Rainfall helps the grass to grow and stay green and reduces water stress. The moisture in its cells makes the grass more resilient in hot and dry conditions. Mowing the grass soon after rainfall is not a good practice, as grass blades bend towards the ground when wet. Mowing at this time could result in an uneven cutting.
In general, It’s recommended to wait until the grass is dry enough that you can walk over it and not have wet shoes. If you can not wait, mow higher than your normal mowing height to put less stress on the grass. To reduce the stress on the lawnmower, add a stabilizer to the gas. Clean the mower’s blades frequently to avoid the grass clippings from sticking to them. You can avoid bagging the wet grass clippings by setting your mower to the side on discharge mode and raking the clippings on the ground.
This article will give you information about the effects of mowing your wet lawn. It will explain how mowing wet grass affects your lawnmower. And it will give you tips to mow your wet lawn after rainfall without causing any serious harm or damage to your lawn.
Mowing Wet Grass After Rain
The grass blades should be standing up off the ground for an ideal cut so that the mower’s blades can easily cut them while passing over them. Wet blades are heavier than dry blades so, they tend to hug the ground.
As the grass starts to dry after rain, some of its blades dry quickly and return to their upright position. These blades get easily chopped off when you mow. But the rest of the wet blades will remain bent towards the ground, meaning the mower will pass over them rather than cutting them. When the lawn dries, these blades will pop up again and give your lawn a rough and untidy look.
Mowing wet grass can result in tearing the grass from the ground rather than cutting it. These tears invite diseases, like fungus, to attack your lawn. The moisture in your lawn helps the fungus to spread all over the lawn. So, mowing a wet lawn can create a perfect storm for fungal infestations. Mowing wet grass may cause stress to your lawn, causing it to turn yellow until it has recovered from the stress.
The grass clippings of the wet grass can also aid the fungal infestations in your lawn. Wet grass clipping mat down and hinder the flow of healthy air. It can result in “brown spot”, a common fungal disease. It can occur when many grass clippings cover the grass, blocking the grass’s roots.
Wet grass clippings also stick to the underside of the mower deck, which could invite mold if allowed to stay there for a long time. Not removing them could mean that the next time you cut your lawn, this mold can then spread.
When your lawn is wet, the wheels of the mower sink into the moist surface. The moving wheels create ruts and can cause direct damage to your lawn. It can also compact the soil in the yard that can cause damage over time.
When Mowing After Rain is a Must, Some Helpful Tips:
Waiting for the grass to dry is not always possible. Maybe the forecast is bad, and a lot more rain or a storm is coming. Waiting longer would only cause the grass to grow much taller than its recommended height.
You can cut wet grass in such cases, but you will need to ensure that the ground is not soggy, so the lawnmower doesn’t really damage the soil. Test the saturation of the lawn by walking on it and checking how much water is rising around the edges of your shoes when you stand on it.
If there is no rising water in your lawn, you can mow the grass to some degree using your lawnmower. Ensure that the lawnmower blades are sharp, ensure that the grass is cut cleanly, and do not add extra stress. In most cases, a gas mower is advised instead of an electric mower to avoid injury due to electric shocks.
Add a stabilizer to the gas to overcome the effects of moisture in the fuel tank. Moisture may enter your gas tank while mowing wet grass. Adding a stabilizer helps the gas with the moisture ignite properly the next time you mow.
While mowing the grass after rain, try to use the side discharge if you have this option. Using a bag or other type of container often clogs quickly. Not using it leaves the clippings on your lawn for manual bagging later but improves cutting it.
Set your mower to the highest setting possible to cut the grass to three or four inches long. When working with wet grass, it’s difficult for the mower to get a clean trim. Avoid stressing your mower by cutting the wet grass at lower heights.
Wet Grass and the Lawnmower
A lawnmower is always at risk if moisture comes in contact with its metal parts. It improves the chance of rust if you don’t let it dry. Moisture can also cause gasoline in the fuel tank to go bad if you don’t add some stabilizer. The moisture can cause corrosion inside the fuel tank and cause a problem later.
