Mowing Wet Grass

wet-grassWe do not advise that mowing wet grass is a  good idea, but sometimes it cannot be helped.  If you've been out of town, or it has been raining non-stop, or you have a party coming up and you have to mow before the big event, there are some techniques that can make the mowing easier, and keep your lawn healthy.

Reasons Not to Mow Wet Grass

Before we get to the techniques to help mowing wet grass less harmful for the grass, here are some reasons why you want to try to avoid mowing wet grass.
  • Disease spreads quickly when the grass is wet.  Fungi and bacteria love nothing more than water for moving around.
  • Your mower can get clogged.  This can have a number of consequences, including a part breaking and/or injuring you.
  • You can compact the soil.  If it is really wet outside and has been raining for a while, the soil may be especially prone to compaction.

If You Must Mow Wet Grass

There are some tips and techniques that can help you do it safely-for your sake and the sake of the grass.  Here are some tips for mowing wet grass:
  • Mow high.  This will allow you to remove less wet grass, and to avoid scalping or further damaging the grass.
  • Make sure that the mower blades are sharp before mowing.
  • Instead of mulching or bagging, use the side discharge on the mower, if possible.
  • Mow again later in the day or the next day, which will help break up any grass clumps and allow you to reduce the grass height a little more.
  • If the blades become clogged, let the mower die before you clean off the blades.  NEVER clean a mower that is still running.  That is a recipe for disaster-for you and the mower.
  • Run the mower blade at a slower speed to reduce the strain on it.

Wet Grass Myths

There is a lot of information and mis-information floating around out there on the internet.  There are a few "wet grass myths" that we need to clear up here so that you do not harm your lawn if you have to mow it while it is wet.
  • Don't mow with a push and pull motion.  Rotary mowers are not made to cut when you are gowing backwards.  In addition to dulling the blade, you can also slip and fall and injure yourself.
  • Don't bag your clippings if you can help it.  Wet grass is heavy, and this tip is as much to save your back as it is to save the condition of your mower.  You can let the clippings blow out the side of the mower, and then go back and rake them up or chop them up after they dry.
  • Don't spray your mower blades with synthetic motor oil.  It is never a good idea to put oil on your lawn unless you want to kill the grass.
If possible, it is always better for the lawn for you to wait until the grass has dried before mowing.  You can mow wet grass, just keep the above tips in mind.
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