Can You Mow Wet Grass? [Answered] 

If you’re a new homeowner, you might be wondering whether you can mow wet grass.

It’s always been a general rule that you shouldn’t mow your lawn if it’s wet, but with all the rain we’ve been having, especially in the eastern part of the country, it can be difficult to wait until the grass is dry before mowing.

Can you mow wet grass?

The answer to this question will depend on how wet the grass and the soil are, what type of mower you’re using, and how long your grass is.

Obviously, if the ground is saturated and there are puddles of water sitting around your lawn, then you should refrain from mowing the grass as it’s not only dangerous but could damage your grass.

You also don’t want to cut your wet grass with an electric-powered mower that has a cord as this can result in electrocution.

However, if it’s stopped raining and the sun has come out, you can mow your lawn even though the grass is not completely dry if you follow the tips below.

Can you cut grass with morning dew?

wet lawn 1 | Lawn care

If you can, it’s best to wait until the dew has dried up before mowing your lawn.

However, morning dew doesn’t cause as much of a problem as heavy rain that has also saturated the soil.

In fact, you’ll find that many golf courses and other types of greens have to mow the grass early in the morning before the dew has had time to dry. 

RELATED: When to Mow New Grass

How to tell if grass is dry enough to cut

The easy way to tell if the grass is dry enough to cut is to have a close look at the blades of grass.

You see, when the grass is too wet, the water will weigh down the individual blades of grass and this will result in an uneven cut.

So, if all the blades of grass in your lawn are standing upright, you can safely say that the grass is dry enough to cut.

Tips for mowing wet grass

lawn mowing 1 | Lawn care

If mowing wet grass is unavoidable then here are some tips to make the job safer for you and kinder on the lawn itself.

Raise the height of the cutting blades

When the grass is wet, the mower blades will tear at the grass, rather than cut it cleanly. Therefore, you should raise the height of the blades in order to try and get a clean cut.

This might mean that you’ll have to mow more often, but your lawn will definitely benefit from it.

Use a catcher and overlap your mowing strips

You should never leave wet clippings on your lawn because these will clump together and smother the grass. Therefore, make sure you use a catcher and empty it often.

It’s also a good idea to overlap your mowing strips at least by half. This will make the task much easier for your mower and you’re likely to get a much cleaner and more even cut.

Don’t fill the mower tank right up

When the petrol tank of your mower is full, it makes the mower heavier and more likely to flatten the grass or even leave ruts in your nice lawn.

Therefore, put far less petrol into your tank to reduce the weight of the mower as much as possible.

For this reason, using a battery-powered mower or even a push mower is much better. In fact, I’ve been using a battery mower for years and have no trouble mowing wet grass when I have to.

RELATED: The Best Robot Lawn Mowers

Slow down

It’s also a good idea to walk much slower when mowing wet grass. This gives the blades a chance to actually cut the grass and stops the mower from constantly getting bogged down.

Wait for the sun to come out

Even a small amount of sunshine can help to dry the grass out a little so it’s better to wait until it’s sunny before mowing your lawn.

Clean your machine after mowing wet grass

Wet grass is likely to cling to the mower blades and the undercarriage rather than move through to the catcher.

Therefore, you want to clean the undercarriage of your mower after you’ve mown wet grass.

How to mow wet grass without clogging

If you follow the tips above you shouldn’t have any problems with your mower clogging up.

Primarily, you want to raise the height of the cutting blades, move slowly across your lawn and overlap, empty the catcher often and make sure the undercarriage is clean before you start and after your finish.

Also, if the mower is leaving clumps of wet clippings on your lawn, rake these up and put them in the compost rather than running the mower over them again.

Can you whipper-snip wet grass?

Whipper snipper 1 | Lawn care

In general, you shouldn’t whipper-snip wet grass unless you absolutely have to.

The main problem with whipper-snipping wet grass is that the grass will be slippery so there’s more danger of you slipping over and injuring yourself or damaging your whipper-snipper.

If you must whipper-snip when the grass is wet, take extreme care and do it in stages by cutting off the top third of the grass first and slowly moving down until the grass is the required height.

Never use an electric whipper-snipper that has a cord attached because this could result in electrocution.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


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