Lawn Mowing Etiquette
The Do’s and Don’ts of Lawn Mowing Etiquette
An article on lawn mowing etiquette probably shouldn’t have to be written. You would think that most people would just know to be courteous when it comes to lawn work. But, after a few Saturday mornings of being woken up at 6:45 by a neighbor mowing right under my window, and then enjoying the privilege of cleaning up piles of someone else’s clippings, I can personally testify that perhaps common courtesy isn’t as common you’d think.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules for lawn mowing etiquette (although some cities and communities do have their own noise ordinances in place). But, we feel that if you follow a few simple guidelines, you can avoid the cold hatred of your neighbors.
- Mow between 9 am and 6 pm on weekdays and 10 am to 6 pm on weekends
- Battery-powered OPE runs quieter and could allow you to mow a bit earlier or later
- Keep your lawn mowed; a well-kept lawn is easier to mow, visually appealing, and increases property value
- Bag your clippings or at least blow them back into your yard
Don’t Mow Too Early or Too Late
Probably the number one piece of lawn mowing etiquette revolves around when you mow. A basic rule of thumb for this is that you should avoid mowing the yard when the vast majority of people could be sleeping. This means that you should avoid mowing before breakfast or after dinner.
Of course, your city or your HOA probably has its own noise ordinances in place, and it’d be best to check with those entities for a hard and fast ruling. However, the commonly accepted time frames usually work like this: on weekdays, feel free to run your lawn equipment after 9 am and before 6 pm. On weekends, you might avoid mowing before 10 am and after 6 pm.
This probably doesn’t need to be said, but the main reason that your excessively early or late mowing earns your neighbors’ fury revolves around the noise your gas-powered lawn equipment puts out. These noise issues can be mitigated to a pretty large degree if you’re willing to make the switch to battery-powered OPE.
Rather than blasting 90-95 dB(A) (about the same loudness of your typical motorcycle) at your neighbors, an electric mower only generates around 75 dB(A) (about as loud as a washing machine). The same goes for all of your lawn equipment. A much quieter operation means that you can get your work done early without waking up your sleeping neighborhood.
Keep Up With Your Lawn
Some of us are natural-born procrastinators; why do today what I can put off until next week? There are a few reasons why you ought to just go ahead and get it done.
For one thing – and this is particularly important for those of us who don’t necessarily enjoy wrestling around with the lawn – it’s a whole lot easier to cut a lawn that isn’t wildly overgrown. Taller grass takes longer to cut, causes your mower to stall out, and leaves longer clippings laying about the yard that will likely dry out into ugly little piles on your lawn.
Another thing, and one that’s probably more germane to the premise of this article, an overgrown yard looks, well, unkempt. Your grass, when allowed to get long, can start to seed and look more like weeds than grass. It’s especially noticeable when everyone else is keeping up with their yards. So, for the sake of not letting your yard turn into the neighborhood eyesore, it’s best not to let it get too long.
Keep this in mind as well: a well-kept lawn will help maintain the property values of your and everyone else’s house. Living in a community might mean caring for that community, and keeping up with your lawn to help protect the community’s investments seems like a courteous thing to do.
Don’t Leave Your Clippings Behind
Mulching your clippings is a great way to spread nutrients across your lawn evenly. But, if you’ve let the lawn get away from you a bit, or if the grass is a little wet when you cut it, there’s a good chance that you’ll leave unsightly clumps of clippings lying behind. If not handled, these can negatively affect the health of your grass. And how much courtesy are you showing when you let your let get all patchy and gross-looking?
This is easy enough to deal with. You can either bag your clippings, spread them around with a rake, or mow back over them.
Also, when mowing next to a street, your mower is bound to spray clippings into the road. You could leave them to dry out and blow around, but that’s not the definition of lawn mowing etiquette, is it? Instead, grab your blower or a broom and get those clippings back into your yard.
We can all carry out a bit of lawn mowing etiquette without even really trying too hard. By practicing a little mindfulness and courtesy, we can not only avoid a stinkeye or two, but we might actually make some friends in the neighborhood. If you’ve got any other tips and tricks for polite lawn maintenance, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.