Ordinarily, you’re advised against mowing your lawn after it’s rained, and instead to wait until the grass has dried.
However, in times of continual rainfall, you have no alternative but to cut down the grass to size to stop it from becoming too tall. The good news is mowing wet grass is acceptable as long as you do it correctly.
Let’s take a look at the guidelines you should follow to make the job safer and easier.
Raise the Deck
Your mower will have to work harder when mowing wet grass than it does when cutting dry grass.
Accumulation of wet grass on the machine’s underside and obstruction to the regular movement of the mower blade are some of the reasons behind that.
Be sure to move your deck one cutting setting higher than what you usually mow on. Doing so decreases the amount of grass clippings and the load on your mower.
Detach the Lawn Striper
A lawn striper can harm soil if used on a soggy yard. It can easily compact the soil, form depressions, and destroy new and tender grass shoots.
Therefore, when mowing your grass, your focus should be on getting a clean cut rather than flattening the grass to try and achieve that big league look.
Bag the Grass
Wet clippings don’t mulch well. Rather than spreading into the turf evenly as mulch, wet grass tends to come out of the deck as large clumps.
These clumps smother the grass underneath and block sunlight. This results in dead spots in your yard. Moist clumps can also foster mold, bacteria, and diseases. What’s more, damp clippings are heavy and dense hence harder to remove.
Avoid all this trouble by bagging up the clippings.
Sharpen the Blades
In wet mowing conditions, you’ll have to deal with the added weight and moisture of your grass. And you know what? Dull mower blades tend to shred wet grass rather than cleanly cutting them.
Ragged tips will make your grass lose a lot of water, making it susceptible to disease.
Before embarking on the mowing project, purchase a sharpening kit, and sharpen the mower blade yourself. Alternatively, transport your mower to a repair center to have the blade sharpened for you.
With a sharp blade, you’ll get a crisper cut as well as fight disease.
Overlap by Just 50 Percent
As you make back-and-forth passes when mowing your lawn, make sure half of your mower blade is over a mowed portion of your lawn while the other half is over an uncut portion.
That helps reduce the quantity of wet grass that the mower has to handle and limit the clippings clumping together on the underside of your deck.
Excessive grass buildup inside the casing of your mower will make the motor stop for safety purposes.
Move your mower slowly to give its blade enough time to chop through the moist grass blades and lower its load.
It will also help reduce clumping of the wet grass.
Don’t Mow Lawn Edges
When mowing in damp conditions, you’ll want to avoid mowing over edges. Wet clippings clump together on the wheels of your mower.
As you mow the edges or make turns around them, you’ll easily track those onto your driveway and sidewalk, leaving behind stubborn chlorophyll stains.
Turn your mower entirely inside your lawn. For the edges, you could trim them neatly using a lawn edger, grass trimmer, or hand shears.
Manage Your Fuel
The ethanol in gasoline attracts moisture, which can settle at the bottom of your fuel tank and cause problems like corrosion.
In wet weather, it’s important to add stabilizer to your mower’s fuel before storing it to prevent fuel contamination.
Mow More Frequently
It’s easier to mow dry grass. Ideally, after mowing wet grass, you’ll want to wait for several days for the grass to dry before mowing again.
However, that may not be possible in the middle of a rainy season. Rain means your grass will grow faster; therefore, you’ll need to mow again after a shorter period. Mowing tall, wet grass is a major headache.
It’s equally unpleasant to mow grass that has dried but has hit 8 inches in height.
Mow your lawn more often during the wet season to prevent it from becoming long and bushy. It will also allow you to break any clumps from your earlier mowing sessions.
If you typically mow your lawn every week, consider shortening the period to every five days or even less during rainy spells.
If the grass is too tall, you could even mow more than once on the same day, or mow on back to back days — starting with the highest setting then mowing a little shorter in subsequent sessions. This helps break up the grass clippings significantly.
Mowing wet grass can be a daunting task. Following the tips above will help you save time and effort while also protecting your yard and mower.