How Mowing Too Late Could Get You Into Trouble With The Law

You finished up a long day at work, rushed home to get dinner started, fed your family, and put the kids to bed. You look out the window and notice your front yard looks like a wild grassland compared to your neighbors' neatly manicured lawns. You've got a bit of time before bed, and want to take care of it before weeds take over. Before firing up the mower, however, you might want to double-check the time. Mowing too late in the evening (or too early in the morning, for that matter) can not only lead to unhappy neighbors, but may also potentially violate local codes, resulting in warnings or fines.

Most cities and towns have noise ordinances written into their laws and codes. Within these ordinances, there are often designated quiet hours as well. Quiet hours often span from either 9 or 10 p.m. to 6 or 7 a.m. but this can differ from day to day and from place to place. If you want to enjoy the benefits of mowing your lawn more frequently, it's important to know the laws in your area to avoid upset neighbors and fines. 

Designated quiet hours can vary

While the best time to mow your lawn may vary depending on your climate, when it comes to the noise of mowing, your city or town most likely has its own laws and ordinances.

In Davenport, Iowa for example, you are not allowed to operate a lawn mower during "night-time hours" — defined as 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.. On the other hand, the Code of Ordinances in Sumter County, Florida states that you are not allowed to mow your lawn or operate any other lawn maintenance equipment between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. In other places around the United States, there are different rules for the weekdays versus the weekends. In Alexandria, Virginia, mowing your lawn is prohibited before 7 a.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. on weekends and holidays, and using lawn equipment after 9 p.m. is prohibited on any day. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, you cannot operate lawn equipment between 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. from Monday through Saturday. On Sundays and holidays, quiet hours are extended to 9 a.m.

Just from this random sampling, it seems that quiet hours for towns and cities can vary quite a bit. To find out when it's acceptable for you to mow your lawn, be sure to look up the noise ordinances for your area. This can be done online, but if you want to be extra certain, you can also contact the office of your mayor or city manager.