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Mowing grass after the rain, step by step

Finally, you have some time to mow the grass. It has been raining all day, but it finally cleared up. The grass is still wet, but you start mowing your lawn with a lot of excitement. Quickly you notice that you have to stop all the time because your machine is clogging. The engine can not work well, and you need to remove grass. You know that wet grass is the problem. The most obvious solution is just to wait a few hours until the grass dried up. But in this case, you do not have time to wait that long. If the grass is not overly wet, it is still possible to mow with some simple tips. This article will provide you a clear and comprehensive insight into how to mow your wet lawn.

Mowing Wet Grass, step by step:

  • Step 1: Make sure your lawnmower blades are sharp
  • Step 2: Raise the mowing height
  • Step 3: Check the air filter
  • Step 4: Use silicone spray
  • Step 5: Do not use a grass catcher bag
  • Step 6: Make use of side discharge
  • Step 7: Cutting the grass in multiple sessions
  • Step 8: Cutting half of the grass in each patch
  • Step 9: Remove sticky grass from your lawnmower

How to mow grass after the rain:

The best solution is always to wait until your grass has dried up before you mow your lawn. Mowing wet grass always takes more time. But if you do not have time to wait until it dried up, you can start cutting your grass following some steps. Always keep in mind that mowing wet grass is a more tedious and long-lasting task, even with the right steps. Also, lawns just do not look the same after mowing wet grass compared to mowing a dry lawn. Use the following steps to get the best result with the least amount of effort.

Safety precautions

The first step before starting mowing wet grass is to take some necessary safety procedures. Wear leather gloves, preferably waterproof, rugged boots or shoes with enough grip and a long pair of working trousers.
Since you will be working in slippy and wet conditions, always watch out that you do not slip. 

Depending on the lawnmower type, you need to consider:

  • Electric lawnmower: We advise you never to use an electric mower in wet conditions! Electric lawnmowers use a long cable to connect with the mains. This cable will lay on the wet ground and can be a significant safety hazard.
  • Push lawnmower: Mowing wet grass takes more effort. Make sure not to push it at the same speed as in dry grass, and be careful not to fall in these slippery conditions.

Step 1: Make sure your lawnmower blades are sharp

Now that the safety procedures are covered, we can start with the first steps to prepare your mower. First, check if the blades are sharp. The sharper your blades are, the easier the blades can cut. If your blades are not sharp, you can follow these steps to sharpen them:

  1. To ensure that no gas is spilled when you flip the lawnmower, close the gas tap, or remove the fuel from the gas tank.
  2. Disconnect the spark plug cables as a precautionary measure against an unintentional start of the mower.
  3. Tilt the lawnmower on its side. Watch out not to intentionally break some parts. If you have a heavy lawnmower you can use a lawnmower lift or another tool to help you.
  4. Mark the blade so you know the side that is pointing to the grass. Remove the bolts and nuts that keep the blades in place. Then remove the blades from the lawnmower.
  5. Use a grinder, electric sharpener, or hand file to sharpen the blades. Make sure to keep the original bend of the blade the same.
  6. Put the blades back on the mover and reattach the bolts.
  7. Turn the mower back on its feet and reconnect the spark plug again.
  8. Refill the gas tank, or open the gas tap.

Step 2: Raise the mowing height

Wet grass is often much harder to mow since the grass tends to fold up due to the water’s weight on the leaves. Therefore the lawnmower has to work much harder to mow wet grass. It will also make the blades turn more slowly and improve the chance that grass will stick to the mower deck’s bottom. And it leads to more wear and tear to the lawnmower engine. The solution for this is to raise the lawnmower blades to a higher position than you used to. This will make sure that the lawnmower cuts less grass, and consequently, the mower will be able to perform better.

Step 3: Check the air filter

The air filter of your lawnmower is an essential part of the lawnmower engine. Make sure that it is clean and working correctly. A clean air filter will make the engine run better and have more power. If the air filter is clogged and is not functioning correctly, clean it. If it is damaged, you have to replace it.

