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Can You Mow Wet Grass, 25 Things You Should Know

Are you tired of scheduling lawn maintenance only for unpredictable weather to ruin your plans? Worry no more! My latest post, “Can You Mow Wet Grass”, tackles this age-old question and provides expert insight into the do’s and don’ts of handling damp lawns.

Can you mow wet grass:

Mowing wet grass is not ideal due to clumping, uneven cuts, increased slipping risk, mower damage, and soil compaction. However, if unavoidable, minimize negative effects by mowing when the ground is less wet, dividing the lawn into sections, raising the mower deck, frequently cleaning the deck, sharpening blades, mowing slowly, and using a mulching mower.

Mowing wet grass can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Discover the pros and cons, tips for successful cutting, and how to protect your lawn from damage while ensuring a healthy and beautiful landscape. Let’s dive in!


Is it Possible to Mow Grass When It’s Wet?

Mowing wet grass can be a contentious topic among lawn care experts and enthusiasts. While most people prefer to mow when the grass is dry, there are situations when it becomes necessary to decide if it’s worth it or not to mow wet grass.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of mowing wet grass, factors to consider, and some tips to help you make an informed decision and achieve the best result.

Is It Bad to Mow Wet Grass?

The short answer is mowing wet grass is less than ideal. However, it’s not always a complete no-no. The following are some of the reasons why mowing wet grass may be detrimental to both your lawn and mower:

– Clumping and Uneven Cuts

Wet grass tends to be heavy and can clump together. These clumps can leave behind an uneven cut and be aesthetically unpleasing.

Besides, clumps of wet grass can smother and damage the underlying grass, especially if left on the lawn for an extended period, leading to dead patches or potential fungal diseases.

– Increased Risk of Slipping

Mowing wet grass increases the risk of slipping, especially on sloping lawns. This can be hazardous to the person operating the mower if it’s a self-propelled or push mower. In the worst-case scenario, it could result in personal injury.

– Mower Damage

A wet lawn can be muddy, causing damage to the mower. Lumps of mud can be left behind by the mower wheels, creating uneven ground that may cause problems with future mows. Mud and wet grass can also clog up the mower deck, resulting in poor cutting performance and potential motor damage from strain.

In addition, rusting is more likely to occur on mower blades exposed to excess moisture.

– Soil Compaction

When the ground is wet, it is more susceptible to compaction. Mowing wet grass can cause soil compaction, leading to a less healthy lawn with reduced water absorption and air circulation in the soil.

When Mowing Wet Grass is Unavoidable

While it’s best to avoid mowing wet grass whenever possible, sometimes it’s unavoidable. For instance, prolonged rainy periods prevent you from mowing during regular intervals, or you need to maintain a specific grass height for sports fields or other purposes.

In such cases, taking extra precautions and following some essential tips can help minimize the negative effects of mowing wet grass.

– Wait for the Right Time

Even if the grass is wet, you can minimize the impact by choosing the right time to mow. Give the lawn some time to dry out after the rain stops. Mow when the ground has stopped being squishy underfoot and when the grass begins to dry.

– Mow in Sections

Divide your lawn into sections and mow one section at a time. This will let the wet grass dry out a little between mowing sessions.

– Raise the Mower Deck

Mowing the grass at a higher height can reduce the risk of soil compaction and lower the chances of mower clogging. This is because longer grass blades have a better chance of staying upright, reducing clumping and ensuring a more even cut.

– Clean the Mower Deck

Ensure to frequently clean the mower deck to prevent the buildup of wet grass clippings. This will help maintain proper airflow and cutting performance.

– Sharpen Mower Blades

A sharp mower blade will result in a cleaner cut, reducing damage to the grass and lessening the risk of disease. Sharpen your blades before mowing wet grass to achieve the best results.

– Mow at a Slower Pace

Mowing at a slower pace allows the mower blades to cut the wet grass more effectively and help prevent clumping.

– Use a Mulching Mower

A mulching mower chops the grass clippings into smaller bits, distributing them evenly on the lawn and reducing the negative effects of clumping.


