A neatly trimmed lawn in front of your house looks gorgeous and makes you proud. You spent hours and hours putting it in order and even looked at some landscape design magazines for inspiration… We are here to give you tips on how, while doing that, to stay in your neighbors’ good graces and hear their compliments on the work well done.
What does the law say?
In many places, you’ll find restrictions and regulations on lawn mowing and general noise ordinances, mostly in terms of the time window when the work is allowed, as lawn mowing is always a noisy business.
Some communities establish rules on how tidy your lawn should look or what kind of design is deemed inappropriate. You may even need permission to have flower beds or remove a tree. In some areas, the appearance of the houses and yards is heavily regulated and controlled.
We aren’t going to talk about that. On our agenda, today, are the basic etiquette rules which you abide by out of courtesy and respect to your good neighbors and because you treat people as you want to be treated.
Basic lawn mowing etiquette tips
Not too early
If you’re an early bird, it doesn’t mean that your neighbors are.
What is a courteous time to mow the lawn? Don’t start too early. Waking up to the music of a working lawn mower does not a happy neighbor make. We recommend waiting at least until 09 a.m. on weekdays and until 10.00 on weekends and holidays.
If you can’t wait to start your DIY projects, and you are, in fact, an early bird, we have a compromise solution for you:
Use shears to trim the bushes, or do some quiet landscaping with a trowel or a weeding tool. There are always several projects to tackle, keep the noise at bay for a while, and you’ll have happy neighbors, eventually.
Not too late
If you are an owl, it doesn’t mean that your neighbors are.
The logic is the same here. We consider it proper lawn mowing etiquette not to fire your mower after 6.00 p.m.
People will not necessarily go to bed at 6.00, but many of them will come home from work and will want to relax, have dinner, and hang out with their family or friends.
You also don’t want to ruin your neighbor’s cookout in the yard when they are trying to enjoy a beautiful evening outside. So basically, the mowing window for you will be from 9.00 to 6.00 on weekdays and from 10.00 to 6.00 on weekends. More than enough time to bring your lawn to perfection.
You can also take our advice above and just avoid using noisy equipment in the evening. Work with rakes or a trowel. Coordinate your projects within the time window.
Don’t overgrow it
Being unkempt is never a good option. We all have busy lives, and sometimes it’s just hard to find time to take care of your lawn; you put it off, and put it off again, and again … And then you find yourself in a wild jungle.
Yes, we are human. We love to procrastinate.
However, we would strongly advise you to mow your lawn regularly. Why?
The reason is not only in the debatable aesthetics of an overgrown wild lawn. The overgrown grass, when you, at last, get to mow, will be messy and take more effort to tame.
And there will be long grass clippings around the yard drying out and making your lawn look untidy and neglected without proper lawn care.
Besides, an overgrown, unkempt yard stands out, and not in a good way. In communities where all the yards look beautiful and well cared for, such wild thickets will be a thorn in your neighbors’ sides, so if you are planning to be an exemplary member of the community, you’d better sort it out.
Always clean up
Lawn mowing is quite a messy process, so make sure you clean up afterward. If you waited for a little longer than you should have, or if you mowed damp or wet grass, you’ll have a lot of lawn clippings after you’re done.
You can bag them, rake them around, or use a leaf blower. But be careful where you are blowing the grass clippings. You don’t want to blow them, either in your neighbors yard or on the road.
Grass clippings on the road can cause serious damage. Bikers, skateboard, or scooter riders can lose control of their vehicle because of them. That’s why you need to be careful and tidy up after the lawn mowing.
What can you do with the clippings? One of the best solutions is to rake them around and distribute them on your lawn. They will decompose and enrich the soil, providing nutrients for the growing lawn.
Respect property lines
Follow lawn mowing etiquette and mow only your own lawn. Don’t cross the lines of your next-door neighbor’s property.
If your next-door neighbors haven’t done any lawn mowing for a while, and some of the greenery has invaded your property and is sneaking through the fence, of course, you can just cut the tall grass or tree branches, but we wouldn’t recommend that.
Show proper lawn mowing etiquette and talk to your neighbors. The biggest change is, you’ll sort it out easily and have happy neighbors in the end.
