So, what’s the deal with cutting wet grass? The British climate is often a damp one and as such we can find it hard to find that perfect dry day in which you might be able to mow your lawn. This becomes even trickier during spring or autumn when growth happens quicker meaning less time for regular upkeep like cutting your lawn as often as you like.
So, this begs the question ‘can I cut my lawn while it’s still wet from rain?’ In this article, I’ve answered this question. I’ve also provided several tips on how you could cut your lawn if you don’t want to wait until its dry.
Why Mowing Wet Grass is a Bad Idea
Mowing wet grass is never a good idea. When it rains, the ground becomes waterlogged and heavy to push through with your mower. Even light rain or morning dew can make for some less than perfect conditions.
Here are 4 reasons why cutting wet grass should always be avoided.
It Can Be Dangerous
Using a piece of machinery with a spinning blade in the wet is never wise. Firstly, if you use an electric lawn mower then the safety concerns are obvious – water and electricity rarely mix well. People have died as result of being electrocuted while cutting grass when the ground is wet.
And it’s not just electric mowers which can be dangerous – other models could cause injury to users due to slippiness on damp surfaces, especially heavy models like petrol mowers or cylinder ones that require more power than usual for operation.
This is the case on flat, level ground so it will be even more of an issue of slopes.
It’s Hard on Your Mower
Moisture often causes your lawn mower to work harder, especially if the grass is long. This puts extra strain on the power source and in some cases such as battery or cordless mowers, can drain battery power much quicker than it would when dry.
It also puts more stress on motors which drive a blade of any mulching machine, reducing its lifespan.
Moisture will corrode metal parts of your lawnmower as well. Not only does this affect performance but also reduces longevity for all types of motors powering these devices quickly, including those that run on petrol instead of electricity or batteries like cordless machines do.
It’s Not Good for Your Lawn
To ensure a perfect cut, it’s important that the grass is standing upright when you mow. Wet grass can often lie flat and be weighed down by moisture droplets which cause them to lean over. The result is an uneven, untidy cut.
This prevents light and air from being able to dry soaked grass.
Injuring the grass like this not only produces a less than desirable finish, but it can also damage your lawn. Even walking up and down with your mower can cause ruts that are undesirable as well as damaging to your lawn.
It Creates More Work
Cutting the wet grass can be a frustrating and time consuming chore. You’ll need to mow slowly, but even that won’t get you close to an acceptable cut in most cases so at some point it might make sense to just try again when things dry out.
Additionally, if there are any clumps of wet grass on your lawn or stuck on your lawnmower blade then they’ll have to be removed which means using a garden hose.
If You Must Cut the Grass When it’s Wet, Here’s How to Do it
Now you know why cutting wet grass is best avoided and it is better to mow in the dry.
We understand that sometimes needs must, so if you really must cut the lawn when it’s wet, here are a few tips to improve your results:
- Mow in the Afternoon – the afternoon is one of the best times of day to mow the lawn due to the temperature. This gives your lawn a better chance of drying out.
- Drag a hosepipe across the lawn – This will remove excess water from the grass.
- Rake or brush the lawn – This will encourage the grass to stand up straight to give you the best chance of an even cut when mowing.
- Raise the height of your mower – Never mow wet grass too short. Taking the top off the grass instead of cutting it where it is most dense will reduce stress on your cutting blade. Mow high if in doubt.
- Sharpen the mower blade – Cutting wet grass with a dull or blunt blade will cause it to be torn out of the ground instead of being cut cleanly. Only mow wet grass with a sharp blade, sharpen if required.
- Mow slowly – The motor and cutting blade will have to work harder than normal to cut through wet grass. Push your mower half as quickly than you normally would so it cuts the glass cleanly.
- Cut half rows – When you’ve cut your first row, position your lawn mower so that the next row is half “cut” and half “non-cut” grass. This will reduce the load on the motor and blade and help cut the grass more effectively.
- Two passes – You might find that your lawn still has patches of long grass because your lawnmower didn’t cut through cleanly. If so, give your lawn another pass (in a different direction).
- Clear clumps of grass – When left on the lawn, they can encourage the onset of fungal disease.
- Clean your lawn mower – When you’ve finished mowing the lawn, clean your lawnmower. Washing grass off while it’s wet is much easier than scraping it off when it’s dry and hard.
Cutting wet grass is a bad idea.
Yes, you can technically cut the lawn when it’s wet and damp but that’s not how to maintain your yard or make life easier for yourself.
If you must cut it during rainfall or when still wet, follow our guide so you remain safe and reduce damage to your lawn.