On average, Americans spend about 70 hours a year on lawn care, according to American Time Use Survey.
It doesn’t sound like much, but those hours are often filled with backbreaking work sweating over machinery and gardening tools in unseasonably warm temperatures. It’s no wonder it ranks on the top ten most hated chores by children in the country.
Still, you do find a lot of people working tirelessly perfecting their lawns no matter the weather.
Not many people truly enjoy lawn work, but they sure do appreciate the result. The payoff of a great looking, perhaps even award-winning lawn makes it worth the trouble. And, like any work requiring tools, having the right one can make the job a lot less of a hassle.
Knowing how big your lawn is, and how big a lawnmower would adequately cover it, is a key factor in determining just how long those hours are going to be. If you have 5 acres to cover, you can expect it to take up to ten hours on a regular lawnmower. A riding mower can cut that to half the time.
How Long Does It Take To Mow One Acre
It’s much easier to figure out the math behind mowing lawns if you think in terms of acreage. For this purpose, we’ll stick with 1 acre as a unit of measurement for time. Typically, mowing l acre of lawn with a standard push lawnmower takes approximately 2 hours.
The time it takes to mow a lawn depends on other factors than just the size of the area and what mower you use. Things like whether or not your lawn is on a hill or there are obstacles in the way.
Property size is obviously the main concern, but you should consider the terrain of your yard as well. A lawn with a lot of trees, hills, and other obstacles is going to slow you down.
Another factor that cuts time is the size of the mower you use. Riding mowers are clearly more effective, but it depends on the machine’s deck.
A larger deck has more blades, however, the more blades they have, the more fuel they require to operate, which can get expensive.
The final factor that will determine how long it takes to mow any area is how fast you can cut. A riding mower with a large engine spins its blades more rapidly, but you can’t go too fast or you wind up missing patches of grass.
Here’s a helpful guide of the average speeds of most mowers on the market:
Push mower – 3 MPH
Lawn Tractor – 3-5 MPH
Residential Zero Turn – 5-8 MPH
Commercial Zero Turn – 7-13 MPH
Knowing that, here are the calculations of the average time it takes for one acre of lawn.
22″ Push Mower – 1 hour and 39 minutes
30″ Push Mower – 1 hour and 13 minutes
38″ Lawn Tractor – 34-57 minutes
42″ Lawn Tractor – 31-52 minutes
42″ Zero Turn – 19-26 minutes
46″ Zero Turn – 17-23 minutes
54″ Lawn Tractor – 24-40 minutes
54″ Zero Turn – 15-20 minutes
66″ Zero Turn – 10-12 minutes
72″ Zero Turn – 9-11 minutes
What Size Lawnmower Do I Need to Mow 5 Acres?
Using the measurements already determined, a five-acre area with a push mower would take ten hours.
But given that a riding mower cuts the time by half, you can expect the work to be done in only five, which is why a riding mower is likely your best option.
It is entirely understandable for smaller lawns if you just have a standard push mower, and you should be able to get the work done fairly quickly.
Even with just a few acres, larger properties can certainly benefit from a riding mower, especially when they’re approaching a number like five. Some riding mowers work even faster than others, depending on their cutting width.
A mower with a 48-inch cutting width as opposed to a 36, for instance, can reduce the time you spend on the seat to 45 minutes.
But What About This Zero Turn You Talk About? It Seems Faster
As you can see from the charts above, mowing time is cut considerably with a zero turn riding mower. There’s simply no better option for those who want to get their work done as quickly as possible.
Zero turn riding mowers are known for their easy maneuverability, which is especially useful when you need to move around a tree or make a lot of turns.
How Long Does it Take to Mow 12 Acres?
For those with a really large property or dealing with commercial land, the only sane option is a riding mower, lest you want the job to take so long the grass you cut starts to regrow before you’re even finished. We’ve already established a pretty good formula for determining how long these kinds of jobs can take.
Using that formula, mowing 12 acres of lawn should take around 22 hours with a push mower. With the right zero turn riding mower, preferably one with the largest swath of blades possible, you should be able to complete the job in two. What you’re looking for is a 72-inch Zero Turn.
As you can see, there are plenty of options for mowing your lawn beyond just the classic push mower you remember using as a child. The larger job requires better, bigger equipment. Of course, one could always buy a robot Zero Turn, but there’s little sense of accomplishment in that.
If you really want to get the job done, it requires a hands-on job. Anyone who has any pride in their yard knows this, and works hard to maintain their greenery. It’s that same pride that’s led to award-winning lawns and has contributed to the standard of beauty American communities always attempt to achieve.