While mowing wet grass is not recommended in most cases, there are times when it’s unavoidable. Following the tips above, you can minimize the negative impacts of mowing wet grass and maintain a healthy lawn.

Remember, proper lawn care is essential to achieving a beautiful yard. For more information on maintaining a healthy lawn, refer to this comprehensive guide from the University of Missouri’s extension program.

It’s equally important to take the necessary precautions to maintain the health and effectiveness of your lawn mower to ensure a hassle-free mowing experience. Happy mowing!

Reasons to Avoid Mowing Your Lawn When the Grass is Wet

The Importance of Mowing Your Lawn

A well-maintained lawn not only enhances the curb appeal of a property but also improves its overall value. Regular mowing ensures healthy grass growth, eliminates weeds, and keeps your outdoor space looking tidy and inviting.

However, it’s crucial to follow proper lawn care practices, and one of the most important guidelines is not to cut the grass when wet. Let’s explore the reasons behind this rule and how it impacts the health and appearance of your lawn.

Hazards of Mowing Wet Grass

– Damaging Your Lawn

When the grass is wet, its blades become more flexible and sticky, leading to irregular and uneven cuts. This, in turn, could make your lawn look untidy and less visually appealing.

More importantly, these uneven cuts can weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to diseases and pests.

Additionally, wet soil can compact quickly, and the pressure exerted by the lawn mower on the soggy ground can lead to soil compaction, further affecting grass growth.

– Clumping and Thatch Buildup

One of the primary issues with mowing wet grass is the formation of grass clumps. When mowed wet, grass clippings tend to stick together and decompose much slower.

These clumps create a layer over the lawn, blocking sunlight, air, and water from reaching the grassroots, eventually leading to dead patches and turf yellowing.

Moreover, these wet grass clippings can contribute to thatch buildup, a layer of dead and living grass shoots, roots, and stems that accumulates between the healthy grass and the soil surface.

Excessive thatch can lead to waterlogged soil, reduced nutrient uptake, and a weaker root system, making your lawn more prone to diseases and pests.

– Lawn Mower Maintenance Issues

Mowing wet grass can take a toll on your equipment too. The wet clippings can clog your mower’s deck, causing it to operate inefficiently and requiring constant cleaning.

The increased moisture in the mower’s components can lead to rust and a reduced lifespan.

Moreover, the blades of a lawn mower can quickly become blunt when cutting wet grass, which would then require frequent sharpening or replacement. A dull blade can tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, leaving it prone to diseases.

– Safety Concerns

Aside from damaging your lawn and equipment, mowing wet grass poses safety risks. Wet grass is slippery and can cause you to lose footing, increasing the risk of injury.

Additionally, the damp conditions can cause the mower’s electric components to short circuit or become damaged, leading to potential accidents.

Best Practices for Mowing Your Lawn

To avoid the issues discussed above, it’s essential to follow proper mowing practices that promote the health and beauty of your lawn.

– Wait for the Grass to Dry

Always wait for the grass to dry before mowing to prevent damage to your lawn and equipment. The grass is typically dry enough to be mowed in the late morning or early afternoon when the dew has evaporated, and the sun has dried up any remaining surface moisture.

– Regular Blade Maintenance

Keep your mower’s blades sharp to ensure clean, even cuts that promote healthy grass growth. Regularly inspect the blades and sharpen or replace them as needed.

– Proper Mowing Height

Maintaining the correct grass height is crucial for a healthy lawn. Generally, never remove more than one-third of the grass blade at a time.

Following this practice allows the grass to recover quickly from the stress of mowing and prevents scalping that can lead to weak growth and disease.

– Alternate Mowing Patterns

Mix up your mowing pattern each time you cut the grass. This helps prevent soil compaction and promotes even grass growth. Slight variations in the mowing direction can also encourage grass to grow more upright, giving your lawn a full appearance.

– Keep a Consistent Mowing Schedule

Establish a consistent mowing schedule based on your lawn’s growth rate and the desired height of your grass. This ensures your lawn looks its best and helps maintain optimal grass health.

