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We’ve all been there. You wake up early in the morning to mow the lawn when the air is still cool and the sun hasn’t made the idea of yard work unbearable. You pull out the mower and start it up only to realize that you forgot to turn the sprinklers off. Your grass is definitely wet. Can you still mow your lawn?
You can mow your lawn when it’s wet, as long as:
- The blades on your lawnmower are sharp.
- The lawnmower isn’t electric.
- The lawn and the ground beneath it are just damp, not soggy.
- You accept the inherent risk of tearing up the grass.
- You’re ok with having grass clumps all over your lawn.
When you go to mow a wet lawn, there are going to be problems, but sometimes, you don’t really have any other choice. Let's go through the different bullet points and by the time you’re finished reading, we’ll hopefully have answered all of your questions.
Mowing Your Lawn When Your Grass is Wet
Sharp Lawnmower Blades
If you’re going to be mowing your lawn when it’s wet, you need to have sharp blades on your mower. Why? When your lawn is wet, the grass tears easily. It doesn’t really cut, it tears, making the cut uneven, and leaving some parts of the lawn potentially uncut.
The Lawnmower Isn’t Electric
If your lawn is wet, and your lawnmower is electric, you are in danger of electric shock. Whether it’s a battery-powered mower or running on an electric cord, if you’re running it through wet grass, the lawnmower will be wet, and your shoes will be wet, making you a great conductor for electric current.
Soggy vs. Damp Lawn
What in the world is the difference? If you step onto the lawn and you can kind of feel your foot sink, hear a squish, there’s a puddle or any of those types of things, the lawn is soggy. The lawnmower will sink more deeply into the lawn, cutting the grass more closely to the ground than you meant to, which can butcher your lawn. It’s also just plain dangerous. If the grass is wet, it’s slick, which increases the chance of you slipping and getting hurt, which we most certainly don’t want!
Know the effect of watering your lawn at night!
Tearing Up the Grass
When the grass is wet, guess what else is probably wet? That's right, the ground underneath it! Unfortunately, especially if your lawnmower blade is dull, the chances of you tearing up your grass instead of cutting it is high. Have you ever pulled weeds for your grandma and realized that it was SO much easier to get the roots out of the ground if the ground was wet? In that case, having damp ground was helpful. Unfortunately, the same rule applies to grass as it does to weeds. When the ground is wet, the grass is more likely to come right out of the ground. Of course, you want to cut your grass, but uproot it completely? We don’t want that!
Grass Clumps All Over Your Lawn
Mowing your lawn when it’s wet it even worse than mowing your lawn without the bag attached to it when it comes to cleanup. The wet grass will clump up underneath the mower, clogging up the chute to the bag, which will start flinging the grass out from underneath the mower, making a huge, soggy mess. On top of that, once the grass starts clogging up the chute, the grass will start sticking to the underside of the mower, which slows down the blade, making the cuts to the grass even more erratic and uneven. It can actually pile up so badly that it stops the blade. Then you have to stop the mower and clean off the underside so you can keep mowing.
Unfortunately, that’s generally not something that just happens once. It keeps happening. Over and over again. Long story short, it will take you longer to mow the lawn because you’re going to have to continually stop the mower to clean it off, and once you’re done, you’re going to have to rake over your lawn to clean up all the grass that was thrown across the lawn.
Can You Cut Grass After it Rains?
Short answer, that depends on how severely it had rained. Use the “Is it soggy?” test. If it just drizzled, you’re probably safe, but if it actually rained for a good length of time, it’s probably too wet, and too dangerous.
Can I Mow With Dew on the Grass?
As far as mowing your lawn when it’s wet goes, mowing it when there’s dew on it is probably the best-case scenario! Is the grass wet? Yes, but dew isn’t generally enough water to cause any serious complications with your lawnmower. You might still have to clean the mower once or twice, and the bag attached to the mower might have to be emptied slightly more often than normal, but if you have to mow your lawn when it’s wet, dew is probably the least of any of the “wet evils”.
Will Mowing Wet Grass Ruin the Lawnmower?
It can, if you’re not careful, but it’s not super likely. It will be an absolute pain in the rear because it’s going to keep getting clogged, which means that you’re going to have to keep stopping the mower to clean it out. Also, if you leave wet grass in the bag for too long, it can get moldy which can damage the bag. But as long as you clean the underside of the mower as you go along, mowing the grass when it’s wet shouldn’t do any damage do your mower. It’s just incredibly inefficient.
Is it Ok to Cut Wet Grass with an Electric Mower?
No. Absolutely not. Mowing a wet lawn with an electric mower can get you electrocuted. Never mow a wet lawn with an electric mower.
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