindful of others’ sleeping schedules and quiet time. Try to keep your mowing between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm., and mostly, take regular care of your lawn.

Practicing regular lawn maintenance is a basic responsibility of homeowners.

Mowing, edging, and taking pride in your home will not only make it easier for you to do the job but will also make your neighbors happy as your lawn will look beautiful all year long. 

Lastly, don’t forget to clean up after yourself. Mowing the lawn can be a dirty job, but not everybody has to see it. Be sure to sweep up after yourself and rake the clippings.

Keeping just a few things in mind can make sure that everybody is happy and your lawn looks great!

At Lawn Chick, I am committed to publishing accurate, useful, and trustworthy resources for my readers. As part of this commitment, I’ve invited subject matter experts to review our articles for accuracy. I invite you to read our editorial policy and publishing standards which outlines in detail how every article on this site is sourced, edited, fact-checked, and vetted.



Sarah Jameson’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When - Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

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