Mowing a wet lawn is not only a hazard to the person mowing it, but also the lawn itself. If it is at all avoidable, it is recommended that mowing not be done when the lawn is wet.
Substantial problems can arise when trying to mow a lawn while it is wet. One of the biggest concerns is personal safety. A wet lawn is a slippery lawn, and a slippery lawn in combination with high powered blades can be extremely dangerous whether walking behind or riding on the lawn mower.
Damage can be unavoidable when attempting to mow a wet lawn. No matter the experience level or the grade of mower, accidents happen and damage to a once manicured lawn is the result. Tires from a lawn mower, as well as any walking traffic, can easily sink into saturated areas leave ruts and uprooting the grass plant. This can be expensive to fix and may involve seed or sod depending on the severity of the damage.
Clumping is another result of mowing the lawn while it is wet. Clumping is not only bad for the lawn mower and consumes more time because of bogging down or dyeing all together, but it is also bad for the lawn. A lawn does not grow properly when it is covered or blocked. A large clump of clippings lying on top of the lawn can result in the death of the plant.
If it Must Be Done
During the rainy season, it is almost impossible to avoid mowing when the lawn is wet. There are a few tips to follow if it has to be done.
- Clean the mower once completed. Get all of the wet grass clippings out from under the deck and off of the blades. The moisture can cause these areas to rust if left for too long and can also allow for mold to grow and be spread the next time the lawn is mowed.
- Cut more often if possible. If the typical mowing schedule is every seven days but it rains on day 7, try switching to an every 5 day schedule. This will allow the chance for more dry time yet allow a couple extra days before it has to be cut.
- Raise the mower deck. Mowing at a higher setting will give the lawn a freshly mowed look without having to take too much off during a wet cut and jeopardize the grass plant itself.
- Sharpen the mower blades. Sharp mower blades are more effective during wet or dry conditions and are overall better for the grass plant. Sharp blades allow for the grass to be cut rather than torn or ripped.
- Side shooter rather than mulched or bagged. When mowing tall wet grass, it may be better to shoot the grass out of the side of the machine rather than attempting to mulch it or bag it. Wet grass clipping clump together and can result in a clog under the mowing deck and bog dawn or ruin the lawn mower itself.
Sum it up
To sum it up, waiting for dry weather is the best and safest option. If it is absolutely essential to mow under wet conditions, extreme caution should be applied to avoid accidental damage to the lawn, mower, or self.
It is always a good idea to consult with a lawn care professional and ask any questions you may have. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.