Final Thoughts

Mowing your lawn is essential to lawn care, but doing it at the right time and under the right conditions can significantly impact its overall health and look. Always remember to avoid cutting wet grass and follow proper mowing practices to keep your lawn in its best shape.

By doing so, you are preserving the curb appeal of your property and contributing to a healthy ecosystem for plants, insects, and wildlife.

For more information on lawn care best practices, visit the University of California’s Agriculture and Natural Resources website.

Determining the Level of Wetness Considered Excessive for Mowing Grass

Mowing grass at the right time and under the right conditions is essential to maintaining a healthy and attractive lawn. One important factor to consider is the moisture level of the grass.

I will discuss how wet is too wet to mow grass, the risks associated with mowing wet grass, and tips for mowing under various conditions.

Understanding the Risks of Mowing Wet Grass

Mowing wet grass can cause many problems for the lawn and the equipment used to maintain it. Here are some risks associated with mowing wet grass:

– Clumping of Grass Clippings

When grass is too wet, the clippings stick together, forming clumps that can smother and kill the underlying grass. These clumps can also create a breeding ground for fungi and other harmful lawn diseases.

– Uneven Cutting

Wet grass tends to bend over, making it difficult for the mower to cut it evenly. The result is often an uneven lawn appearance which may require additional mowing once the grass has dried.

– Lawn Compaction

Mowing wet grass can cause the soil to become compacted, especially if the ground is already saturated. Compacted soil reduces the amount of air, water, and nutrients available to the grass roots, which can lead to a weak and unhealthy lawn.

– Damage to the Mower

Mowing wet grass can cause the mower’s engine to work harder, leading to increased wear and tear on the equipment. Wet grass clippings can also clog the mower deck and make it difficult to clean.

Now that we understand the risks associated with mowing wet grass, let’s explore how to determine when the grass is too wet to mow.

Signs that Grass is Too Wet to Mow

Here are some indicators that the grass is too wet to mow:

– Saturated Soil

If the soil is visibly wet and you can easily press a finger into it, it’s too wet to mow. Walking on wet grass can also cause soil compaction, further damaging the lawn.

– Dew or Heavy Moisture

Dew or moisture from recent rainfall can make the grass blades wet and difficult to cut evenly. The best time to mow is when the grass blades are dry and standing upright.

– Ongoing Rain

If it’s currently raining or the forecast predicts rain throughout the day, wait until the weather clears and the lawn has had time to dry before mowing.

– Slippery Conditions

Mowing on a wet, slippery lawn can be dangerous, as there is an increased risk of slipping and injuring yourself or damaging the lawn.

Considering these factors, assessing your lawn’s condition before mowing is essential to ensure you are not causing more harm than good.

Tips for Mowing Wet Grass

In some cases, it may be necessary to mow the grass, even if it’s still a bit damp. Here are some tips for mowing wet grass more effectively:

– Use a Sharp Blade

A sharp mower blade will help ensure a clean, even cut when mowing wet grass. Dull blades tend to rip the grass rather than cut it, damaging the grass and making the lawn look uneven.

Regularly sharpening or replacing the mower blade can help minimize damage to the grass.

– Mow in the Late Morning or Early Afternoon

Mowing in the late morning or early afternoon allows time for dew and moisture from the night to evaporate. The grass should be dry enough to be mowed without causing clumps or uneven cuts.

Avoid mowing in the early morning, as the grass is usually wet from overnight dew.

– Reduce Mowing Speed

Slower mowing will help prevent clogging and allow the mower to cut the wet grass more effectively. This will also help minimize soil compaction and reduce the risk of injury or damage to the lawn.

– Raise the Mower Deck

Cutting the grass a bit higher than usual will help reduce the risk of scalping and allow for a more even cut. Additionally, taller grass will help prevent soil compaction by keeping the mower wheels off the ground.

– Clean the Mower Deck Regularly

Wet grass clippings can quickly build up on the mower deck, leading to poor performance and damage to the mower. Regularly cleaning the mower deck will help ensure optimal performance.

In conclusion, knowing how wet is too wet to mow grass is essential for maintaining a healthy and attractive lawn. By understanding the risks associated with mowing wet grass and following the tips, you can help protect your lawn and equipment while keeping it well-manicured.

