You’ve been planning a weekend yard party for months, only to wake up on the D-Day to the sudden realization that late-night rainfall messed up your lawn. It’s only a couple of hours before your guests start streaming in. And like any host, you’re eager to make a great first impression.
It’s during such moments that you’ll often wonder – is it okay to mow wet grass?
The answer is a resounding no. Experts strongly discourage cutting wet grass, and there are several reasons for that.
Join me as I highlight the various reasons you should wait for your lawn to dry before cranking up your lawnmower. I’ll also share some tips on how to safely mow wet grass (if you absolutely cannot wait until it dries out).
Table of Contents
Why Is It A Bad Idea To Mow Wet Grass?
1. Danger of Electric Shock
Water and electricity are mortal enemies. Therefore, attempting to use an electric lawnmower on wet grass is opening up yourself for electric shock.
That’s especially if using a machine with a damaged extension cord where the copper wires are directly exposed to moisture.
2. Damage to Your Lawnmower
You might be fortunate enough to survive electrocution while mowing wet grass. But your lawnmower may not be so lucky. Cutting wet grass using electric lawnmowers with damaged cords can trigger explosions, fires, and irreparable damage to the equipment’s inner components.
Gas-powered lawnmowers aren’t safe either. Rainwater from wet grass might find its way into the fuel chamber, causing engine malfunctions. Besides, long-term exposure to moisture could corrode the internal parts of your lawnmower. This can reduce the machine’s longevity, subjecting you to costly repairs or unnecessary purchases.
3. Danger of Slipping
Wet grass is never a great ally as far as maintaining stamina and balance is concerned. You could easily slip and fall, suffering grievous injuries.
You can only imagine what would happen if you were to fall head first on the driveway. Worse yet, if you were to land right on the blades of your lawnmower.
4. Poor Visibility
A heavy downpour can impair your ability to see what you’re mowing. This further increases the risks of slipping and falling. Besides, it prevents you from cutting the grass to your desired efficiency.
Wearing eyeglasses or safety goggles may not help much if the conditions are still foggy. These glasses can easily become fogged, further diminishing your visibility.
5. Clogging and Clumping
Wet grass clippings can easily clog your lawnmower blades, decreasing the machine’s performance. This may increase the frequency with which you have to clean your lawnmower, which can reduce its durability.
Also, mowing a wet lawn can cause your lawnmower to choke on the grass clippings and then spit out clumps of wet grass. The wet grass clumps can leave unsightly spots on your lawn if not properly raked. Besides, they could kill the grass patches they sit on by depriving them of sunlight.
6. Spreading Lawn Diseases
Lawns inhabit disease-causing microorganisms, mostly in the form of fungi. These pathogens tend to become more active when the grass is wet.
Mowing your lawn right after rainfall only spreads these diseases around the yard. Without prompt interventions, the fungi can easily kill grass and trees in your yard.
Common lawn fungi to watch out for include:
• Anthracnose – A fungus that causes reddish-brown patches on the grass.
• Brown patch – Characterized by irregular circles of brown grass.
• Leaf spot – Marked by tiny brown spots with purplish-red or dark-brown borders on grass blades.
• Red threat – Causes reddish threads on grass blades.
7. Stained Clothes
It’s okay that you want to get your hands dirty by mowing the lawn right after a heavy downpour. But have you considered the effects that decision may have on your clothing?
Wet grass can leave your clothes with green stains, which could prove difficult to wash out.
What If You Must Cut Wet Grass?
We still strongly discourage mowing wet grass. But what if you absolutely cannot wait till the lawn dries out first? Well, there are certain safety precautions to follow.
First, insist on very sharp blades. Newly sharpened or newly replaced blades will do the trick. Once that is sorted, try to implement the below tips:
• Raise the deck of your lawnmower to minimize the volume of grass clippings
• Reduce the width of the swatch you’re cutting to minimize the volume of grass cut with each pass
• Stop and clean the mower’s underside periodically
There are numerous downsides to mowing your lawn when the grass is wet. Besides risking personal injury, cutting wet grass can also diminish your lawnmower’s performance and reduce the efficiency of the exercise.
So, unless you have valid reasons to the contrary (such as playing host to the mayor in a few hours), then your best bet is to wait till your lawn dries out before cranking up the lawnmower.