When to start mowing a lawn in spring — the telltale signs it's time to get going on that unruly grass

Guidance from our gardening pros on when to start mowing a lawn in spring

small lawn with cut grass lines on the right and shaped hedges on the left side
(Image credit: Getty Images/mtreasure)

If you're wondering when to start mowing a lawn in spring, we can reveal the tell-tale clues it's time to dust off your lawn mower and tame that unruly green rug.

Our lawn care and gardenings experts share when to fire up the mower, including the clues to watch out for in temperature, moisture, and grass length.

So if you're keen to get your lawn spring-ready, grab your gardening gloves and let's get started.

When to start mowing a lawn in spring

A healthy lawn has many benefits, and knowing when to start mowing a lawn in spring is the key to achieving it. Our experts share when to start, what to do and which of the best small garden lawnmowers might be worth checking out.

Where our experts have suggested products, our expert shoppers have curated highly-rated products from trusted retailers.

The prices in this article were correct at the time it was published.

How to tell when to start mowing a lawn in spring

Determining the best time to mow the lawn involves keen observation of the daytime temperature, night temperature, and the length of the grass.

But the easiest and most popular way of knowing when to start mowing the lawn in spring is to monitor the length of the grass. 

Lawn Love CEO, Jeremy Yamaguchi, says, "In most areas of the country, the mowing season starts around May, but it can really vary. When your grass reaches about three inches tall, get that mower started."

The weather in your area should also factor into your mowing schedule. If you’re experiencing a wet spring, you’ll have difficulty cutting your grass to your liking. 

Jeremy adds, "Mow a dry lawn to avoid clogging your mower with wet grass clippings and cutting your lawn unevenly. Dry grass is also easier to cut because it sticks up straight."

Profile photo of Ryan Farley, LawnStarter
Ryan Farley

Ryan is chief executive officer of LawnStarter, helping Americans find and book quality lawn services in their area.

Ryan Farley, CEO of LawnStarter, agrees it's best to start mowing the lawn in spring when the grass is dry to avoid mowing mistakes that kill of your lawn, and the temperature in the day is at least 40°F.

He says,"This can be a good way to maintain things until the weather is warm enough to begin properly mowing for the season. In colder areas, it's best to wait until you're staying consistently above freezing during the night. Mowing while your soil and grass is still frozen can damage new growth and risk your lawn's health. 

"If your grass is getting super long but you're still worried it's too cool to mow, I would recommend waiting until the hottest part of the day and give things a quick trim."

Some gardeners rely on soil temperature (try a stainless steel soil thermometer from Amazon to check yours), waiting till the soil reaches around 55 to 60°F, which typically means the grass will be growing.

This is also a useful method for knowing when to stop mowing as winter approaches — when the soil dips below 55°F, it's probably time to put the mower away.

Profile photo of Jeremy Yamaguchi, Lawn Love
Jeremy Yamaguchi

Jeremy is chief executive officer of Lawn Love, bringing high-tech solutions to the lawn care industry and helping thousands of commercial and residential customers connect with the best local lawn care professionals.

So there you have it. By keeping a close eye on temperature changes, grass length, and soil conditions, you can determine the perfect time to start mowing your lawn this spring, and kick off the gardening season in style. Spring is also a great time to aerate your lawn (pros advise doing it again in autumn).

Next check out exactly how to mow a lawn.

Andy van Terheyden
Freelance Writer

I'm a senior writer with an English degree and NCJ qualification, plus years of experience writing news, lifestyle and consumer articles for the national and international press. I'm also a copywriter, working on a breadth of consumer and corporate projects, and a private education consultant. I live in the quiet of the countryside and spend my weekends mooching around homeware shops, completing DIY tasks to breathe life into my small, newly-built home.