Mowing Wet Grass [5 Common Questions Answered!]

mowing wet grass

The best time for mowing is when the weather is dry and the grass has no droplets. This is because the morning dew or rain moisture bends the grass. As a result, a straight cut will not be so easy.

It is also believed that disease can rapidly spread while mowing damp grass. This is because a freshly cut damp blade is more vulnerable to be the source of disease-causing germs.

Despite these issues, it cannot be denied that there are times when mowing wet grass is unavoidable. For example, if you are living in areas where it rains frequently.  What you will do when the situation is specifically serious—the grass has truly become unruly and you have not mowed for a long time. Will you wait? If yes, then you are planning to ruin your own lawn.

In the scenario mentioned above, it is better to mow in wet conditions instead of waiting for a miracle to happen. Read ahead to find out how to mow wet grass safely.

1) Is it OK to Mow a Wet Lawn?

The truth is, there are some convincing reasons why mowing wet grass is not good. There are the risks of slipping and falling. Furthermore, the cuttings will form clumps that will make the lawn appear patchy. At the same time, the final cut may not be neat due to the grass being wet.

There is another risk of chlorophyll stain, as it is likely to occur more easily in dampness than in dryness.

The stain will not only be seen on the mower but also on your clothes, skin, and the adjoining patio appearing green due to the clumped cuttings.

Above all, drenched grass is sticky. In simple words, it is likely to stick up to your mower’s underside or end up congesting the motor. However, you can get around this risk by moving slowly and cleaning up a bit after mowing for some time.

If you love perfection, we recommend you to wait for the grass to dry. However, mowing wet grass does not necessarily mean that you will be facing these risks. Here are some facts for you to learn and digest if you want to mow when the grass is wet.

  • According to the state of Kansas, unlike the popular belief, mowing when wet is better than allowing the grass to grow if the mowing blades are sharp.
  • Ensure that the ground is not soggy as they tend to make you sink. You cannot mow if it is that wet.
  • Avoid using an electric mower and any extension cord, as it is unsafe to use electricity with water.
  • Use silicone spray over the deck’s underside or oil it for better performance.

If these four conditions are fulfilled and you truly are in a gridlock, go ahead and mow that wet lawn.

2) How Soon Can You Cut Grass after It Rains?

This is a famous question that most people ask. Should you wait for an hour or for two days? Let’s find out!

  • Duration to Wait: How long you need to wait for mowing is actually determined by the temperature and humidity. It is good to cut when you can stroll through the lawn without sinking or getting your shoes too wet such that you end up advancing your foot too slowly every time you take a step. Do inspect the soil. If it is soft or muddy, do wait.
  • Tall Grass: If the wet grasses are tall, it can put significant pressure on some mowers and can consequently result in overheating. However, if the mower is robust, has sharp blades, and comes with powerful cutting decks; it can simply make mowing wet grass an easy task. In case you are unsure whether a lawn is too wet or not, start by mowing a row. If your mower gets caught up, simply stop and try after a day’s time.
  • Too Wet Grass: If the grass is too wet, it simply bends over. This means that your mower is likely to miss or simply hit a bit of taller grass blades. Once dried, the grass retains its original position and the stooped blades stand out to result in an uneven cut. Thus, prior to mowing wet grass after a rain spell, it is wise to examine the grass closely to find whether any blades are stooped. Mowing should ideally be done once they stand straight.
  • Wet Grass: Cutting such grass results in bigger wet clippings that can block the mower's deck. Due to unwell mulching, wet grass is likely to fall out of the deck as big and bulky clumps. However, this is not an issue if you have an air-tapered mower deck. Still, it is wise to check the mower deck quite often while mowing post rain. Mowing wet grass is also likely to increase the probability of rut mutilation due to softer soil, easier tearing of grassroots by tires, and slippery surface. This risk can be minimized with lighter weight models that come with large wheels.