For further resources, consider visiting the University of Minnesota Extension website on lawn care and maintenance.

What is the appropriate duration to wait before mowing the lawn after a rainfall?

Mowing your lawn is essential to maintaining a healthy and appealing landscape. However, finding the perfect time to mow your grass, especially after it rains, can be challenging.

I will guide you through the best practices for mowing wet grass, the potential risks involved, and the recommendations on how long you should wait to mow the grass after it rains.

Importance of Timing When Mowing Wet Grass

Mowing your lawn at the right time ensures your grass’s optimum health, growth, and appearance. The ideal time to mow your lawn depends on factors such as grass type, weather conditions, and the purpose of the lawn.

The golden rule for mowing after rain is to wait until the grass is visibly dry to touch. This may take as little as a few hours or several days, depending on the amount of rainfall and the climate in your region.

– The Risks of Mowing Wet Grass

Mowing your lawn when it’s wet can lead to several problems, both for your lawn and your mower. Some of these risks include:

  1. Slippage: Mowing wet grass can lead to accidents due to poor traction and potential slippage on your lawn, which could result in injuries or damage to your grass.
  2. Clumping: Wet grass tends to form clumps, which can block the mower’s deck, leading to uneven cuts and possible damage to your mower.
  3. Disease spread: Mowing wet grass can spread fungal diseases, uproot the grass, and cause soil compaction, leading to patchy and unhealthy lawns.
  4. Uneven cut: Wet grass is more likely to bend or lay flat, which may result in lines and uneven mowing.

Considering these risks, giving your lawn enough time to dry before mowing it after rain is imperative.

Factors to Consider When Timing Your Mowing

Several factors must be considered when deciding how long to wait before mowing your grass after it rains. These factors include:

– Amount of Rainfall

The amount of rainfall will determine how long it will take for your lawn to dry enough for mowing. Light rain may only require a few hours of drying time, whereas heavy rainfall might take up to several days.

– Weather Conditions

The current weather conditions also play a significant role in determining how long it will take for your lawn to dry. Warmer temperatures, direct sunlight, and windy conditions can speed up drying.

On the other hand, chilly temperatures, cloudy skies, and high humidity may cause the lawn to take longer to dry.

– Grass Type

Different grass types react differently to moisture and may require varying drying times. For example, Bermuda grass can tolerate mowing when slightly damp, whereas tall fescue should be completely dry before mowing.

– Soil Drainage

The drainage capacity of your lawn can significantly affect the time it takes for your grass to dry. Lawns with well-draining soil will dry quicker than soils with poor drainage systems.

Proper soil drainage is essential for overall lawn health and helps prevent many issues, such as disease and root rot.

If you are unsure about your lawn’s drainage capabilities, refer to resources from your local extension office to learn more.

Recommendations for Mowing Wet Grass

While it’s best to avoid mowing your grass when it’s wet, sometimes it may be impossible to wait for ideal conditions, especially in regions with frequent rainfall. In such situations, you can follow these tips to mow wet grass as safely and efficiently as possible:

  1. Raise the mower deck: Increasing the deck height reduces the chances of scalping or uprooting the wet grass.
  2. Sharpen your mower blades: Sharp mower blades will provide a cleaner cut, reducing the stress on the wet grass and making it less susceptible to diseases.
  3. Mow slowly: Take your time and go slow while mowing wet grass to ensure an even cut and to minimize mower damage.
  4. Change your mowing direction: Alternating your mowing pattern helps prevent soil compaction and promotes a healthier lawn.
  5. Clean your mower deck: Make sure to clean your mower deck after mowing wet grass, as the clippings are more likely to stick and cause rust or other damage.

In conclusion, waiting until your grass is dry to the touch is vital to ensure its health and optimum growth. While mowing wet grass may sometimes be unavoidable, following the recommendations provided can help mitigate the risks and maintain a healthy and attractive landscape.

