Mowing Wet Grass

Mowing Wet Grass

Can You Mow Wet Grass

Dale, the Lawn Mower Expert
Lawn Mower Expert

soaked grassIt’s been raining for days, and your yard is starting to look like the Everglades. You know that mowing wet grass isn’t a good idea, but you catch a one-day break in between rain showers. It’s now or never, you tell yourself. Time to slosh through and get the job done, right?


Can I Mow Wet Grass?

Hold your mower! Your instinct is right. Mowing wet grass is not a good idea, and you should avoid it if possible. If you absolutely must mow wet grass, we have some tips on reducing the pain.

First, let’s explain why cutting wet grass is a bad idea for you, your turf, and your mower.


Safety Hazard

By mowing wet grass, you are facing a couple safety risks. First, it’s very easy to slip and fall on a wet lawn, especially if you’re pushing a lawn mower. The last thing you want is to fall next to those fast-rotating, super-sharp blades. Cutting wet grass with an electric mower, especially a corded one, is even more dangerous. If any electrical parts are exposed to moisture, they could fry the mower and electrocute you.

Finally, it’s extremely hard to mow wet grass. Your mower will likely keep jamming up, and you’ll have to continuously shut down and restart your machine. Not to mention all the wet grass stains that will get on your shoes and pants.


Lawn Damage

Mowing wet or dewy grass can also ruin your lawn. It’s much easier to tear damp grass when cutting it, which could allow fungus to take root and kill your turf. All the heavy, wet grass clippings can also increase the risk of fungal disease by stifling your lawn.

Furthermore, it’s very hard to cut wet grass evenly. Once it dries, you’ll very quickly notice the resulting uneven lawn. If the ground is too wet, you also run the risk of your lawn mower’s wheels digging into the surface and compacting the soil.


Mower Trouble

We already mentioned how hard it is to physically mow a wet lawn. Clumps of wet grass will accumulate and jam up the mower blades and vacuum. Blades of grass will remain on your mower’s undercarriage after you’re done, creating a breeding ground for mold and eventual rust.

wet clumps of grass in lawn mower

All that moisture is also terrible for any fuel in your mower. If you have leftover fuel, the moisture can ruin it and even corrode your mower parts.


How to Cut Wet Grass

If you accept all the risks above and feel you truly have no choice but to cut wet grass, there are ways to mitigate the damage. First, never mow in a downpour or if your grass is soaked—it’s a guaranteed disaster. If there is standing water, forget about it. Also, avoid mowing in the early morning. Instead, opt for high noon or the evening when the grass has had some time to dry.


Sharpen Your Blades

To avoid shredding your lawn, it’s important to keep your blades sharp, especially when mowing damp grass. Learn how to sharpen your lawn mower blades. If you notice any scratches or dents in the blade, you should get a replacement.


Clean Machine Non-Stick ProtectantUse Mower Protectant Spray

You should spray the underside of your mower deck with non-stick protectant. This will reduce clumping by creating a hard, protective shield against grass, dirt, and rust.


Raise Your Mower Deck

Having a low-cut lawn looks very clean and tidy, but when your grass is damp, it’s not the time. The longer the blades, the more clumps of grass will jam up your machine. Keep your mower deck high (3-4 inches) in wet conditions to minimize the problem.


Limit Fuel

When cutting a wet lawn, only put as much gas into the fuel tank as you think you’ll use. Any leftover fuel will become infected with moisture and spoil, possibly causing damage to your engine, so remove it after the mow.


Mow Slowly

Don’t try to beat your previous lawn mowing record when cutting wet grass. The trick is to slow down significantly to give your blades a chance. Do not cut full rows of wet grass. Instead, cut only a half-row at a time to limit the amount of grass getting caught in your undercarriage.


Mow Frequently

If you decide to mow in wet conditions, be prepared to do a couple passes since you won’t be able to cut as much at one time. You may also need to even out certain parts of your lawn. It’s a good task to split with someone else in the house.


Clean Up

As soon as you finish mowing, make sure the engine is off and clean the grass clippings from the undercarriage to prevent mold. You may need to use a wire brush to scrape off some of the grass. After that, wipe down the wheels and body. Make sure the mower is dry before putting it back in storage.

Mowing Wet Grass Do's Mowing Wet Grass Dont's
Green Checkmark Red X
Do Mow in the Afternoon or Evening Don't Mow in the Early Morning
Do Sharpen Your Mower Blades Don't Mow in a Downpour
Do Raise Your Mower Deck Don't Cut Your Grass Low
Do Mow Slowly at Half Rows Don't Rush
Do Use Protectant Spray Don't Mow Soggy Grass
Do Clean Your Mower Afterwards Don't Leave Grass on the Undercarriage


Best Mowers for Wet Grass

Timemaster MowerNo mower is truly built for wet grass, but there are some that are more capable at handling it. The best lawn mowers for cutting wet grass have at least a 200cc engine for maximum power and torque. If you live in a very wet climate and have difficult terrain, you may consider getting a commercial-grade mower.

If you have any questions about the type of mower that's best for your yard, we're here to help! Call (800) 837-8247 to speak with one of our lawn and garden product experts.

NEXT: How to Pick the Perfect Lawnmower

Dale, the Lawn Mower Expert
Lawn Mower Expert
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