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Should You Mow Wet Grass? Safety Tips and Best Practices (2023)

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can you mow wet grassUnfortunately, with wet grass boxin’ you in, a perfect lawn seems out of reach. But fret not! A few pro tips can help you mow smart when Mother Nature rains on your parade.

See, wet blades bend under mower wheels, rippin’ rather than cuttin’. And clippings clump, smotherin’ your turf.

By followin’ some guidelines you can mow wet grass without doin’ harm.

First, raise your mower deck to reduce contact. Then crank the rpm’s for power. Lastly, give freshly cut areas a quick sweep to prevent clippings from clumpin’.

A bit of care goes a long way. With the right approach, you can mow wet grass and still keep your lawn lookin’ lush.

Key Takeaways

  • Sharpen blades often for clean cuts in damp conditions.
  • Increase mower RPMs for more power when cutting wet grass.
  • Remove clippings after mowing to prevent clumps.
  • Wait 2-3 hours after light rain, 1 day after heavy rain before mowing.

Why You Shouldn’t Mow Wet Grass

Why You Shouldn
You really shouldn’t mow soggy grass ’cause it’ll clog up your mower and make a big ol’ mess. Wet clumps of grass stick to the underside of your mower deck, restrictin’ the blades from spinnin’ and cuttin’ cleanly.

To prevent this rot spread and maintain your mowin’ equipment properly, wait until the lawn dries out some before cuttin’. Let at least a couple hours pass after a light rain and a full day after heavy rains before mowin’ again.

Sharpen blades regularly and clean out any stuck wet clumps frequently to keep your mower hummin’ smoothly.

With some patience and proper lawn care, you can keep that grass green and healthy without oversaturatin’ the soil and damagin’ your mower.

Personal Safety When Mowing Wet Grass

Personal Safety When Mowing Wet Grass
Mowing wet grass risks serious injury, so tread carefully when forced to cut a soaked lawn. The slippery terrain makes it easy to lose your footing, especially on slopes or uneven ground. Reduced visibility from wet glasses or goggles raises the chance of accidents. Electric mowers risk electrocution from standing water.

Dull or damaged mower blades lead to uneven cuts and more slips. Set your mower deck to 3-4 inches high and take a slow, steady pace across narrow strips. Stay alert to terrain changes and debris hidden in the wet grass. Resist the urge to rush through an unpleasant, risky task.

Prioritize safety over a perfect cut when mowing grass soaked by recent rains. A few tips can help you avoid injuries when the lawn must be mowed wet.

Risks of Mowing Wet Grass

Risks of Mowing Wet Grass
As you surely know, running an electric mower through wet grass risks electrocution and damages wiring, while using a gas mower risks water in the fuel tank causing failures. With blades slipping on wet grass and uneven chunks resisting cutting, it is crucial to have sharpened blades for the cleanest cut when you must mow damp conditions.

Electrical Dangers

Cutting damp grass risks electrocution and damages wiring with electric mowers.

  • Water conducts electricity, increasing the risk of electrocution from electric mowers.
  • Inspect mower wiring, use GFCI outlets, and wear rubber boots when mowing wet.
  • Reel mowers avoid electrical risks but do not mulch or bag clippings.
  • Fuel mowers are also an option for cutting wet grass with proper precautions.

Take care when using electric mowers on wet grass to prevent shocks or equipment damage.

Damage to the Mower

Clogged deck resists blades cutting through the dampness. Saturated clippings compact under the chassis, slowly rusting the mower from below. Damp clippings also gum up gears, forcing operation and wearing down parts prematurely.

Dull, rusting blades from moisture poorly cut wet growth, damaging wet soil. Regularly sharpen and lubricate blades, clearing all clippings after mowing prevents such deterioration.

Uneven Cutting

Blades skating over the soaked turf leave your lawn with an irregular, ragged appearance. For example, last fall after an overnight downpour, my neighbor decided to mow his lawn anyway, and it ended up looking like a shaggy dog with uneven fur in spots.

The wet clumps resist cutting while the mower wheels slip, so the blades end up skipping over sections.

Importance of Sharp Blades

Ensure your blades stay sharp to make clean cutting through wet growth easier on you and your mower. Blade edges become rounded over time, tearing rather than slicing wet grass cleanly. Sharpen at least monthly and more often when mowing lush, damp turf. Mower companies recommend not voiding the warranty by adjusting factory blade angles.