Grass Condition
Minimum Waiting Time
Lightly damp
2-4 hours
Moderately wet
4-8 hours
Heavily saturated
Over 24 hours

Is it Acceptable to Mow the Lawn with Morning Dew Present?

Morning dew, often admired for its picturesque quality, can be a bane to those looking to maintain their lawn. Many homeowners and gardeners wonder whether it is appropriate to mow their grass while the morning dew is still present.

We will delve into the pros and cons of cutting grass with morning dew, ultimately providing informed recommendations based on personal experience and credible sources.

Potential Risks of Cutting Grass with Morning Dew

– Damaging your Lawn

One of the reasons that cutting grass with morning dew is often avoided is due to the potential risk of damaging the lawn. Wet grass tends to clump together, making it more difficult for the mower blades to cut through. This can result in an uneven cut, leaving some lawn areas taller than others.

Additionally, if the grass is too wet, the blades may become clogged, causing the mower to become less efficient and possibly damaging the equipment.

Moreover, mowing on wet grass can lead to the spread of lawn diseases. As the mower blades slice through the damp grass, they can inadvertently spread fungal spores across the lawn, potentially leading to an infestation of lawn diseases such as brown patches, dollar spots, and leaf spots (Disease Management in the Home Lawn).

Waiting until the grass is dry before mowing is advisable to avoid spreading such diseases.

– Safety Concerns

Mowing wet grass can also pose safety hazards. Operating a lawn mower on slick grass covered in morning dew increases the risk of slipping and losing control of the equipment. This can damage the lawn and pose a risk of injury to the operator.

Additionally, electric lawnmowers should not be used on wet grass due to the risk of electrocution.

Advantages of Cutting Grass with Morning Dew

Despite the risks, there are some valid reasons for cutting grass with the morning dew still present.

– Time Constraints

For many homeowners and gardeners, time is a luxury they do not have, and morning dew may not be a factor they can avoid.

Mowing the lawn during the early morning hours can be an ideal time for those with busy schedules, as it allows them to complete the task before the day’s heat sets in.

Additionally, some individuals may not have the luxury of waiting for the dew to evaporate due to other commitments or foreseeable weather conditions such as rain.

– Conservation of Water Resources

Another advantage of morning dew is that it reduces lawn watering needs. According to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (Water Conservation Tips for the Home Lawn and Garden), early morning is the best time for irrigation, as cooler temperatures minimize water loss through evaporation.

By mowing with the morning dew still present, gardeners can ensure that their lawn receives adequate hydration without using additional water resources.


Based on personal experience and evidence presented, the following recommendations are provided for cutting grass with morning dew:

  • To minimize the risk of damaging the lawn, consider using a rotary or mulching mower, as these types of mowers are less likely to clog and produce clumps when cutting wet grass.
  • If possible, wait for the morning dew to evaporate before mowing. This will not only yield better results for the appearance of the lawn but also help prevent the spread of lawn diseases.
  • Prioritize personal safety by wearing appropriate footwear with good traction and being extra cautious when navigating slopes or uneven terrain.
  • Utilize the presence of morning dew to reduce the need for watering, ultimately conserving water resources.

In conclusion, while it is generally advisable to wait until the grass is dry before mowing the lawn, there are situations in which cutting grass with morning dew may be necessary or beneficial.

By following the recommendations and being mindful of potential risks, homeowners and gardeners can decide the best time to care for their lawns.

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  1. Roland Mckinney says:

    Thanks for the detailed recommendations on mowing with morning dew.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Roland! I appreciate your feedback on mowing with morning dew. Happy mowing!

  2. Sue Carpenter says:

    Can using a protective spray on the mower help prevent damage from wet grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks for your question, Sue! Using a protective spray can help reduce mower damage from wet grass but isn’t a foolproof solution. Check out the blog for more tips on handling damp lawns.

  3. Carolyn Nelson says:

    Thanks for sharing these insights on mowing wet grass!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Carolyn! Remember, mowing wet grass can be challenging, so it’s essential to wait for the right time to avoid damage. Happy mowing!

  4. Sally Watkins says:

    I never considered the impact of soil compaction from mowing wet grass.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for bringing up the impact of soil compaction from mowing wet grass. It’s an important factor to consider for maintaining a healthy lawn.

