It’s raining, and you’re thinking about how long the grass is getting in your yard. You’ve scheduled your day to mow the lawn on a day it happens to be raining. What do you do? Can you cut the grass while it’s raining? What about after it’s rained? Do you have the right equipment? Are there certain safety precautions to take?
If you’ve asked your dad or your neighbor, you’ve probably heard that mowing wet grass is a bad idea, more so when it’s raining! But does that mean it is always a bad idea? What if you don’t want to wait until the grass is dry to mow? Will that kill your lawn? Maybe your schedule is tight, and you’re thinking now is the best time to check the next thing off today’s to-do list.
This is a complete guide to mowing your lawn in the rain and can answer your questions!
Is Mowing Wet Grass Always a Bad Idea?
There are, of course, many reasons why mowing your wet lawn is a bad idea. For instance, there’s a high chance you could slip and fall. Your clippings could clump up and ruin your turf by suffocating patches. The grass wouldn’t be in the best position to be mowed and would create an uneven, unattractive yard. It is also very likely that the grass will stain things easily. Lastly, the wet grass clippings can become sticky and gum up your lawnmower. If you are willing to work around these things, you can take the proper precautions to mow in the rain.
Can You Mow in the Rain? Advice from the Professionals
Commercial mowers cut people’s yards for a living. What do they do when it’s raining? They have a schedule to keep. Sometimes they can’t just wait for the rain to stop, but how do they know when to stop? According to commercial mowers, it is possible to cut your grass in the rain. They advise you to raise your mower’s cutting height and slow the speed. Slowing the rate allows the deck to clear the clippings. It’s vital that you do not re-mow over the clumps of grass. When it is wet out, it’s easy for grass to clog your lawnmower and turn to mush.
However, this advice should only be followed if it isn’t raining tremendously. Water should easily run down the grass blades into the ground. If there’s too much water, you will be left with a clogged mower and mess to clean up. A tip from one professional suggests being careful where the wet clippings are thrown. Make sure not to put them in flower beds or on walkways as wet grass clippings tend to stain.
It should also be noted that mowing the rain will not always yield the best results. If you wait for the grass to dry, then you’ll have a more evenly cut lawn without any ruts in the soil. Keep that in mind if you decide to mow during the rain or when the grass is wet!
It is easy to figure out if your yard is dry enough to mow by looking at the soil. By examining how soft the earth is, you can tell how soon you can cut your lawn. The soil shows you how much water your yard is holding. If the ground feels soft and spongy, then your grass is still water-logged and needs more time to dry. The wheels of your mower can easily be caught by the grass and rip it up. Make sure to wait for the grass to dry and become firm.
Taller grass can be a strain on some lawnmowers and possibly cause them to overheat. However, that entirely depends on your type of mower. If you are going to cut wet grass, you will want to make sure that your equipment can handle the task! You will want to make sure your mower’s blades are as sharp as you can get them! Professionals use blowers to distribute the clumps of grass, but if you let them dry, you can distribute them later.
If you are using a lawnmower with a shoot-off attachment, you will want to remove it, so the clippings are more widely distributed and cause fewer clumps. If you aren’t sure your lawnmower can handle cutting wet grass, try mowing a row and see whether your lawnmower clogs up.
It is important to set your mower to the best position for cutting wet grass. Make sure that your lawnmower blades are as sharp as possible. You will also want to raise the blade to the highest possible position. You will want to stop often to make sure it isn’t being clogged up with clippings. Also, consider getting a lawnmower that is more industrial or commercial than your average push-mower. However, with the right settings, any mower can be used.
Wet Grass After Rain
Grass that’s been bogged down by water tends to bend. When you mow your wet yard, you will likely miss the blades of grass that are bent over. You will cut grass that is sticking up far enough for your mower to reach, but when it dries, the blades that you could not reach will bounce back up. Before you decide to mow your wet lawn, inspect the grass to see how heavily it is weighed down by the water.
Wet clippings will have a harder time being distributed when you mow and will leave behind large clumps of clippings. These large clumps can cause issues by squashing and killing patches of grass. The soil is also just as quickly affected when it is wet. The wheels of your lawnmower can harm the roots of plants by easily pulling them up. This applies to larger lawnmowers more so than smaller ones.
Here is an overview of some tips on mowing wet grass:
- Sharpen your mower blades
- Raise your mower deck
- Discharge your clippings on the side
- Clean your lawnmower up after you mow
- Mow more often in the following weeks due to the rain
If you can, prepare by looking ahead at the weather radar. When you keep track of the weather and know when it is going to rain, you can better prepare by mowing before it rains. It also helps to mow your lawn often. By mowing regularly, you can avoid having to mow in the rain out of necessity. Overgrown grass can also take a toll on your mower, so by keeping it cut short, you don’t run down your lawnmower as quickly.
Warnings Against Mowing in the Rain
Even though it is possible to mow your lawn in the rain, you should also keep in mind all of the risks you take. Here is a list of issues that come from cutting your grass in the rain:
- Your mower does not create a clean, crisp cut
- It leaves clumps of grass
- Equipment can damage the turf, cause issues, and cause ruts
- Equipment drive or engines can become damaged
- Potential safety issues increase for whoever is cutting the lawn
It is very easy to have an accident when you are mowing wet grass, let alone in the rain. You have a higher chance of falling or slipping. This is very dangerous, especially working with a machine that has rotary blades cutting through thick grass. Serious injury or death can result from an accident involving a mower.
It is critical to take into account what preventive measures you can take in the event of an accident or emergency. You should learn as much as you can as a precautionary step. Read instructions and manuals to learn more about safety measures you should be taking. Ensure that you are not trying to rush your work, but apply full focus to working safely. You should also keep in mind if you have taken drugs, feel drowsy, or have had alcohol, then you should not operate machinery.
Most lawnmowers and machinery have warning and caution signs. Make sure you read them so you know how to use the equipment properly. Certain mowers may tell you that it is best to wear protective gear like eyewear, long sleeves or pants, and hearing protection.
- Keeping clear of rotating mowers and brush-cutting blades
- Wearing gloves
- Reading any safety data sheets
- Wearing protective goggles when using blowers
- Wearing ear protection when using power equipment
- Maintaining comfortable mower settings when working in lawn or landscape maintenance.
OSHA provides more information on their website for you to read about hazards, safety suggestions, and regulations when mowing your lawn.
American Lawns wants to provide you with the best advice possible when it comes to the care of you and your lawn. If you feel like mowing while it is raining or while the grass is wet is too risky, then do not risk your health. Keep your safety first, and simply wait for your yard to dry! Your lawn will be there after the rain stops and will dry with time.