When it comes to mowing lawns, one common cause for concern among lawn owners is mowing the grass when it is wet. So, can we mow wet grass? We will get the answer in this feed along with some excellent tips and ideas for Mowing Wet Grass.
I’ve had a lot of people ask me if it’s okay to mow a wet lawn.
Mowing, in itself, is an essential lawn practice. You have to mow your lawn to keep it in good shape but cutting the right way is another thing altogether.
People living in areas with high rainfall will always have the challenge of mowing a wet lawn. The question on every lawn owner’s lips is; how to mow your lawn when its wet?
I’ll be answering this question in a short while, showing some other best practices on handling a wet lawn.
Can You Mow Wet Grass?
To put it simply, mowing your lawn when it is still wet is a bad idea.
Cutting your grass when it is wet will cause soil compaction and inhibit growth. When the grass is wet, the soil is also quite wet, making it easy for the mower tires to compact the ground and pull out tender grassroots.
Mowing a wet lawn will also mean larger clippings as it is difficult for the mower blade to cut the grass cleanly when it is wet. You again run the risk of rut damage.
As you can see, mowing a wet lawn can cause your lawn a lot of harm. But sometimes, it is unavoidable. Some regions receive consistent rainfall for months on end. When this is the case, forget what I just told you right now. You may have to mow your lawn.
Even though mowing a wet lawn is not advisable, when left with no choice, you can go ahead to mow that lawn by following some best practices that’ll ensure your lawn and your lawn mower does not get damaged in the process.
The risk of harming yourself is also high, especially when you’re using an electric lawn mower. You can also slip on the wet grass and injure yourself. This is more likely on a sloping lawn. Check here for ways to deal with a sloping yard.
When there is non-stop rainfall for an extended period, waiting for the grass to dry would be a futile exercise. The grass will keep on growing and may even turn to seed. To prevent this from happening, you have no other choice than to mow the lawn when wet.
Do’s of Mowing a Wet Lawn
If you must cut your wet lawn, you must follow the guidelines to ensure your safety, prevent your mower from getting damaged and ensure you continue to have a healthy lawn.
Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blades
When the grass is wet, it becomes difficult for the mower blades to cut the grass cleanly, except it has been sharpened recently or replaced.
If you cannot replace your mower blade before cutting a wet lawn, you should ensure you sharpen the lawn mower blade.
Spray Silicone Lubricant under the mower deck
When mowing wet grass, the grass clippings tend to stick under the mower deck, which can quickly clog up the area. You can remove the grass stuck under the mower deck after every 10 minutes, or you can spray silicone lubricant under the deck to prevent grass from sticking.
The lubricant will also make it easier to remove any grass that may stick under the deck.
Use Lawn Mowers with Bigger Tires to Mow Wet Grass
Because the ground is wet, it is easy for the lawn mower to compact the soil and make it difficult for your lawn to grow well. To avoid that, use lawn mowers with wider tires.
This will spread its weight over a larger surface, meaning less pressure will be exerted on a particular area. A wider tire is also less likely to rip off the root of the grass.
So check out for this if you’re renting a lawn mower.
Raise the Lawn Mower Deck while You Mow Wet Grass
When the grass is wet, you want to raise the mower deck to prevent grass clipping from sticking underneath and clogging the area.
Raise the mower deck to cut between 3 and 4 inches. Remember, the aim is to give the grass trim and not cut off a large portion.
Add a Fuel Stabilizer
You need to protect your lawn mower from damage by adding a stabilizer to the fuel. This stabilizer will prevent a bad reaction of fuel and moisture on your lawn mower.
To go one better, limit the fuel in your tank to the barest minimum. Ideally, only the amount needed for one mowing session as excess fuel reacting to moisture is not good for your lawn mower.
The ratio of stabilizer to fuel should be 1:2.
Start the lawn mower
After making changes to your lawnmower, you want to test run it to be sure it works well. Start your lawn mower and observe it for a while.
Observe the sound and vibration and ensure it is normal before going ahead.
Trim the Grass
Cut the grass in small swathes, smaller than you would typically cut when the grass is dry.
As you already know, wet grass is difficult to cut. To reduce the strain on your lawn mower and prevent it from getting damaged, trim the grass’s top rather than cutting off more significant portions.
Rake the clippings
After cutting the grass, you can rake the clippings and use them in your compost pile. If the clippings are not so much, you can even leave them on your lawn to provide extra nutrients.
Clean the lawnmower
One thing is sure after cutting a wet lawn; you’ll be left with an untidy lawn mower.
Leaving the damp grass stuck on your lawn mower will introduce moss and cause the mower to rust. You don’t want this for your prized asset now, do you?
Clean the wet grass off the lawn mower. Remember to remove clippings that may have stuck under the mower too.
You can then allow your mower to rest in your garden shed.
Don’ts of Mowing a Wet Lawn
To ensure your safety and that of your mower, here are few things not to do when it comes to mowing a wet lawn.
Do not use an electric lawn mower: the risk of electrocution is high on a wet lawn when using an electric lawn mower. A gas-powered mower would be ideal.
Do not bag clippings: because the clippings are wet, bagging them when mowing will leave the bag dirty and wet and will ultimately damage it with time. You can leave the clippings on the lawn or rake them later and add them to your compost pile.
Do not mow when the ground is soggy: you can get away with mowing a wet lawn but mowing when the soil is waterlogged with pools of water on the surface is not ideal.
Do not mow under the rain: this covers both the ground would be soggy and the risk of getting electrocuted. Leave the ground to dry up a little after the rain before mowing, ideally, after 3 to 5 hours.
Mowing wet grass is a big challenge. When possible, avoid mowing damp grass altogether. When not possible, make sure to adhere to this wet grass mowing best practices to ensure your safety, prolong the life of your lawn mower and keep your lawn healthy.