  5. Lesa Watts says:

    Could mowing wet grass have long-term effects on the lawn?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Mowing wet grass has long-term negative effects on the lawn, such as clumping, uneven cuts, mower damage, and soil compaction. To protect your lawn, follow expert tips for successful mowing.

  6. Mark Steward says:

    I never knew mowing wet grass could be so damaging!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for sharing your insights! Mowing wet grass can indeed be quite damaging. It’s important to consider the risks and take necessary precautions for a healthy lawn.

  7. Ryan Lawson says:

    Can mowing wet grass lead to more pests in the lawn?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Mowing wet grass can lead to clumping, uneven cuts, and mower damage. Minimize risks by waiting for the grass to dry, raising the mower deck, cleaning the deck, sharpening blades, mowing slowly, and using a mulching mower.

  8. Edward Matthews says:

    Is there a specific temperature range that’s best for mowing wet grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Edward. It’s best to wait for the grass to dry before mowing to avoid clumping, uneven cuts, mower damage, and compaction. If unavoidable, follow the tips provided for a smoother mowing experience.

  9. Ronald Roberts says:

    I never knew about the risks of spreading fungal diseases while mowing wet grass.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience! Mowing wet grass can indeed spread fungal diseases. Waiting until the grass is less wet, dividing the lawn into sections, and cleaning the deck can help minimize risks.

  10. Lois Evans says:

    I appreciate the tips on minimizing the risks of mowing wet grass.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Lois Evans! I’m glad you found the tips helpful for minimizing risks when mowing wet grass. Happy mowing!

  11. Rene Lawrence says:

    Is there a specific time of day that’s best for mowing wet grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question! It’s best to mow wet grass when it’s drier in the late morning or early afternoon to minimize clumping, uneven cuts, and mower damage. Remember to raise the deck and mow slowly.

  12. Jerry Lucas says:

    Are there signs to look for to tell if it’s safe to mow wet grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Jerry. Mowing wet grass can lead to clumping, uneven cuts, slipping risks, and mower damage. Consider waiting for grass to dry or follow precautions if mowing is unavoidable.

  13. Johnny Shaw says:

    Is it really worth the risk to mow wet grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Johnny! Mowing wet grass poses risks like clumping, uneven cuts, and mower damage. While it’s best to avoid, follow precautions if unavoidable.

  14. Amy Henry says:

    Great tips on how to handle mowing wet grass.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your feedback on mowing wet grass, Amy! I’m glad you found the tips helpful. Happy mowing!

  15. Charlotte Kuhn says:

    How often should mower blades be sharpened for wet grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      It’s best to wait until the grass is dry to reduce clumping and mower damage when mowing wet grass. Consider these tips for a healthier lawn.

  16. Peter Robinson says:

    Great point about conserving water by mowing with morning dew!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks, Peter! Mowing with morning dew can be beneficial for time constraints, but be cautious of clumping, uneven cuts, and safety risks. Consider waiting for the grass to dry for optimal results.

  17. Dianne Bryant says:

    What are the benefits of mulching mowers for wet grass?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Mowing wet grass can be challenging but using a mulching mower can help reduce clumping and promote healthier grass growth. Happy mowing!

  18. Gwendolyn Daniels says:

    What type of grass is best suited for mowing when wet?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your question, Gwendolyn! Although it’s best to avoid mowing wet grass, if necessary, try to mow when the ground is less wet, raise your mower deck, and mow in sections to minimize negative effects.

  19. Leonard Bowman says:

    I never considered how morning dew could impact lawn mowing.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for your insight, Leonard! Morning dew can indeed impact lawn mowing. Check out my latest post for tips on handling wet grass. Happy mowing!

  20. Clinton Hunt says:

    Do different types of grass require different mowing practices when wet?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Morning dew or slightly damp grass can make mowing more challenging, leading to clumping, uneven cuts, slipping risk, and mower damage. Follow precautions such as dividing lawn, raising deck, cleaning, and sharpening mower blades for better results.