If you’re an early riser, mowing the lawn might sound like an excellent task to tick off before work or on an early Saturday morning, while the garden isn’t too hot and the chore doesn’t have to eat into your daily plans.
However, if you live close to other households, you must consider whether they will appreciate hearing the whirring of your lawnmower for the best part of an hour in the morning. Maybe they’re up too, or perhaps they just finished a night shift and need the sleep – mowing the lawn in the early hours might be a massive disturbance to many.
While there is no consistent law stopping you from mowing the lawn early in the morning, there may be laws local to you, such as city laws or state laws, which prevent you from making a certain amount of noise between specific hours.
For example, in many cities, you would be breaking the law if you were to mow your lawn between the hours of 10pm and 7am. Any amount of noise over 45dB from 25 feet away is deemed illegal, and a lawnmower is more than capable of doing this.
I would advise checking with your local law authorities to understand the rules regarding lawnmowers around you, but as a general rule, do not begin mowing until at least 7am, and make sure you are finished by 10pm.
Is My Lawnmower Too Loud?
If you have a standard lawnmower with an engine that requires pushing around, you’ll know that they’re pretty loud. Up close, you can’t hear anything else. A standard lawnmower can make up to 90dB, far beyond what is acceptable early in the morning or late at night.
Unfortunately, the sound travels quite far, too. You’ll know this if you get woken up by neighbors who enjoy mowing their lawn a little too early for your liking.
As I mentioned above, 45dB is usually the limit for how much sound can be made after 10pm. 45dB is not much noise at all; a normal conversation is about 60dB. So, if you’ve got people living nearby, chances are you should be mindful of the time of day you are mowing the lawn.
These noise laws only apply if somebody can hear noise 25 feet away from your property, so if you live in a particularly rural area, you may not need to worry.
Communicating With Your Neighbors
It is likely that you are roughly familiar with their schedules even if you are not close friends with your neighbors. You see them leave for work. Maybe you know if they go out in the evenings or whether the nights are switched off quite early. Perhaps they have young children or a puppy.
Use your common sense when thinking about whether it would be fair to mow the lawn at this time. If you’re asking if it is illegal to mow the lawn, then it’s probably worth waiting until an hour where it is unquestionably not.
Even if it is not illegal, knowingly waking up a young family or someone that does night shifts is probably not your best move. Your neighbors will wake up and know it is you, and you don’t want to be the neighbor that everyone is annoyed with.
When Can I Mow The Lawn At The Weekend?
As you might agree, the rules differ slightly at the weekend. Most people work 9-5 Monday through to Friday, and they anticipate being able to have a lie-in on their days off. Being awakened to the sound of their neighbor mowing their lawn would probably not start their weekend on the right foot.
Gardeners generally agree that 9-10am onwards at the weekend is an acceptable time to start mowing the lawn. Your neighbors are probably home, so they’re going to hear you. It’s just best to wait until they are awake to begin.
This might be a little frustrating if you are an early bird, but sticking to these guidelines might be for the best to ensure peace and friendship in your local community.
The same goes with mowing the lawn in the evening at the weekend. People might be enjoying an early night, but in the summer, your neighbors might be sitting in their garden with guests in the evening, and the sound of a lawnmower could kill the atmosphere a little.
At the weekends, then, try to cut your grass between 10am and 6pm.
What Happens If I Break The Rules?
If you begin mowing your lawn at an antisocial hour, nothing is going to happen immediately. Depending on your community and the levels of sound you are making, neighbors might decide to knock on your door and ask you to stop if they are trying to sleep.
If you have local laws about the amount of noise that can be made, then neighbors are justified in taking it further and reporting the noise to the authorities. If you are repeatedly mowing your lawn at 3am, for example, their tolerance might wain rather quickly.
If you are reported to the authorities about making too much noise, you can be fined. Most often, this applies to construction, but it covers noise made by machinery such as lawnmowers.
These fines could be from anywhere between $200 and $500 in cash. This could depend on how many complaints have been received, how often you’ve been creating a disturbance, and how loud you are being.
Hopefully, it should not get to this point. But if you do have a neighbor mowing their lawn between antisocial hours, it is worth checking your local laws about this, as they could be fined or at least receive an official warning for doing so.
Generally, mowing your lawn between the hours of 10am and 6pm is acceptable any day of the week. If you can, mow your lawn between these hours, or communicate with your neighbors about whether they mind you making noise outside of
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.