Lawn & Garden Lawn Care

12 Tips for Homeowners Who Want to Spend Less Time Mowing

Everyone wants to enjoy a beautiful lawn in the summertime, but almost no one loves mowing it. Cut down on the time you spend mowing your grass with some of these smart tips.

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Plant Grass Alternatives

With water conservation a high priority in many parts of the country, alternatives to traditional water-hogging grasses have become more popular. Plant your property with a no-mow alternative like thyme, and mowing will become a distant memory. 

Plant Slow-Growing Fescue

There are several varieties of slow-growing fescues that require mowing only four or five times a year. If you are starting from scratch on a new property without grass, you can sow seed and grow this grass as you would any other. If you want to transition a traditional lawn, you’ll first need to weaken or kill the grass you currently have, which can be done by scalping it (cutting it all the way to the ground) early in the season.

Related: Goodbye Grass: 13 Inspiring Ideas for a “No Mow” Backyard

Skip Mowing During Drought

Don’t set yourself a regular schedule for mowing in summertime. Rather, take your cues from your lawn and the weather, and don’t mow more than is necessary. In times of drought, your grass will grow more slowly, and you can mow less often.

Related: 7 Things Your Lawn May Be Trying to Tell You

Get a Robot

Technology is amazing! These days, if you really want to unload your mowing chores, you can get a robotic mower to do the work for you. The most sophisticated robotic lawn mowers self-dock and even have sensors that let you just set it and forget it.

Get a Larger Mower

If you truly hate mowing, it may seem crazy to invest in a new mower. But if you get a larger mower—for instance, if you buy one with a 54-inch deck to replace one with a 42-inch deck—you’ll get through the lawn a lot faster.  

Install Low-Maintenance Landscaping Beds

You can reduce the amount of time spent mowing by reducing the amount of grass you have. Consider putting in low-maintenance landscaping beds, such as rock gardens or succulent beds, to replace portions of your lawn.

Hire Help

Sometimes money is the cheapest form of payment. If you really hate to mow, or if you just don’t want to dedicate the time to it, there’s no shame in hiring a professional—or even a high school kid from down the street—to do it for you.

Related: The 10 Best Things You Can Do for Your Lawn

Get a Zero-Turn Mower

Zero-turn mowers are faster and more maneuverable than traditional riding mowers. In general, with a zero-turn mower you can expect to mow a lawn in half the time it takes with a traditional riding mower.

Establish Efficient Mowing Patterns

The way you mow can actually make a difference in how much time the task requires. If you mow in a row pattern, make your rows in the longer direction. That way, you’ll need to make fewer turns, which saves time. A concentric mowing pattern is even more efficient, as the mower can be easily maneuvered over the smooth, shallow turns. The most time-saving of all patterns is the double spiral, where you mow in a concentric pattern, but leave a row unmowed in between each pass. When you reach the middle, you turn the mower around to go back the way you came, mowing in concentric circles that cover the areas you had left unmowed.

Related: 9 Mowing Mistakes Everyone Makes

Don’t Mow When It’s Wet

Most people know it’s not good for the lawn to mow it when it’s wet. The wheels of the mower can dig into the soft earth and gouge your lawn. But mowing when it’s wet will also take longer, because the mower won’t perform as efficiently—or cut as evenly. Always wait until the grass is dry, and the task will go more quickly.

Go Wild

Replacing a section of your lawn with a wildflower garden is an environmentally friendly and beautiful way to reduce the time spent mowing turfgrass. A wildflower meadow not only needs no mowing, it also needs no fertilizing or watering, except in cases of extreme drought. Just mow it once a year and enjoy a beautiful view and a source of cut flowers all season long.

Maintain Your Mower

Be kind to your mower, and it will be kind to you. A well-maintained mower will keep running safely and efficiently so you can finish the chore in less time, with less hassle.

Quick Mowing

Less mowing, means more time to do the things you love.