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Can You Mow Wet Grass? – 5 Reasons Not To!

Should you mow wet grass? Here’s why mowing wet grass is not the best idea:

  1. It is harder to get a clean cut.
  2. Wet grass can clog your mower and cause rusting.
  3. You may spread fungal diseases.
  4. Wet grass clippings are harder to collect.
  5. You can slip and fall.

Is the rain messing up your mowing routine? Thinking of trimming your lawn while it’s still wet?

You may want to hold off on that! I’ve got 5 reasons why it is not the best idea to mow the grass while it is still wet. 

I’ve learned the hard way that mowing wet grass is not good for the lawn or the mower. It causes more harm than good. That’s why I have decided to share some of the things I have learned through trial and error with you! You can find all of my tips below! 

The Ins And Outs Of Mowing Wet Grass 

To answer your question. Yes, you can mow wet grass! There’s nobody stopping you! 

But you will have to do it correctly to get clean results and to minimize the damage to the lawn, soil, and your mower.

I still advise you to avoid mowing grass after watering your oversown lawn or after it has rained. Do it only if it is necessary. I’ll give you 5 reasons why mowing grass while wet is bad.

5 Reasons Not To Mow Wet Yard

It Is Hard To Achieve A Clean Cut

Clean cut green grass backyard

The reason why you are cutting wet grass in the first place is to make it look prettier. But, it is almost impossible to achieve a clean trim in damp conditions. That’s because mower blades can’t catch and evenly slice slick grass blades when they are wet. 

Wet grass clumps will get in the way of achieving an even look. And if you are working with a dull mower, you may even pull out chunks of grass from the root, leaving your lawn totally scalped.  

You Can Damage Your Mower

Wet grass clumps on a lawn mower machine
Image Credit: flickr.com

Working in wet conditions is not the best for your trusty machine. The moisture can easily find its way into the fuel tank and cause corrosion if you are not using a fuel stabilizer.  

If you don’t wipe your mower clean after you are done mowing, rust will inhibit the exterior, too, especially the mower deck

Those annoying wet clumps of grass can also block the blades and vacuum, which will make your mower work overtime. In the end, your engine may overheat and shut off if you don’t take breaks in between. 

It Is An Easy Way To Spread Fungal Disease

Garden lawn with bare spots after winter

If you leave wet grass clippings on your lawn for too long, they will become a breeding ground for fungus. I highly recommend you collect wet clippings as you mow, or at least postpone mowing if you are expecting wet weather for days. Without the sun, the damp debris won’t dry out in time and will start to grow fungus. 

You can spread fungal disease with your mower, as well, if the undercarriage is infested with mold. The best way to prevent that from happening is to clean wet lawn clippings off the mower deck after use. 

It Requires More Cleanup

Man with brush cleaning lawnmower from old grass

Yep, mowing a wet lawn is messy! That’s because moist grass is extra sticky. It is hard to collect in the bag and clean off the lawn mower, shoes, and clothes. It is almost impossible to finish the job without any traces left behind. 

It is one thing to deal with wet grass but a whole other to deal with mud. If the soil is oversaturated, you will most definitely agitate it with mower tires and your work boots. In this case, I’d rather avoid the mess and wait for the weather to clear or do a few things to dry out the lawn.      

You Can Hurt Yourself

Man is tasked to mow a field of tall grass

Ever slipped on wet grass? It ain’t a pretty sight, I am telling you! 

We can both agree that working in wet conditions is far more dangerous than in dry. You can easily lose your balance and fall a little too close to the rotating blades. Besides, electricity and water don’t mix together. If you are using an electric lawn mower, you run the risk of getting shocked or electrocuted

Tips For Mowing Wet Grass

Top view on mowing the grass. Care for the garden and grass
  1. Set the mower deck higher: Raise your mower deck to a higher setting. You should aim to cut your grass 3 to 4 inches tall. It is easier for your mower to cut wet grass taller than shorter. 
  1. Sharpen the blades: An easy way to achieve a clean trim on a wet lawn is to sharpen the mower blades prior to mowing. Sharp blades will slice through slippery grass better. 

I recommend you sharpen blades at least twice a season or every 25 hours of use. That’s how I achieve the best results on my lawn. 

  1. Don’t use a collection bag: In my experience, it’s better to use a collection bin than a mower bag because it is easier to empty and clean afterward. As an alternative, you can also set your mower to side discharge mode and bag the grass debris manually. 

FAQs

Why should you not cut grass when it's wet?

You should not cut grass when it’s wet because you can scalp it and leave skid marks on your turf. Damp grass can also clog your mower and cause gas tank corrosion. 

How long should I wait to mow the grass after it rains?

You should wait at least one day after it rains to mow the grass. In case of light rain or dew, you will only need to wait around 2 to 5 hours for conditions to improve.

Is it OK to cut grass with morning dew?

It is not OK to cut grass with morning dew because you won’t get the clean results that you are after. You can spread fungal disease, as well. Wet grass can also clog your mower and cause it to rust. Pick a better time of day to mow your lawn.

Will rain break an electric lawn mower?

Rain will break an electric lawn mower if the moisture seeps into the interior and causes damage to the engine. Although electric lawnmowers are designed to be safe, we all know that water and electricity don’t mix.

Is it OK to mow wet grass with a riding mower?

It is not OK to mow wet grass with a riding mower because of the reduced tire traction. You won’t have a good grip on damp grass and can get into an accident. Besides, if the soil is oversaturated, you will leave unsightly skid marks on your lawn. 

How wet is too wet to cut grass?

Grass is too wet to cut if you can’t walk across it without your shoes sinking in the soil or getting soaked. In this case, you should hold off mowing for a day or two for the turf to dry out a bit.

Does wet grass dull mower blades?

Wet grass dull mower blades when clumps of debris slow or block their movement. In this case, the engine works overtime to turn the blades, which leads to damage to interior parts, as well.

It Is Better To Wait Than Feel Sorry 

Now you know why cutting wet grass is not recommended. You can ruin years of hard work in an instance. I rather tend to my garden while waiting for the grass to dry.

But, if you really have to mow the grass while it is still slightly wet, I highly recommend you follow the tips I have shared with you today.
Do you plan on mowing your grass while wet? Let me know in the comments below, and feel free to ask me any questions. I would love to hear from you.

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