It is a very popular opinion and common knowledge that grass should not be cut while it is still wet. This belief is because of different reasons that includes; grass being too limp, slippery blades can cause a fall, grass on the lawn could get damaged, or clippings will clump together giving a messy look to the cut lawn.
However, the rains have refused to let up, so what do you do? You know you need to mow your lawn because it is starting to look like a prairie. Well, we are going to find out if cutting your grass when wet is the next worst thing after the zombie apocalypse.
Disadvantages of mowing wet grass
To be quite honest, there are many good reasons why you shouldn’t mow wet grass. So, yes. Your pesky neighbor was right. These reasons cover you, your mower and your lawn. They include:
As usual, safety is first, and this is because you stand a high risk of being involved in a slip and fall accident. This happens because after the rainfall, the blades of grass become slippery. When this is combined with the fact that you are pushing a high-powered machine, your chances of losing your balance increase.
When a mower cuts wet grass, it becomes soft and sticky. In this state, the grass clippings easily clump together, and when expelled to the grass surface, they look messy and unattractive. This whole thing defeats the purpose of lawn mowing.
Damaging your lawn mower
Mowing grass when wet is one of the significant reasons why lawn mowers malfunction. Several reasons are there: Firstly, clumps of cut blades accumulate under the lawn mower deck. Secondly, cutting wet grass makes the blades of the mower blunt, and who wants to attempt mowing the lawn with blunt blades.
When mowing a wet lawn, damage to your lawn is almost unavoidable. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are; there will be damage from the tires of the mower and imprints of the feet on the saturated areas of the grass. Fixing this damage may prove to be expensive. Also, clumping damages the lawn. This is because, unlike mulch, clumped clippings are dense and do not let sunlight and air through. This ‘suffocates’ the grass underneath clumps.
Once wet grass is mowed, chlorophyll; the pigment that gives it its green color, is exposed. This means that anywhere grass clippings touches will be stained green. This includes; walls, sidewalks, footwear, clothes, etc.
How to get away with cutting wet grass?
If the above-listed disadvantages have not scared you off from mowing your wet lawn, then that can only mean you desperately need to mow that lawn. Well, if you must do it, then here are a few tips to help you get away with it.
Firstly, some conditions have to be right before you cut wet grass:
- The ground should not be soggy. If as you walk, it sinks in then it is too wet for anything. Abort mission.
- The lawnmower to be used cannot be electric with an extension cable. It is highly unsafe.
- The blades of your lawn mower should be very sharp, as they are going to get steadily blunt as you mow. Therefore, consider investing in durable mowing blades to ensure performance and longetivity.
Now, if these conditions have been met, “Operation Mow a Wet Lawn” is a go. Listed below are the tips you need.
Raise the mower deck height
Increase the height of your mower deck, so that the amount of grass cut is reduced. When the length of the grass cut is much, the amount of grass clippings being expelled is reduced, and this increases clogging under the mower deck. Also, this gives your lawn a fresher look.
Use the Side shooter
When cutting tall wet grass, it is better to expel the wet and sticky clippings out of the sides of your mower, instead of trying to mulch or bag it. This is because, wet grass clippings get clumped and can cause a clog under the deck of the mower, resulting in damage. Also, it reduces the number of grass clippings that are likely to get on your clothes.
Lubricate under the deck of the lawnmower
Lubrication using a silicone spray will prevent clumps of clippings from sticking to the deck of the lawnmower. Another way to do lubrication is with a graphite coating. Lubricating under the deck also makes cleaning up easier.
Mow in slow motion
Mowing a wet lawn should not be done in a hurry. You should take your time to avoid slipping on wet grass. Also, to avoid overwhelming the lawn mower engine.
Clean the mower immediately after
Once you finish mowing your wet lawn, carefully clean out all the clumps of wet grass that have gotten stuck under the mower deck and from the mower blades. If left for too long these clippings will accumulate and clog under the deck of the mower; they cause rusting as well which is damaging to your machine. Here is an article on how to clean the underside deck of your lawn mower properly.
In conclusion, it is best to wait for dry weather before undertaking a project like cutting wet grass. This is because it is safer for you and your machine. It does not mess up the aesthetics of your lawn or affect the health of your grass.
Knowing how to mow a wet lawn properly is an essential skill and all the precautions mentioned above must be taken. This way, we can ensure our wet yard can be mowed successfully.