How Long Does It Take to Mow a Lawn?
Some folks actually enjoy mowing. Maybe you're one of them – those rare individuals who see mowing as a respite from day-to-day life, as a chance to spend some much-needed time in the great outdoors. There's even a zen-like focus to it, a single-mindedness of purpose that allows you to either focus your thoughts or clear your mind, as the case may be.
But for most of us, it's a chore, and the quicker we can get it done the better. Whichever camp you belong in, it's worth giving some thought to how much time you spend mowing. Just how long does it take to mow a lawn? How long should it take? How can you reduce your mowing time – or get the most out of it? We're here to offer some answers.
Days of Our Lives
According to the Chicago Tribune, the average American spends about 70 hours a year on lawn care. That's almost three full days! And considering that survey takes into account all the Americans who don't mow at all, it's safe to assume that those of us who mow regularly are spending a lot more time than that on our lawn mowers.
Here's another statistic to consider: it takes 30 minutes to mow the average lawn, according to the Lawn Institute. Keep in mind that the average lawn is just 10,000 square feet (less than 1/4 acre). Many of us have a lot more ground to cover, so it's worth asking again, how long does it take to mow a lawn, and how can I do it faster? Let's dive into it.
Where Does the Time Go?
The amount of time you spend mowing depends on quite a few factors, from climate conditions to the variety of turf-grass you have planted and how quickly it grows. For the most part, three considerations affect your mowing time:
1. The Size of Your Lawn
This isn't exactly headline news, but it takes a lot longer to mow a large yard than a small one. Those of us with huge lawns tend to spend a lot more time cutting grass than those who have a tiny postage-stamp lawn and are also more likely to be looking for a way to reduce that time.
2. The Width of Your Lawn Mower Deck
A larger lawn mower cuts a broader swath of grass, allowing you to make fewer passes and get the job done quicker. Barring other outside factors, the wider your lawn mower is, the faster you can mow.
3. The Speed of Your Lawn Mower
This is a big factor too. Push mowers are limited by the speed you can push them, while lawn tractors are capable of going faster, and zero-turn lawn mowers are faster still. The faster you can move, the sooner the job will be done.
There are a few other things to consider, such as terrain and landscaping (hilly lawns and lawns with a lot of obstacles tend to take longer) but, within a fair degree of accuracy, you can figure out your mowing time based on the three factors outlined above.
Calculating Your Time
Time to figure out once and for all how much time it takes to mow your lawn! Luckily, we've created a handy Lawn Mowing Calculator to help you crunch the numbers. Simply enter the width of your lawn mower (in inches), the speed of your mower (in miles per hour) and the size of your lawn (in acres). The calculator will let you know how long it will take to mow your lawn, as well as the average pace (in acres per hour).
Not satisfied with the results? No problem. Chances are, there are quite a few ways you can reduce your lawn mowing time.
Need for Speed
You can cut (no pun intended) your mowing time by adjusting any of the three factors we've already covered. And since making your lawn smaller isn't a particularly helpful or viable option, let's focus on the other two: lawn mower size, and speed. Both of these factors are largely determined by the type of lawn mower you are using:
- Walk-Behind Mowers: Also known as push mowers, these machines are limited by how quickly you can push them. The average human walking speed is just over 3 miles per hour, and it's probably a little less if you're exerting the effort to push a lawn mower.
- Lawn Tractors: Riding mowers or lawn tractors generally top out just under 7 miles per hour, though there's pretty wide variation when it comes to speed. They also have a larger deck than your typical push mower, so lawn tractors can definitely cover more ground in less time.
- Zero-Turn Mowers: The go-to choice of professional landscapers and anyone with a vast lawn and limited time, zero-turn mowers get top marks for speed as well as agility. Many models are capable of hitting 13 miles per hour or more, with tight turns and a larger deck that reduces mowing time even further.
Doing the Math
Look, we get that nobody really likes doing calculations, so we've done some for you. Here's how long it would take to mow 1 acre of grass (assuming flat terrain and no obstacles to mow around) using various types of lawn mowers. We've assumed a typical mowing speed of 3 miles per hour for push mowers, 6 miles per hour for lawn tractors, and 12 miles per hour for zero-turn mowers.
- 22-inch push mower: 1 hour, 40 minutes
- 30-inch push mower: 1 hour, 13 minutes
- 38-inch lawn tractor: 29 minutes
- 42-inch lawn tractor: 26 minutes
- 46-inch lawn tractor: 23 minutes
- 42-inch zero-turn mower: 13 minutes
- 46-inch zero-turn mower: 11 minutes
- 56-inch zero-turn mower: 9 minutes
The Last Word
Understandably, attaining top speed and efficiency isn't important to everyone. If you have a small lawn, or have a big lawn and simply don't mind spending a lot of time mowing it, then lawn mower speed probably isn't something you need to worry about. But if you're looking for a way to spend less time on your lawn mower and more time doing, well... anything else, then upgrading to a larger, faster mower is an option worth considering.
If you have more questions about how long it takes to mow your lawn, or are looking for a way to mow faster, we're here to help. Contact us today to locate a Hustler retailer near you, and let's see if we can't work together to help you spend less time mowing this year.