For some yard owners, mowing is a must, whether it just rained or not. They want their lawn to look good and leveled. If you are one of them, you need to take a step back and rethink. If you have not noticed, it does your lawn and lawn mower more harm than good.
Wet grass can cause damage to a lawn mower if the blades are not properly lubricated. When wet grass touches the blade, it can create friction that causes wear and tear. If this happens frequently, the engine may become damaged. In extreme cases, the engine may even fail altogether.
Will Mowing Wet Grass Ruin the Lawn Mower?
Yes, mowing wet grass is more likely to ruin a lawn mower than anything else, even when it is dry. You expose your lawn mower to much damage when you mow wet grass, no matter how wet it is.
The wet grass can cause your lawn mower blades to rust. If not, it can cause the blades to get clogged with grass clippings. The blades can also get blunt from all the dragging, clogging, and strain. It also produces clumps of grass that can smother the grasses on your lawn, especially when it is not removed on time. It also affects the lawn mower engine. It causes the engine to overheat.
There is hardly any chance that your lawn mower won’t be affected by wet grass unless you take strong precautions and clean up thoroughly after use. Alongside damaging the lawn mower, you stand the risk of injuring yourself. The wet grass is slippery and might cause you to slip and fall, resulting in minor or serious injuries.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Mow Wet Grass
Mowing a wet lawn has been observed to pose quite a several threats to the lawn, the lawn mower, and the operator.
1. Clogging and Grass Clumps
A lawn mower typically struggles to make clean cuts through wet grass, even when the blades are very sharp. Because those wet clippings can clog your mower, you’ll need to clean it out, which is risky regularly.
After the mower chokes on grass clippings, the mower spews up clumps of wet grass. If left unattended or not removed, these clumps will kill the grasses it covers, causing dead spots in the lawn, which, if you agree with me, makes your lawn an eyesore. The cleaning can be done with the use of rakes.
If you can’t wait for the lawn to dry, you should be careful when mowing the wet lawn. Slowly work your way up and down the lawn, paying attention to see if there are too many clumps. Stop and clean the mower if there are too many clumps.
2. Uneven Cuts
When the water most likely weighs down wet grass on it. This causes it to bend over, so it misses the grass blades when the mower passes and cuts them. While the mower might be able to cut some grasses, it might not cut the others, causing the lawn to be cut unevenly.
However, ensure the grass blades stand upright before you cut the lawn for those who can’t wait for the lawn to dry. At least this way, you are most likely to have a well and even lawn. To make the grasses stand upright, you can use a rake.
3. Exposure to Diseases
Wet and torn grasses are more likely to get infected. Fungi infection is one of the most common diseases a torn and wet grass contacts. Some fungi infections are Anthracnosis, brown patches, and leaf spots. When a lawn contacts this infection, it weakens the grass and causes your lawn to have large patches of dead grass.
4. Rusted Blades or Wheels
The worst enemy of metal is moisture. It causes the metal to corrode and rust. Most mower parts, including the blades, are made of metal. Using it to mow a wet lawn exposes its metal to moisture, and if not cleaned on time, it will cause the mower to rust.
5. Overheated Engine
Cutting wet grass with a lawn mower can be very straining on the mower. And because the lawn mower is trying to cut the wet lawn as even and low as it possibly can, it demands more force from the engine. The struggle causes the engine to run over time and hence overheat.
This, however, is most likely to happen to an average lawn mower. So if you are using a commercial lawn mower, its big size might be able to cut wet grasses with very few problems. The average lawn mower will most likely have more difficulty cutting wet grass. But you can always check it out before concluding. Just try mowing a row in the lawn; if you notice that the mower is having difficulties mowing the lawn, stop and wait for the grass to dry up.
6. Lawn Accident
Do you know when you go to a restaurant and see a post that reads wet floor? Yeah, that sign tells you that if you walk on that floor, you might slip. The same goes for a wet lawn. A wet lawn is even more slippery than an ordinary wet floor.
Watch your steps when mowing a wet lawn, especially with a push lawn mower. Your next step might cause you to injure yourself. It even worsens when you use an electric lawn mower with a damaged cord. It is most likely to cause electrocution.
7. Stained Clothes
Wetness most times comes with specks of dirt. A freshly cut wet lawn produces more stains than a dry lawn. These stains, although not permanent, make cleaning up after mowing a little extra.
Also Read: Do Lawn Mower Belts Stretch?
Tips To Dry Grass For Mowing
Although you cannot do many things to dry your lawn before mowing, there are tips to help with mowing your wet lawn. It’s not like you can use a mob to dry the lawn or something.
- To reduce rain or dew from the grass, ‘squeegee’ it with a hose. If you can wait a while, it will dry more quickly; if not, you can now immediately.
- Use fuel stabilizer as much as you can.
- Increase the mower deck to reduce grass clippings from getting stuck and clogging the blade.
- Mow at a low speed
- Try to dispose of grass clumps at the side of the lawn.
- Clean mower thoroughly after use.
Does Wet Grass Dull Mower Blades?
Actually, yes. Mowing wet grass is most likely to cause your lawn mower blade to dull out quickly, not immediately but over time. This is one of the many reasons why it is advised to wait till the lawn is dry before mowing it.
And even if your lawn mower blade is sharp, it will still be difficult to cut through wet grass. Before mowing, clean your mower blade to endure that it is sharp. When mowing wet grass, check your mower blade subsequently. If grass clippings are stuck on it, it will affect the blade. Stop the mower and clear clogs of wet grass from the blade before continuing. Even after you are done with mowing, Clean the blade thoroughly.
Can You Mow Grass With Dew On It?
In contrast to rain, morning dew is moisture mostly on the leaf and doesn’t add excess water to the soil. This would imply that mowing while there is still dew on the leaf is less risky than mowing after it has rained. But this, however, does not make it okay to mow your lawn with dew.
Dew on the leaf can weigh down the leaf and cause it to bend, making it difficult for the lawn mower to cut the lawn evenly. Despite the lawn not being as wet as it would after a rainfall, dew also makes the lawn wet and quite slippery. Mowing the lawn in this condition can also cause you to fall and injure yourself. Although with just dew, all these are less likely to happen when the lawn is very wet from rainfall.
Unless you run a golf course or other facilities that provide no choice but to mow the lawn wet with dew, wait until the lawn is dry. Dew requires a shorter time to dry.
How Soon After Rain Can I Mow?
This depends on how heavy it rained. For light rainfall like dew and light rain showers, you might have to wait about 2 to 4 hours after the rain for the grasses to dry. But for heavy rainfall, you will have to wait for a long. You might even have to wait for a day or two. Luckily, if there is high sunshine after the rainfall, the lawn will dry in less time, and then you can mow your lawn.
To know when your lawn is dry, walk through the lawn with your shoes on. If you come out with your shoes stained and your trouser at the ankle is damp or stained, then your lawn is not dried yet. If it is, your shoe will come out mostly dry, and your trouser at the ankle is not stained.
There are various reasons why anyone would have to mow their lawn even when it is wet. This is a very bad practice. You can always work around the time to create time that allows you to wait for the lawn to dry while keeping busy. You know you don’t always have to be the one to mow your lawn. You can always hire someone to mow the lawn when it is dried. It can be fun watching your lawn dry while sipping some Chardonnay on the porch.