Mowing your lawn is a chore that most homeowners have to do at least once a week during the summer. But what if it’s raining or wet outside? Is it still okay to mow the lawn then, or will you damage your grass?
This post will discuss the reasons you should avoid mowing a wet lawn, as well as what can be done to mitigate damage if you absolutely must cut the grass when it’s wet. Be sure to consult a local lawn care company for more specific information in your area.
The Short Answer Is No
Before getting into all the reasons or any pros and cons, let’s be very clear; you should not mow your lawn when it is wet. There are ways to mow wet grass somewhat effectively, which we will get into later, but in general, mowing wet grass is not a good idea.
It is always best to wait until your lawn is dry to the touch. Wet grass is much more susceptible to damage than dry grass. When you mow wet grass, the blades get ripped and torn instead of cut cleanly. This can lead to brown or yellow patches in your lawn that take weeks or even months to recover.
In addition, wet grass clumps together after being cut. These clumps can then smother the parts of your lawn that are still trying to grow, leading to an uneven and patchy lawn. Wet grass is also more likely to stick to your mower, which can lead to rusting and other damage to your mower.
Clumps Of Grass Will Kill Your Lawn
Lawns can actually get suffocated under large clumps of wet grass clippings. If you mow a lawn when it is dry, the clippings will simply fall to the ground and decompose quickly. However, when you mow wet grass, the clippings will clump together and stay on top of the lawn.
This can block out sunlight and prevent air circulation, both of which are essential for a healthy lawn. The clippings can also smother the roots of your grass, leading to yellow patches, bare spots, or even dead grass.
Wet Grass Is More Likely To Stick To Your Mower
Another problem with mowing wet grass is that it is more likely to stick to your mower. This can cause all sorts of problems, from rusting to staining. It can even lead to damage to the blades of your mower if the wet grass is not removed regularly.
Wet grass can also clog up the works of your mower, leading to a shorter lifespan for the machine. In addition, if you have an electric mower, wet grass can be a safety hazard as it can lead to electrical shocks. Be sure that you are NEVER using electric equipment on a wet lawn.
Lawn Disease Is A Major Concern
Aside from not being able to cleanly and evenly cut a wet lawn, mowing the grass when it’s wet is a quick way to spread fungal lawn diseases.
Fungal diseases love wet and humid conditions, and they will quickly spread through your lawn if you mow while the grass is wet. Many of these diseases can kill your grass outright, and even if they don’t, they can cause unsightly patches that are difficult to get rid of.
Some common fungal diseases that affect lawns include brown patch, dollar spot, powdery mildew, and red thread. If you live in an area with a lot of rain or humidity, it’s especially important to avoid mowing wet grass so that you don’t end up with a diseased lawn.
How To Mow Wet Grass
If you absolutely have to mow when your lawn is wet (maybe your lawn is getting too long and you’re worried about damaging it further if you wait), there are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of damage.
- Keep Blades Sharp – A sharp mower blade is the best way to ensure a clean and even cut, which enables grass blades to heal themselves more effectively.
- Clean Your Mower – Uncleaned mower decks, blades, and wheels are infamous for spreading fungal infections. Cleaning equipment before every use is crucial in preventing the spread of infection, especially in wet or damp conditions that encourage fungal growth.
- Apply Lubricant To Mower Deck – This will help to prevent wet grass from sticking to the deck and clogging up the works. Be sure to use a lubricant that is safe for your mower and will not damage it.
- Mow In The Morning – If at all possible, mow in the morning before the sun has had a chance to heat up the ground and make the grass even wetter.
- Avoid Overloading The Mower – Overloading the mower can cause damaged blades and uneven cuts. When mowing wet grass, be sure to take extra care not to overload the machine.
In general, it is best to avoid mowing your lawn when it is wet. Wet grass is more susceptible to damage, diseases, and clumping, and it can also be a safety hazard. If you must mow before your lawn is dry, take extra care to avoid damaging your turf or putting yourself at risk.