Clippings that stick to the underside of your mower can create a breeding ground for mold. Always remove them after you are done. Often removing them during mowing is also needed as they can hinder the movement of your mower’s blades and put stress on the engine to make up for it.
Lawnmowers collect the grass by vacuuming it up after cutting it with a blade. Wet grass makes this process difficult as it’s heavier than dry grass. It blocks the underside of the deck or grass chute, preventing the grass from being collected efficiently. Always clean the deck by scarping off the stuck grass blades and brushing off the mower’s wheels.
Mowing Wet Grass and Personal Safety
Personal safety is always the priority in every field of work. You might be at a greater risk of injury when mowing wet grass over dry grass. Two factors can increase the risk of injury:
- Using an Electric Mower: If you use an electric mower, especially with an extension cord, there is always a risk of getting an electric shock. Damaged cords exposed to moisture could cause damage to the machine, as well as potential electrocution to the person operating the mower.
- Slopes: There is always the danger of slipping on wet turf, especially on slopes. It could cause you to pull a muscle or even break your arm or leg. Mowing a wet lawn while pushing forward could cause you to slip and fall too close to the mower’s blades, causing serious injury.
Mowing After Rain Creates Extra Work
Wet grass is tough to slice. It creates an uneven shred rather than a clean cut. And if the blades are not sharp enough, you will have to cut the same patch again. And the higher cutting height makes it necessary to mow it again sooner than you normally would.
The annoying thing is that your lawn will still not look as good after this extra effort. Often you will need to cut your lawn again when it is dry to make it look good. Wet grass also stains clothes, shoes and clings to you wherever you go. Cleaning these stains is also an extra effort which could be avoided by mowing the grass when it’s dry.
Best Time for Mowing the Lawn After Rain
It’s also important to mow the lawn at the right time of the day. The optimal time for mowing a lawn is mid-morning and late afternoon. But of course, things depend on when it is raining. In more warm areas, mid-morning is a good choice as the day’s heat hasn’t yet reached its peak, and the grass has time to recover. And in the late afternoon, the temperature starts to cool down.
Try to avoid mowing your lawn during the hottest part of the day. At that time, the grass is already under tremendous stress and using all its energy to stay hydrated. Mowing the lawn only adds to the stress and can results in brown patches due to heat damage.
Some Tips for Mowing Grass After Rain
Here are some tips that might help you in mowing wet grass:
- Save the Mower: Add a stabilizer to the gasoline in your fuel tank to prevent moisture from corroding the fuel tank.
- Mow at Higher Heights: Mow higher than the regular mowing height to put less stress on the mower.
- Cover Less Area While Mowing: Reduce the width of the swatch you are mowing, so less grass is cut with each pass.
- Slow and Steady: Try to keep the speed down to reduce the load on the mower blade.
- Don’t Bag the Wet Grass: Avoid bagging and mulching the wet grass, as it can make your bag dirty. Discharge it out the side chute.
- Let the Mower Dry After Mowing: Dry the mower in a well-ventilated area. This will prevent your mower from getting damaged by moisture.
- Clean the Mower After Work: Clean the underside of the mower and discharge the chute to avoid wet grass clippings sticking to it.
- Rake the Wet Clippings: Don’t let the wet clippings stay on the ground after mowing. Rake the clippings and put them in the compost bin.
Mowing grass after rainfall can damage your lawn. Mowing wet lawns can tear the grass rather than cutting it cleanly, as the wet grass blades are heavy, meaning they tend to bend towards the ground, making it difficult to cut. This causes an uneven cutting of your lawn, as when the grass is dry, all the grass blades pop back up, and it will be visible which blades were cut and which weren’t. Wet grass can also put your mower under great stress; therefore, always avoid mowing wet grass unless it’s absolutely necessary. Follow the tips mentioned in the article to mow the grass after rainfall without causing any serious damage to your lawn.