And also don’t spray their weeds without permission.
Beware of the allergies
Allergies can cause lots of people’s pain and inconvenience. Those prone to seasonal allergies feel miserable for months. You don’t want to cause your good neighbors any more suffering.
What can cause an allergic reaction in terms of lawn work?
- A lawn mower causes debris to fly in the air, and they can be irritants for allergic people
- Pollinators (grasses or plants) can be very strong allergens
- Dust and dirt from lawn mowing are also offending agents
Normally, your neighbors suffering from allergies will let you know about their condition. And a courteous thing to do is to avoid mowing when they are around. Text them if you are going to do the lawn care, that will make you a good neighbor.
Another option is for you to hose the lawn after mowing. The dust and debris will settle and won’t bother your neighbor.
Don’t spoil ambiance
Your neighbors are having a barbecue outside. You can see that it’s a special event, and if they hear their neighbor mowing, it won’t be a catastrophe, of course, but 100 percent a downer.
Even if you are a little offended that they haven’t invited you, don’t spoil their fun. That is what lawn mowing etiquette tells you.
Don’t do lawn mowing and let them enjoy their party even if it’s not too late, and the noise ordinances don’t prevent you from yard work.
Be a good neighbor and maybe next time you’ll be among the guests too.
Warm, friendly relationships with your neighbors are a valuable gift. Your neighbors are the closest to you geographically. They can be closer than your family and friends, and it is a good thing to know that they will have your back.
Try to be considerate and helpful. Why have mean, angry people been giving you suspicious looks surrounding you instead of smiling, happy neighbors?
That’s one more reason to be humane and treasure not only your time and convenience but theirs too. Our lawn mowing etiquette tips are serving exactly that purpose.
Lawn mowing etiquette FAQ
Is it rude to mow on Sunday?
It’s not rude. If you work during the week, that’s the only time when you can do yard work. Just make sure that you don’t start too early, as some people enjoy sleeping in on weekends, and nobody wants to wake up to the cheerful sound of mowing.
We would advise you to avoid mowing before 10.00 a.m.
Also, maybe make sure that your neighbors are not hosting an important event in their yard. You wouldn’t want to spoil the ambiance at the party.
Other than that, you are good to go.
What is the 1/3 rule for mowing grass?
When you maintain your lawn, we recommend mowing 1/3 of the grass length. For example, if the grass is 4.5 inches long, remove 1.5 inches. That’s the main guidance to keep your lawn good and healthy.
Make sure you cut the grass regularly, and if you waited too long, don’t cut off too much. It will weaken the grass and let the weeds sneak in.
If you break the 1/3 rule and cut more, you’ll cause stress for the plants of the lawn, resulting in them losing their rich emerald shade and becoming slightly gray or yellow.
If you are striving for a thick emerald carpet, follow our advice and cut little but often.
Is it rude to mow lawn at 8 am?
It depends. First, you need to check your local regulations regarding noisy yard work.
Then watch your neighbors. If you see that most of the surrounding residents are not up at 8 am, maybe it’s not the smartest idea or good manners to wake them up with your lawn mower.
However, if you are all up bright and early, and your neighbors are in their gardens from sunrise, then why not? The key point here is to be a good neighbor and not to disturb the people in your community.
What should you not do when cutting grass?
You should not mow the lawn too early or too late, do not let the lawn grow over, always clean up after mowing the lawn, respect the boundaries of other people’s property, make sure your neighbors do not have allergies, and try not to mow the lawn while the neighbors have a holiday of the day birthday or barbecue.
What is the general rule of thumb for cutting the lawn?
The general rule of mowing the lawn is to try not to wave to your neighbors, that is, choose the right place and time to mow the lawn.
What time is the earliest I can mow my lawn?
We recommend waiting at least until 09 a.m. on weekdays and until 10.00 on weekends and holidays.
Can I mow my neighbor’s lawn? His grass is too tall.
You can’t. Not without permission. Crossing a property line is trespassing, and you may get into legal trouble for that.
Maybe talk to them and offer to do it for them. It’s possible that they just can’t do it themselves for a reason. Could be a health issue or just a lack of spare time. Lend them a hand, and they will certainly appreciate it.