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What Temperature Is Too Hot To Mow Grass? (Explained)

Woman working in the garden. Mowing grass with a mower

 

You’re looking out at your lawn.

Despite the summer heat beating down on it, your grass is thriving.

The only problem is that it’s growing a little too high.

You start sweating at the thought of receiving yet another letter from the homeowners association shaming you for the length of your lawn.

Maybe the sweat has something to do with that unbearable summer sun.

Either way, you’re asking yourself: When is it too hot to mow the grass?

 

What Temperature Is Too Hot To Mow Grass?

Hand in grass

 

According to WebMd.com, the risk of any heat-related illness goes up dramatically when the temperature is 90 degrees or above.

A humidity above 60% also hampers sweat evaporation, which will affect your body’s ability to cool itself down.

It’s always best to check with your doctor to see if you might be at higher risk for hot weather safety.

If you live in a location where the entire summer is excessively hot, the best thing you can do is mow grass early in the morning or late at night.

The hottest part of the day is around 3 PM.

Once the sun rises, the day gets gradually hotter.

It reaches its peak around 3 PM.

This is why some warmer cultures like Spain are famous for their “siestas” or mid-day naps.

What might seem lazy to other cultures with cooler climates is actually a survival tactic for places that regularly experience extreme heat.

If you mow the grass first thing in the morning, the sun has not yet had time to build up the heat of the day.

Avoid mowing during the hottest times of the day.

 

 

Can The Sun Damage My Lawn Mower?

Lawn mower grass

 

Using your lawn mower in the sun is unlikely to damage it.

While it is best not to store your lawn mower in the sun, brief exposure to sunlight is unlikely to harm your mower.

After all, lawnmowers are tools that are made to be used in many different conditions.

 

How Can I Make Mowing In The Sun Safer?

Professional Lawn Mowing

 

One thing you can do to make mowing in the sun safer and more enjoyable is to get a riding mower.

This removes a lot of the physical labor from the task.

Physical labor naturally increases your body’s temperature, which is part of why mowing your lawn in the heat can be so extremely risky.

If you can avoid using a push mower, do it!

Another step you can take to make your mowing experience safer and more enjoyable is to drink lots of water.

Drinking cold drinks will help cool you down and prevent overheating.

Think of ice water as putting a coolant into your body to prevent your body’s engine from overheating!

If you don’t enjoy drinking water, it’s okay to have something with a bit of flavor and sugar.

Some classic picks for sunny days are iced lemonade and iced tea.

 

What Are Some Other Risks Of Mowing In The Sun?

Lawn mower

 

In addition to heat stroke, time spent in the sun can lead to sunburns and skin damage.

It can even increase your risk of skin cancer.

Looking into the sun can also cause damage to your eyes if you do it for too long.

 

How Short Should I Cut My Grass?

Selective focus of fresh green grass near small bushes

 

Your skin isn’t the only thing you have to protect against the heat.

Your grass needs protection, too.

The length of your grass is not just a matter of personal preference, especially when heat is involved!

Cutting your grass too short can put its health at risk in the hot summer months.

It is healthier to let your grass grow a bit longer in the summer months.

How long you should let your grass get depends on what type of grass it is.

If it is a cool-season variety, you are going to want to let it grow to four inches.

For warm-season grasses, you can cut them as short as two inches.

 

Why Does Longer Grass Fare Better In The Heat?

Green meadow

 

There are a few reasons letting your grass grow longer can help it maintain its health in the summertime.

One reason is that the longer you let your grass grow, the deeper its roots typically extend.

Grassroots that are allowed to grow deeper are more protected from the heat.

They also have easier access to water, which can be very important during times of extreme heat.

 

Can I Cut My Grass During A Heat Wave?

Senior man driving a red lawn mower

 

You should avoid mowing your grass during a heat wave, both for the sake of your health and the grass’s health.

Cutting your grass can hurt its ability to protect itself from the heat.

The best thing you can do is leave it alone and let nature work its magic while protecting itself.

 

How Do I Protect My Grass During A Heat Wave?

Sprinkler of automatic watering

 

You should take a break from cutting your grass during a heat wave, but what else can you do to protect it?

There are a couple of steps you can take to keep your grass healthy and growing in the face of extreme temperatures.

  • Aerate your lawn. When it becomes extremely hot out, the dirt can actually start to repel water. Spiking your lawn can help the water penetrate the soil and get to the roots of your grass. This plays a big role in keeping it healthy.
  • Provide shade. If it is possible, you want to give your grass some shade. Use any lawn furniture or umbrellas you have to shade vulnerable parts of your lawn. For a more long-term solution, you can plant trees throughout your lawn to protect it from the sun.
  • Keep your lawn watered. You are going to want to follow your city’s regulations on this front. Sometimes during a heat wave, it is necessary to conserve water and stop watering your grass. However, if it is permitted and possible, you should try to keep your lawn watered.
  • Water your lawn at night. Watering your lawn at night can be more effective than watering it during the day. This allows time for the water to seep into the grass. If you water it during the heat of the day, it will quickly evaporate. Not only will this prevent it from nourishing your grass, but it will also waste water unnecessarily. Wasting water is a bad move during a heat wave!
  • Reduce feeding. Though you might think that feeding your grass during tough times makes sense, it actually can cause problems. Giving your grass nitrogen during hot weather can cause a reaction in your grass. It can result in something called reverse osmosis, which leads to water loss. This can dry out your grass and leave it more vulnerable to burns.The best thing you can do if you feel your grass needs feeding is to use a liquid feed rather than a granular one. You also are going to want a feed with more potassium and less nitrogen. If you feel your grass is struggling, consider contacting a lawn care professional about the best way to treat your grass.

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