Depending on your work schedule, it can be hard to find time throughout the week to mow the lawn during sunlight hours.
There is no law in any of the 50 states that makes it illegal to mow your lawn at night, so technically, you can mow at night. But doing so can be against local sound ordinances, HOA rule, or any other law against noise pollution.
This, in addition to unspoken lawn mowing etiquette between neighbors, which also makes it a bad idea.
Generally, it is not illegal to mow at night. This is because most areas don’t have specific laws that outlaw mowing at night.
However, how much freedom you have to mow at night depends solely on where you live.
Some areas like West Orange specify:
- What type of equipment you can and can’t use
- Which hours are acceptable for mowing
- Which days you can do the mowing
And even in areas that don’t have specific laws, they have sound ordinances, HOA rules, and local codes that can limit one’s freedom to mow at night. And so can your neighbors.
Therefore, before you start exploring your mowing options, you will need to familiarize yourself with the laws, codes, ordinances, and guidelines that are applicable in your area.
Is it a bad idea to mow at night?
It is inadvisable to mow during the night because of the following reasons.
You will disturb your neighbors
Power lawn mowers are noisy. They are even noisier at night when things are quiet.
Therefore, mowing deep into the night, especially if you are using a power lawnmower, is wrong simply because you will be disturbing your neighbors.
You will be interrupting their sleep. You will be interrupting their quiet time with their families. And you will definitely be creating bad blood between you and your neighbors.
It is not good for your lawn’s health
At night, your lawn is at its most vulnerable. Cutting it at its weakest point is not really good for long-term health.
Doing so will thus make it harder for it to defend itself against fungus, insects, and other harmful intruders. There is also the fact that you won’t be giving your lawn enough time to recover from the trauma of mowing. It is thus something that will lead to poor lawn health.
You will be breaking sound ordinance laws
Some local authorities have put in place sound ordinances that help to protect their inhabitants from sound pollution. These ordinances typically prohibit carrying out noisy activities at night. And so if you mow your lawn at night, you may get cited, fined, or penalized in some other way.
At night, your vision will be compromised. This is so even if you are using floodlights, as nothing in the market can really match daytime visibility. This presents the following challenges.
- It increases the risk of damaging fixtures like sprinklers
- It increases the risk of sustaining an injury
- It also increases the risks of damaging your mower
- It necessitates using powerful lights that may be a nuisance to your neighbors
What if you have a busy schedule?
If you have a busy schedule, you can still avoid mowing deep into the night.
Here is what you can do.
If you have a tight schedule and the only time that you have to take care of your lawn is at night, then you should consider hiring professionals.
They will be able to work on the lawn during the day. They will be able to do a better job — thanks to their experience and expertise. And they will be able to do so without requiring your presence.
Work on your lawn in phases
Dividing your lawn into smaller sections can help you to avoid mowing at night. This is because you will be able to work in phases. And so you won’t have to work for longer hours at a go.
By working in sections, you will limit the amount of time that you will have to mow into the night. You can do some mowing before and after work. And you can also do it over several days without feeling like you are slacking.
What if you don’t have a choice?
If you don’t have the luxury of exploring the above options, you can still get away with mowing at night.
Use different equipment
The main reason why most areas stipulate mowing rules and guidelines, especially with regards to mowing time, has to do with noise. And so, if you can find a way to mow without making noise, you can easily get away with mowing at night.
Mechanical mower instead of a power mower
For example, while people who live in West Orange will be contravening a local ordinance by using a power mower, they will be on the right side of the law if they simply used a mechanical mower. Why? Because the ordinance only prohibits mowing with a power mower.
Therefore, if you live in such an area, you can find a way around the restriction by using a mechanical lawn mower.
But it doesn’t always work
However, opting for a different mowing machine isn’t a foolproof method.
Because some areas, like Richmond, don’t just illegalize using a power lawnmower. Instead, they outlaw the operation of any type of lawnmower. In such a case, using a mechanical or battery-powered lawn mower won’t help.
Talk to your neighbors
The main problem with mowing at night is the disturbance that you will be causing. Since your neighbors will be the ones who are most affected by your actions, they are the ones who are likely to complain to the authorities.
They are the most likely to report you
And so if you get into trouble, chances are that it is your neighbors that called your HOA, the local authority, or any other person tasked with enforcing rules, laws, codes, or guidelines related to noise or disturbances.
Therefore, if you really have no choice but to mow at night, then talking to your neighbors can really go a long way towards allowing you to mow without getting into trouble.
It’s a gesture of good faith
It is typically a gesture of good faith, and as a result, they may find your mowing less irritating. Their understanding of why you really have to mow at the time will also reduce the likelihood of them reporting you to the authorities.
Use this free service to find an expert near you
If you need help maintaining your lawn, this site offers a free service that puts you in contact with qualified professionals in your area.
Here is how it works.
- You scroll to the top of the page and enter your Zip code.
- Answer questions about your needs and preferences
- Your details will be forwarded to three local experts.
- You will then receive a price estimate – in writing – for the job and some friendly advice.
IMPORTANT: There is no obligation to hire. This is a free tool and service to be used at your pleasure.