Mowing wet grass is generally not a recommended task for many reasons. However, there’s an ongoing debate on whether wet grass can make the blades of your lawn mower dull.
So, does wet grass dull lawn mower blades? The short answer is no — wet grass won’t make your lawn mower blades dull. However, there are other reasons why you should avoid mowing wet grass. You could ruin your lawn, make the cut uneven, introduce fungi into that environment, and possibly even destroy your lawn mower in other ways.
Let’s take a look at all of the reasons why cutting wet grass is bad, which conditions are okay, and how to mow your wet grass if you really want to. Read on.
Disadvantages of Mowing Wet Grass
As mentioned, there are numerous reasons why mowing wet grass isn’t good for you, your lawn, or your lawn mower. Even dew or light rain could make the lawn wet enough for it to be hard to mow. It’s not just about it being more difficult than mowing dry grass, but rather about it being damaging for many different reasons.
The Damage to Your Lawn
Naturally, you want your lawn to look perfect. It makes a great house look even more beautiful. However, for you to create that neat cut, you need each grass blade straight and upright. As you probably know, rain makes this impossible, since it beats the grass into the ground. Your lawn may dry a bit, but the grass blades will remain heavy, and they’ll stay down.
So, while some of the blades will return to their original position, most will remain near the ground, and you’ll get an uneven cut. But you won’t see it until the grass dries off completely.
This is not the only problem you’ll have with your lawn. Wet or damp grass isn’t easy to cut, so it’s more likely that your lawn mower will tear the grass. This means that fungus will infect your grass. Wetness and tears are the perfect environment for this to spread.
If your lawn mower doesn’t tear the grass, the clumps that form from wet grass will block the airflow to the ground, and they will form a disease as well. These are usually known as “brown spots.”
At the same time, if wet grass gets stuck in your mower deck and stays there, it could spread mold all over your lawn.
At the very least, the lawn mower will damage the lawn with the wheels, compressing the soil and making it more compact, which will inevitably ruin the lawn.
The Damage to the Mower
Moisture isn’t good for the lawn mower for multiple reasons. If you have a gas-powered mower, the water could get into the fuel tank and affect the metal parts. As you likely know, water could also affect the engine and cause corrosion. A stabilizer may be able to help, but it’s still not safe.
Wet grass could get stuck on the metal parts and cause corrosion as well. This is not just a long-term problem, something that will trouble you later, but also a short-term one as it can cause stress to the engine. The movement of your lawn mower blade will be slower due to wet grass, and the engine will have to work more.
In general, you have to practice safety with all outdoor tools since they tend to be dangerous if used poorly. Using a corded lawn mower to mow wet grass is extremely dangerous — water and electricity don’t mix. Furthermore, you could harm yourself if you mow on slopes.
When the turf is wet, there’s always a chance of slipping and falling down. With a rotating blade nearby, it’s best to wait it out.
Even though you may be in a rush and have a specific reason to mow a wet lawn, the truth is that it would take a lot more work for you than just waiting and then mowing dry grass. For one, it takes more time. And of course, your lawn won’t look great, so you’ll need to mow again.
Keep in mind that wet grass is a lot stickier than dry grass, and when the mower cuts it, it will land on anything in the vicinity. For example, you may find it on the walls of your home, your clothes and shoes, and anything else that’s close enough. But, wet grass is not easy to clean, so you’ll have green smudges everywhere.
This means a lot more work for you as well since you’ll have to clean all of that.
How to Know if Your Grass Is Too Wet to Mow?
You are probably wondering if there is a case where your grass is wet, but you can still mow it safely. Well, a simple test can help you decide.
All you need to do is step on your lawn. If the ground is sinking under your foot, you shouldn’t mow. But, if it isn’t, then you could mow, while still making sure that you are safe and cleaning the equipment afterward.
Keep in mind that damp grass is still harder to mow, and some of the problems listed could still happen. However, if you’re in a rush and can’t wait for the lawn to dry, you can mow your grass if it passes this test.
What to Do After Mowing Wet Grass?
If you already mowed your wet grass, you likely want to know what your next steps should be to prevent some of those damaging effects.
After you’re done mowing wet grass, you should take good care of your lawn mower. It needs to be cleaned and dried completely. You should look at all of the nooks and crannies where grass could have ended up and remove any clippings you find. Be careful when cleaning so that you don’t hurt yourself.
You can’t do much about the damage possibly done to your lawn, but you can definitely protect your equipment from further damage.
If you want to make cleaning easier for you, do it a bit as you go, so the grass doesn’t cake in the chute or under the deck. You can also spray some silicone onto the deck before you start, so the grass slips off easier.
Remember to rake up the grass later, once you’re done, to prevent more damage to your lawn.
Tips for Mowing a Wet Lawn
If your lawn really can’t wait, you can mow it while wet. However, it’s best to follow some of these tips.
- Don’t mow tall grass. Tall grass is difficult to cut when dry, and dampness makes it worse. You should wait for it to dry. Otherwise, it could seriously damage your lawn, your lawn mower, and it could be really hard to do.
- Remember to add a stabilizer to the engine. This will prevent any corrosion caused by water from your grass.
- Sharpen your lawn mower blades. This will make the job easier. However, keep safety in mind when doing this.
- Raise the mower wheels. If you do this, the mowing will be easier on your engine.
- Let the grass out through the side chute. The bag will get dirty and wet, so you’ll have more work, and mulching won’t work properly.
- Cut half the swath you would usually cut. This will be easier on your engine.
- Clean the equipment immediately after. Wet grass could cause mold and corrosion, so be careful and do it immediately after you mow.
While mowing wet grass isn’t recommended for many reasons, it doesn’t cause damage to your lawn mower blades any more than dry grass does. However, be careful when trying to mow damp or wet lawns, since you could get hurt and get green stains on everything.
Remember to clean your equipment properly afterward. A quick spray of silicone onto the deck could make the job easier, along with some other tips that were already mentioned. Good luck!