The first time you tackle a lawn or yard, it can be challenging to estimate how long it will take to mow your grass properly, and not knowing this can be a source of frustration for beginners and experts alike. So how do you work it out?
To estimate how long it will take to mow an area of grass, you will need to consider several factors including the size and shape of the area plus the type of equipment you are using. By working out the area to cover and the speed at which you will be mowing, you can estimate the amount of time it will take.
This guide aims to help you estimate your lawn mowing time with as much accuracy as possible. I will discuss the factors that can affect timings and provide tips and tricks for optimizing the mowing process. Lastly, I will outline a simple step-by-step guide to help you work it out, along with a couple of examples for reference.
Factors Affecting Lawn Mowing Time
To get the best idea of how long it’s going to take you to cut an area of grass, you will need to get a picture of some important aspects:
- Lawn size: The size of your lawn is a crucial factor in determining mowing time as the larger your lawn, the longer it will take to mow. The shape of your lawn can also affect mowing time, as more complex shapes will take longer to cut.
- Mowing equipment: The type of mowing equipment you use can also impact mowing time. A push mower will take longer than a riding mower, and a reel mower will take even longer. The condition of your equipment can also affect how long it takes, as well-maintained equipment will work more efficiently.
- Obstacles on the lawn: Any obstructions, such as trees, flower beds, and landscaping, can make mowing take longer, as you need to work around them carefully. If you have a lot of things to maneuver around and a very large yard, it may be worth investing in a zero-turn mower to help navigate around them more easily.
Step-by-Step Guide To Estimating Mowing Time
To estimate your lawn mowing time, try following these simple step-by-step instructions:
Step 1: Measure your lawn’s size in square yards. If you have an irregularly shaped lawn, break it down into smaller sections and measure each section separately. Convert this into acres by multiplying it by 0.000206612. For example, 500 square yards equals 0.103306 acres.
Step 2: Work out how fast you can mow. The type of mowing equipment you use can also impact mowing time as different mowers have their own speed limits and capabilities.
Here are some examples of mowing equipment, plus their typical speed range and cutting widths to help you choose the one that best suits your lawn’s needs:
- Push reel mower: A reel mower is suitable for small lawns of up to ¼ acre. It can mow at a speed of 2 to 4 miles per hour and takes longer than other mowers. Cutting width 14 to 18 inches.
- Self-propelled mower: A self-propelled mower is best suited to medium-sized lawns of up to ½ acre. It can typically mow at a speed of 3 to 5 miles per hour and requires less effort than a push mower. Cutting width 16 to 30 inches.
- Riding mower: A riding mower or lawn tractor is suitable for large lawns of 1 acre or more. It can mow at a speed of 4 to 6 miles per hour and covers a lot of ground fairly quickly. Cutting widths range from 36 to 54 inches.
- Zero-turn mower: A zero-turn mower is suitable for large lawns of 1 acre or more. It can mow at a speed of 6 to 10 miles per hour and provides excellent maneuverability and control. Cutting widths can go from 36 to 72 inches.
Step 3: Take note of the cutting width. Lawnmowers come in a range of sizes which makes a big difference when estimating mowing time.
Step 4: Take your information and use it to enter into one of the numerous mowing time calculators available online.
To give you some idea, here are a couple of timing examples:
- An 18″ self-propelled push mower takes around 1 and ¾ hours to mow an acre of grass.
- A 30 ” riding mower covers an acre of grass in around 40 minutes.
This assumes a flat lawn where you can go straight up and down, but of course, many areas of grass are not so straightforward so you will need to adjust accordingly.
What About Obstacles On The Lawn?
Obstacles on your lawn can mean mowing takes longer, as you need to work around them carefully. Examples of obstacles include trees, flower beds, rocks, and other structures.
To minimize the impact on your schedule plan your mowing pattern ahead of time and work around the obstacles systematically. If you can, use a smaller mower or trimmer to get around really tight spots.
Add Extra Time For Trimming And Edging
In addition to mowing, you will likely need to trim and edge your lawn to achieve a polished and professional look. These tasks can add extra time to your mowing estimate, so make sure to factor them in.
Trimming involves using a string trimmer to cut grass in hard-to-reach areas, such as around trees, fences, and flower beds. Edging involves using an edger to create a defined edge along the border of your lawn.
These tasks can be time-consuming, but they are important for achieving a well-manicured lawn.
Tips and Tricks For Optimizing The Mowing Process
To optimize your lawn mowing process, consider the following tips and tricks:
Keep equipment well maintained: Regular maintenance of your lawnmower is essential to keep it running efficiently. Sharpen the blades, change the oil, and replace the filters as necessary. A dull blade can slow down the mowing process and create an uneven cut.
Choosing the right mowing pattern and speed: Save time and effort by choosing the best mowing pattern along with a reasonable speed. Mowing in straight lines can be faster than curves, and a slower speed can result in a more even cut, so saves time in the long run.
Prioritize safety: Safety should always be a top priority when mowing your lawn. Wear appropriate footwear (no flip-flops!) and clothing, and always ensure that your equipment is in good working condition. Allow time to check for any loose rocks or debris that could be thrown by the mower, and keep pets and children away from the area while working (you can read more about things to avoid if you want to operate your mower safely and effectively here).
Do Grass Types Affect Timings?
The type of grass in your lawn is not much of a factor in estimating lawn mowing time for each individual session but does make a difference to the time spent overall during the growing season. Some grasses grow faster than others and may require more frequent mowing.
For example, Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that requires frequent mowing during the growing season. It can grow up to 2 inches per week, and you may need to mow it every 4 to 5 days.
On the other hand, cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass typically grow around 1-1.5 inches per week in peak season so mowing once a week is usually fine.
Additionally, the height at which you mow your lawn can also affect its health and appearance. Certain grass types may benefit from a higher or lower cut setting, so it’s important to research the ideal mowing height for your specific grass type and adjust accordingly.
Get More Accurate Timings Using Technology-Based Tools
If you want an even more accurate estimate, consider using technology like lawn mowing timer apps or programs. These software tools take into account the size, shape, and obstacles of your lawn and use algorithms to calculate the likely mowing time.
Some of these apps can even factor in your mowing speed and the type of equipment you plan to use. They can be particularly useful if you have a large lawn with complex shapes or obstacles.
Mowing the grass is an important part of lawn care, but estimating the time required can be challenging. By considering factors such as lawn size, obstacles, and mowing equipment, you can soon work out a fairly accurate picture of how long it’s likely to take.
Remember to prioritize safety, maintain your equipment regularly, and factor in time for trimming and edging.
Using technology-based tools such as mobile apps can also help you get an even more accurate estimate of the time it will take to cut your particular patch of grass.