Use the following steps to cleaning your air filter:

  1. Disconnect the spark plug cable
  2. Remove the cover of the air filter
  3. Clean the foam pre-cleaner. With water or compressed air
  4. Replace the old paper filter with a new paper filter
  5. Place the air filter cover back
  6. Connect the spark plug cable

Step 4: Use silicone spray

Wet grass will stick to every part of the mower. Spraying silicone on the bottom of your mower deck will prevent unwanted grass from sticking to your lawnmower. Although this method is not perfect, it will result in a much easier mow experience since you do not have to clean your mower that often due to the grass.

Step 5: Do not use a grass catcher Bag

Another helpful tip to avoid using a bag or collection system on your lawnmower. Since the wet grass also sticks on the inside, it will make the route harder to get away from the blades. And improve the chance of clogging. Avoiding the usage of these attributes will result in less stopping to clean.

Step 6: Make use of side discharge

Use a side discharge lawn mower if you have one. If your mower has multiple options, use the side discharge option. A side discharge mower is less prone to clogging since the grass has to travel a lot less distance before being shot out of the machine.

Step 7: Cutting the grass in multiple sessions

Cutting the wet grass in multiple sessions will reduce strain on your lawnmower and decrease the chance of clogging. It will also yield a much better result. Each session, you will lower the blades until you’re happy with the resulting height.

Step 8: Cutting half of the grass in each patch

Another way to avoid stress on the lawnmower is to cut less grass at the same time. This can be accomplished by mowing partly on already cut grass and partly on non-cut grass. Although it will take twice as long to mow, it will make sure that your lawnmower is less prone to clogging. And will also result in less strain on the engine.

Step 9: Remove sticky grass from your lawnmower

Even though the silicone spray and not using a bag will result in less grass sticking to the bottom of your mower, there is always going to be some grass on your mower and blades. Regular cleaning will ensure that the mower can perform at maximum efficiency at all times.

How to dry wet grass

When the grass is too wet after the rain, there are several methods to help it dry quicker:

● Remove excess water with a hose:

The easiest to execute the solution is to remove a lot of the tiny drops that are floating on the grass. This can be done by grabbing your untangled garden hose. Then make sure that your hose is tightly strung and can cover your lawn. After that, walk around your yard holding your tightly strung hose and make sure it sweeps over the grass. You can repeat this method a few times until you are happy with the dryness of your lawn.

● Use an aerator to remove wet spots:

If your grass has really wet spots, the solution is to make small holes into the soil with a gardening fork. The small holes will help remove the excess water irrigate more quickly into the ground. You can also use an aerator if the amount of puddles and excess water is larger, and using a gardening fork takes too much time.

Related questions

1) How long should I wait to mow the grass after the rain has stopped?

The amount of time to wait depends on how wet the grass and soil is. Generally, you will be fine after a few hours. On a sunny day, this will even be quicker. But before mowing, always check how wet the grass and soil is.

2) How cold is too cold to cut grass?

You should not mow when the outside temperature is below 39,2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). The grass will stop growing below this temperature, resulting in the grass being too frozen to mow.

3) What time of day is best to cut the grass?

Typically the best time to mow is in the mid-morning and late afternoon or early evening. At that time, the grass will have dried up entirely. And if you live in a hot area, the temperature is more bearable around those times.

4) When should you not mow your lawn?

Generally, you should not mow your lawn when the grass is lower than 2 ¾ inches (7,5 centimeters). Cutting your grass when it is lower than 2 ¾ inches (7,5 centimeters) can cause stress to the roots of the grass.

5) Should I leave grass clippings on my lawn?

Grass clippings are good for your lawn since they provide the soil with healthy nutrients. Grass clippings can contain lawn pests, but this generally only happens in shady spots, so watch out for that, only in case of an excessive amount of clippings you need to remove them.

Final remarks

Mowing wet grass is always a tedious task that will take much more time than dry grass. The best solution is to wait until it dries up. But in case this is not possible, we hope that the provided steps will help you mow your wet grass with much more ease.