Raise the mowing height and keep the air filter clean when working wet for results. Reshape the lawn with proper drainage to limit fungus. Prevent stains and disease.

Tips for Mowing Wet Grass

Tips for Mowing Wet Grass
You’d best raise that mower deck before tackling those soaking lawns.

  1. Check tires for proper inflation to avoid equipment sinking.
  2. Sharpen blades more frequently to cleanly slice through dampness.
  3. Adjust route to mow up and down slopes, avoiding sideways sliding.
  4. Wear non-slip boots and gloves for stable footing in the wet.

Alter your routine when mowing wet grass. Perform regular equipment checks, inspecting belts, hoses, and wiring for damage from excess moisture. Consider hiring professionals if unable to mow before rains saturate clippings and soil.

Best Time to Mow Wet Grass

Best Time to Mow Wet Grass
The best times for tackling damp lawn are mid-morning once the dew’s lifted or late afternoon when some drying has occurred. Avoid mowing wet grass when you can – it risks unexpected mower repairs from clogging, plus more staining than dry conditions.

If mowing wet is unavoidable, go when it is less saturated to limit risks. Mow once surface moisture has dried some, like mid/late morning after the dew lifts. Late afternoon is often drier too after a sunny day’s evaporation. Damp grass needs more debris removal afterwards and may require additional watering or lawn products.

But timed right when lawns are less wet, you can mow safely with fewer hassles than sodden conditions.

Aftercare for Mowed Wet Grass

Aftercare for Mowed Wet Grass
Rake up clumps quickly after mowing wet or they’ll turn brown. With wet grass, the clippings will mat down and rot, preventing air and sun from getting to the grass blades. It’s best to use a stiff tine rake and gently lift clumps as soon as the mower passes.

Fluff any matted spots and scatter clumps to dry quicker, preventing mold and discoloration.

Keep off the soggy lawn until it dries some to avoid making deeper footprints. Those ruts hold water and invite disease. Once dry, lightly rake again to smooth any impressions and fill in low spots. This helps rain drain off instead of pooling up in puddles that kill turf.

Finish by blowing stray debris to perimeter beds for mulch. Proper wet mow aftercare keeps your lawn healthy and looking sharp.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long should I wait to mow after rain or irrigation?

You should wait 2-3 days after heavy rain or irrigation before mowing to allow the lawn to dry out sufficiently. Mowing on wet grass can damage the blades, lead to rust, and cause the mower to bog down.

For lighter rain, waiting just a few hours may be enough. Use your judgment to determine if the lawn is dry enough to mow cleanly and safely.

What type of mower works best for cutting wet grass?

Use a mower with good traction and sharp blades when mowing wet grass. Gas mowers tend to work better than electric. Make sure you raise the deck high to avoid scalping. Take it slow and steady. Mow more frequently when the lawn is wet.

Will mowing wet grass ruin my lawn mower?

You shouldn’t make a habit of it— that wet grass will gum up the blades and deck, inviting rust and grass buildup that forces the engine. Raise the deck, sharpen often, spray with lubricant, and do smaller sections more frequently when needed.

Is it okay to mow grass that is damp but not soaked?

You can mow damp grass, but take precautions. Raise your mower height. Mow narrower strips. Let the grass dry rather than mowing soaked. Wipe debris often. Sharpen blades regularly for a cleaner cut. Mow again soon, as wet clippings can smother grass. Take care when mowing damp for best results.

Should I bag or mulch clippings when mowing wet grass?

When mowing wet grass, side-discharge the clippings rather than mulching or bagging them. Wet clippings tend to clump and won’t mulch evenly. Bagging wets the collection system, causing rust and clogs.


Mowing your lawn while it’s wet exposes you to a risk of injury about 15% higher than normal. Remember, overly damp grass sticks to the underside of mowers in clumps and resists a clean cut from even the sharpest blades.

Letting your lawn dry to a safe level first ensures you get that pristine, striped finish. When you just can’t wait, raise the deck height and take a slower pass to prevent grass clumping while mowing wet.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and agriculture expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of people make their yards lush and thick.