Is It OK to Mow Wet Grass?
You look outside and notice that your grass has started getting a little too high and you realize that it has been a while since you last cut your lawn. The problem is that the reason why you haven’t is that it has been raining nonstop for the last week. Should you go ahead an just cut it even though it’s still wet?
Should You Mow Wet Grass?
No, you should not mow wet grass. When using an electric or gas lawn mower on wet grass, you run the risk of damaging your lawn mower. You could also harm yourself and could potentially end up with even more work to do in the long run.
It is a rule of thumb to not cut your grass when it is wet outside. No matter how bad you want to cut it, whether you use a normal gasoline lawn mower or a cordless electric mower, don’t cut the grass. Here, we are going to look at the problems involved in cutting your grass and will even take a look at what you need to do if you absolutely need to cut your grass during this wet season.
Reasons For Not Mowing Wet Grass
When you have tall grass, especially grass that is tall and wet, it can place an immense amount of strain on the lawn mower and even potentially cause it to overheat. Unless you are using a commercial-grade mower, cutting tall wet grass has a possibility of destroying your mower and not accomplishing anything that you set out to do.
When tall and wet grass is concerned, you have to realize that often this grass will be heavy with rain and will be bending over. This makes your lawn mower’s job more difficult than before in that this grass will be bunched up together, making it more difficult to cut. Also, if your lawn mower’s blades haven’t been sharpened recently, you could just be knocking down the grass and not cutting it.
Wet grass does not shred or mulch very well at all. When cutting wet grass, it will clump up in your lawn mower and won’t spread around your yard very evenly. This will lead to there being dead patches of grass on your lawn.
Mowing the grass when it is wet also presents the risk of rut damage. This is because the soil under the grass is softened. With it being softer and slippery, your lawn mower can easily rip out the grass roots with its wheels. If the ground of your lawn feels wet or muddy, it is in your best interest to wait before attempting to mow it.
Wet grass also provides some safety concerns as well. One personal safety risk is slipping while attempting to cut the wet grass. Not only do you risk injuring yourself by falling, but you can inadvertently injure yourself on the blades of the lawn mower as well.
Problems Wet Grass Creates
When it comes to your lawn mower, trying to cut your grass after it rains is generally a very bad idea unless certain conditions are met, which we will cover later. For now, let’s cover the risks to your lawn mower:
- Damp or wet grass can damage your lawn mower: If your lawn mower does not have the appropriate stabilizer, the leftover fuel in the tank can become contaminated due to the excessive moisture and can lead to your mower becoming rusted or corroded.
- Wet grass clippings can interfere with the mower: Wet grass clippings can clump up and stick to the underside of the mower and block the vacuum and the blade. This will cause the lawn mower to work harder until it eventually overheats and shuts down. This is especially true if your lawn mower isn’t being cleaned throughout the cutting process.
- A wet lawn is extremely difficult to cut effectively: A wet lawn will present several challenges to you if you attempt to cut it. The wet grass will be slick which will result in an uneven cut to the blades of grass.
- Wet grass creates extra work: When it comes to wet grass, it does not mulch very well and will create extra work for you. Grass already tends to cling to lawn mowers when you cut your grass. When it is wet, it will cling even more and will create a breeding ground for mold and eventually break down your lawn mower.
- The wet grass can stain your lawn mower: The chlorophyll that is within the grass will cause more staining of your clothes and lawn mower. You will need to immediately remove stains from your lawn mower to maintain its quality.
Cordless Electric Mowers and Wet Grass
If you have an electric mower that is cordless, you have a variety of other risks involved. As with gas mowers, it is especially imperative that you avoid cutting grass while it is wet when you are using an electric mower.
First off, it’s an extreme electrical hazard. You run the risk of electrical shock or starting a fire when using an electrical lawn mower whether it is corded or cordless.
Another issue that is involved with using an electric lawn mower on wet grass is that electrical lawn mowers are not the greatest at cutting tall grass as it is. Don’t even attempt to cut tall and wet grass with an electric lawn mower.
When you attempt to cut a tall yard that is wet with an electrical lawn mower, don’t expect it to last very long afterward. The wet grass will still bunch up under the lawn mower and will also cause the blockages to the blade and vacuum as with a gas lawn mower. The problem, aside from this, is that it will may also have an electrical short, ruining the lawn mower.
