Last weekend, I was up and ready to start my Sunday at 6:30 am., which doesn't happen often.

I looked at my wife and said, "it's too early to mow the lawn, right?"

The obvious answer was yes – it was far too early.

But that got me thinking. As a new homeowner, when is the earliest I can cut the lawn? Similarly, when is the latest I or my neighbors should be out cutting the lawn into the night?

We are in the tick of cookouts, birthday parties, celebrations, and above all, mowing season.

Man cutting grass in his yard with lawn mower.
Getty Images

As a morning radio host, I'm a morning person. So for me, I would be more forgiving of someone who fires up their engine at 7am as opposed to an 8pm starter.

Taking this question to the people of New Hampshire was....interesting. I will try and dissect the overwhelming and varying responses to find out the right answer.

First and foremost, most towns have a noise ordinance. For example, in Portsmouth, "the operation of any such set, instrument, phonograph, machine or device between the hours of ll:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. in such a manner as to be plainly audible at City of Portsmouth, NH Ordinances Page 14 Chapter 3 a distance of 50 feet from the building, structure or vehicle in which it is located shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section," according to Chapter IV, Section 3.403, B.

That said, if you fire your mower up at 10:30 pm, your neighbors will certainly be unhappy. So, what is the neighborly start and end time? The consensus I have gathered from nearly 100 people weighing in on the Seacoast is this:

The most respectful time: between 9am and 7pm.

The doable but not overly happy time: between 8am and 8pm.

The NO-GO time: before 8am and after 8pm.

Riding Lawn Equipment with operator for periodically garden upkeep
Getty Images

Of course, there were a variety of answers. Some said 7am start. Some were okay with mowers going until 10pm. I also got the other end of the spectrum, from 10am – 4pm (short window).


When in doubt, stick between the most respectful times. That said, talk to your neighbor. Maybe they work an overnight shift or are a morning radio show host.

Talk to them and make sure they are not secretly resenting you from across the street!

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