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Following over two weeks of rain, the condition of your lawn has deteriorated and requires a nice trim. Lawn service providers have had the challenge of keeping mowing schedules over the extended rainy days since the majority of homeowners patiently wait for sunny days. Meanwhile, the grass grows tall and stays wet. But can you mow the lawn when the grass is wet? Find out here.
Is It Safe To Mow While Wet?
The best practice has always been waiting for the grass to dry up before mowing. However, as you mow, bear in mind that only about a third of the grass blades need to be cut. For grass that is continuously wet for an extended duration and constantly growing, you can mow it while wet to prevent it from becoming too tall and seeding. The ideal time to trim your soggy lawn is determined by saturation levels, with reduced saturation being best.
Wet grass tends to bend over, increasing the probability of the mower missing or merely knocking over tall grass blades. On drying up, the grass stands back up, and the blades you missed stand out, making the cut uneven.
Before you mow the lawn after rains, closely assess the grass to establish whether there are bent blades. It is okay to cut if they are upright.
Wet grass cuts are less clean, therefore, larger clippings. The wet clippings tend to clump together, blocking your mower’s deck. The problem is less significant with air-tapered decks, though you will still need to be cautious and frequently check your mower when mowing after rains.
Since wet grass does not mulch very well, it might fall from the deck as large clumps. Instead of spreading back evenly into your lawn as mulch, the clusters can squash and ultimately kill lawn patches.
The chances of rut damage are increased while mowing a wet lawn as the soil is more slippery and softer, and mower tires easily uproot the roots of the grass. However, lightweight mowers with large wheels let you mow over wet lawns with reduced rut damage risk. Assess the soil. If it is muddy or soft, you should probably wait before cutting.
It would be best if you ideally waited till the grass was sufficiently dry for you to walk through the yard without wetting your shoes. Because this might not always be possible, more so in wetter regions or during spring, you might be required to mow partially wet grass from time to time. While contemplating whether to cut, the best bet is to follow the tips we will list below.
How To Mow A Wet Lawn
A sharp blade is important. You should lift the mower deck to a height of 3.5 inches from the ground and sharpen the blades daily after mowing. It is sometimes necessary to mow the lawn twice to separate wet grass clippings clumps.
Full stripe mowing is done instead of half stripe mowing since another mow will be carried out if required. Half stripe mowing entails overlapping a previously mowed stripe by half to lessen the grass cut in one pass. It is sometimes done while mowing wet grass to prevent clippings from choking or clogging the mower. Only in dire instances do you rake and collect wet clippings. The best practice is to leave them to feed the yard.
Commercial Grade Versus Consumer Lawn Mowers: Which Is Best For Wet Grass?
Both consumer-grade and commercial-grade lawn mowers are used on wet grass. However, we maintain the blades sharp regardless of the lawnmower. Furthermore, commercial-grade mowers have gator blades with serrated tips. These do an excellent job of breaking up wet grass clumps.
What Should I Do With My Soggy Lawn?
Look out for fungi as they are common with long durations of wet weather. They appear as brown patches in the yard. In addition, please turn off the sprinkler (irrigation) systems, or maintain their rain gauges in proper working condition over rainy periods to prevent watering already wet lawns.
If Mowing Is A Must
Your mower should be parked in a garage if the yard is soggy, you see puddles, or when you feel as if the underfoot is sinking.
- Raise your mower height to minimize clippings’ volume.
- Lessen the width of the fragment being mowed to cut less grass with every pass.
Tips While Mowing A Wet Lawn
While cutting a wet lawn, it is also important to remember the following tips:
It is recommended to avoid lawnmower operation in wet grass where applicable. Ensure you have long trousers and substantial footwear on.
It is paramount to ensure the lawnmower blade is sharp to quickly and cleanly cut the grass. The recommendation is to change the blade as you begin every grass-cutting season.
Your lawnmower also needs more thorough cleaning after cutting wet grass than is the case after cutting during dry conditions. The damp grass tends to stick below the lawnmower more easily. For this reason, you should scrape the grass clippings from under the mower and clean all the filters and inlets. Before doing this, make sure that it is disconnected from the electricity supply, should you have an electric mower. By not removing the stuck grass, you risk compromising the mower’s performance next time you set out to use it, even though the grass might be dry.
Mowing your lawn with the grass wet also implies that the mower tears or rips grass from your yard instead of neatly trimming the tips of the grass blades. This results in your lawn being untidy and, in extreme instances, also overstresses the grass leading to the grass turning yellow. The discoloration may last until recovery from the stress.
Wet grass, more so if tall, can pose a challenge to some mowers and probably result in them overheating. Nonetheless, this varies from mower to mower. A robust commercial mower with a nice cutting deck and sharp blades can easily handle wet lawns. If you are unsure whether your lawn is too wet, begin by moving one row. If the mower is bogged down, postpone the mowing to a later date where possible.