How Will I Know If My Grass Is Too Wet For My Mower?
This is a good question as there is a difference between wet and damp. As a rule, you should wait for your yard to completely dry especially if you have an electric lawn mower. However, there is a way to check to see if your grass is too wet to cut.
In order to check if your grass is too wet to be mowed, you simply need to take a walk across your yard. Make sure that the area you are walking across is flat and you are able to maintain even footing.
If you can easily see your footprints and the grass does not immediately spring back up after the walkthrough, your grass is too wet to cut. Also, if you notice that your toes are wet from the walkthrough that means the grass is too wet. Be sure to pay extra attention to shaded areas as well. They do not receive as much sunlight as the rest of the lawn, so those areas can be especially wet.
Are There Any Water Resistant Lawn Mower Options?
You should know that there is no such thing as a waterproof lawn mower. All lawn mowers, when exposed to too much moisture, will eventually breakdown and cease to work. Aside from that, there are clear safety risks that we identified earlier.
Luckily for you, there are some options out there. We are just going to focus on one in particular that will help you maintain your lawn and keep yourself safe as well.
Have you ever seen that robot vacuum cleaner that cleans your floors on its own? Pretty cool right? Now imagine a lawn mower that can do the same thing. Enter the Robomow RS612. This self-operated lawn mover will depart from its charging station and cut your lawn on a regular basis. One of the best parts is that you don’t have to be present for it to do its job. It does the job and returns to its base.
The Robomow RS612 has the added function of sensing humidity and rain. This is an excellent feature in that the lawn mower will actually delay cutting on the schedule that it is given and wait for drier conditions before it proceeds to cut the grass.
This mower removes any of the worry about mowing wet grass, and if you are not worried about the pricetag, a great option for keeping your lawn well manacured.
Are There Any Benefits That An Electric Mower Has Over A Gas Mower?
When it comes to the benefits of an electric mower (especially a cordless one) over a gas one, there are many advantages that it has. See the list below for more details:
- Saves on gas costs: This one should be a no brainer. You’re running your lawn mower on electricity instead of gas. If you are regularly putting gas into your lawn mower to cut your lawn, that expense can add up quickly. A lithium-ion battery that is normally used in cordless electric mowers doesn’t affect electricity costs very much either.
- Gas mowers require a lot of yearly maintenance: Gas is not the only expense throughout the year that you will have to deal with when you use a gas mower. You also need to remember to change the oil, replace the spark plugs, get new fuel and air filters, and get tune-ups. Almost like it is a tiny car. With an electric mower, these costs will cease to exist.
- Has Lower Pollution Risk: Gasoline lawn mowers are equipped with combustion engines. This pollutes the air, regardless of what advances are made. Also, the old oil from an oil change is a pollutant. Noise is also a pollutant and gasoline lawn mowers are extremely loud.
Tips On Using An Electric Mower
Here are a few tips on using an electric mower to get the most out of it and keep yourself safe as well:
Don’t Try To Mow Wet Grass
First and foremost…DO NOT MOW WET GRASS. We already explained the risks involved and how it will clog up your blade and vacuum. Just don’t do it. If you must cut the yard after it has rained, follow the instructions we gave you above on testing your lawn for wetness.
Take Care Of Your Cordless Lawn Mower’s Batteries
Cordless lawn mowers operate on lithium-ion batteries. These batteries can last for about 3-5 years with proper care and charging without the need to replace them. Keep them away from areas with high heat and during the winter they only need to be stored with a 30%- 50% charge. Do not charge them 100% then store them.
Keep Your Lawn Mower’s Blades Sharp
A cordless electric lawn mower does not require a lot of maintenance. Just keep the blades sharpened and keep the mower clean. If you fail to do this, it will be significantly more difficult to cut your grass and keep the lawn mower from overheating and breaking down.
Take Care Of Your Lawn Mower’s Wheels
About once a month, take the time to inspect the wheels of your lawn mower to make sure that they are securely attached. You can lightly kick them, shake them, and turn them to make sure they’re 100% in order. Also, keep them clean. Dirty or grass caked wheels on any mower will make it difficult to push and potentially overwork your mower.
Try to avoid wet grass when mowing your lawn. It is better for your lawn mower, and more important, it is safer for you.
I hope this was useful to you. If you want a list of recommended electric lawn mowers and tools, take a look at our Recommended Mowers page.