Here is how you should mow after it has stopped raining:-

  • 1
    Adjust the mower’s blade such that it is at the highest cutting level.
  • 2
    Deactivate the mulching utility so that the risk of grass clumping is minimized.
  • 3
    Take off the bag if it is attached and configure the mower to blow out from the side-discharge outlet.
  • 4
    Start mowing close to the lawn’s perimeter and towards a direction that takes the cut grass far from the turf’s center. Go gradually so that the blades get enough time to cut.
  • 5
    Persist mowing around the external rim of the region to be mowed such that your path is inward.
  • 6
    Consider cutting only half rows. The half position of the blade should be over the uncut grass area and the remaining half over the cut portion. This will ensure that the blade has a restricted quantity of wet grass to push from the mower’s side.
  • 7
    Switch off the mower frequently and let the blades come to a halt.
  • 8
    Wear your gloves and upturn the mower to pull clumping grass on its inside or from the blades. Do wipe the side-discharge outlet to free it from wet residues.
  • 9
    Rake the clippings, especially from the areas where there are clumps. Alternatively, on the subsequent dry day, use the machine over the clippings so that they disperse consistently over the turf. Upon decomposition, the same clippings can work as fertilizer to provide nutrients to the soil.

3) How Do You Cut Long Wet Grass?

It is actually challenging to cut tall grass. It gets even more challenging if the tall grass is wet. However, if you keep mowing shorter grass, the quicker it grows.

That is why experts recommend us to have a short mowing interval, generally 5 five days. Doing so prevents the rapid growth of grass as well as avert the bushiness.

Ideally, for mowing long grass, it is wise to adhere to the normal mowing height. In case of dry weather, avoid watering the lawn so that the grass does not grow tall.

It is time to cut your long wet grass. For this, you should raise the height as per the one-third rule and go for an elevated cut. After three days, run the mower after adjusting it at a lower setting without compromising the aforementioned rule.

That said; you can go for the subsequent cut at the standard height. You can follow this procedure even if you have not mowed for quite some time.

It is worth noticing that this procedure functions well if the mower is of the rotary type, not cylinder type that will simply make you toil. Thus, it is wise to get a rotary mower for this scenario.

4) Does Cutting Wet Grass Hurt Your Lawn Mower?

The answer to this question is yes, if you do not take the necessary precautions. It is a common belief that wet grass tends to hurt the mower and dull its blades.

The truth is, if you use it the right way, this will not be the case. Mowing wet grass does not dull the blade at a quicker pace than dry grass.

However, it is not beneficial for the mower, as it need to work harder. It is a fact that wet grass trimmings result in clumps that are problematic for both the mower and the yard. The trimmings get caught underneath the deck of your mower and will end up making a dense, damp mass.

The trimmings’ buildup meddles with the vacuum that is formed beneath the mower to raise the blades for cutting the grass. If the buildup gets too thick, it negatively affects the movement of the mower’s blade. As a result, the engine gets bogged down and finally stops.

The only solution to avoid this bogging is to clean the buildup by turning over the mower and remove the buildup using hands in gloves.

If the mower blade is dull, wet grass is likely to be pulled instead of being cut cleanly. The wet and thick clumps are likely to block the sunlight from penetrating into the ground. As a result, dead spots can become common.

Damp clumps can also nurture bacteria and facilitate diseases. Thus, it is wise to use sharp blades on wet grass.

5) Can I Mow Wet Leaves?

The answer is now pretty straightforward: Yes, provided the aforementioned prerequisites are met. It is vital to note that these leaves are slippery and may result in clumping.

So, the aforementioned measures must be taken for mowing wet leaves safely.

There are times when lots of wet leaves will be around for cleaning. It is more common during the fall. This is when you will have no option other than to pick up wet leaves.

Certainly, doing so with the help of a traditional rake and bare hands is not recommended although raking is indispensable for matted-down leaves. You can choose to simply mow and bag them.

Allowing the leaves to pile up can invite problems while mulching the leaves. One of the major problem will be clogging of the mower blades.

Conclusion

In wetter or spring areas, it is actually impossible to wait for the grass to dry for mowing. Here, mowing wet grass periodically is essential, even if the grass is partially wet. In such cases, it is best to follow the aforementioned guidelines and invest in an adaptable mower.

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    Jeremy Delores

    Jeremy is here to help you get the right tools and equipment for your yard and garden. Being obsessed with them for almost a decade, he knows how important quality and reliability is when using them. For this reason, he will focus on creating and sharing content that not only cover the latest information and trends but also his insights on the best products that will suit your needs and requirements.

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