After the rain stops, the grass on your lawn remains wet for quite a while. And most of you probably decide to avoid mowing it until the lawn is dry.
However, we bet you saw neighbors cutting grass on their lawns when it is still wet! Is it OK to do this and how safe is it?
These are the questions we are going to answer today, but not the only ones. Also, you are going to learn how long it takes for grass to dry after rain.
Like that, you will be aware of how long you should wait after rain to be able to mow your lawn. In addition, we will explain why cutting wet grass is not recommended.
How Long Does Grass Take to Dry After Rain?
If you have a lawn, you know that rain leaves a lot of moisture on the grass.
So all lawn owners have the same problem when it comes to cutting their grass: is it OK to cut grass right after the rain? And how long should I wait to mow the grass after it rains?
Of course, the rule of thumb says that your lawn should be dry to cut it. But let’s be honest, sometimes we simply don’t have time to wait when it gets dry enough. And in this case, you should be aware of how much time your lawn needs to dry before you can give it a quick trim!
In general, the time you need to wait before you start mowing depends on how wet the lawn is right now.
- When you are dealing with mild morning dew, wait for 2-3 hours
- After a light rain shower, you should wait a bit longer, between 2 and 5 hours for the lawn to dry before mowing
- After a heavy rainstorm, you should wait at least one full day before you can mow safely
And take into account that shady areas of the lawn (like those under the trees or bushes) will take longer to dry than those exposed to the sun! So it’s anyway better to give your lawn some extra time to dry completely. Like that, you will be sure that the entire area is ready for cutting the grass and you won’t run into random wet patches or puddles!
Since now you know how much time it is recommended to wait before cutting your lawn grass, let’s find out more about certain nuances, as well as dos and don’ts regarding this process.
Can You Cut Grass After It Rains?
This is the question that every owner of a lawn asks after the first rain. Is it allowed to mow wet grass at all? And such concerns are easy to understand! Since you are cutting grass with the help of an electric mower, working on a wet lawn could be dangerous. This is the major reason why many homeowners prefer to wait a bit before starting to trim their lawns.
However, the risk of electric shock is not the only challenge! There are a few more that you should be aware of in advance.
Don’t Mix Water And Electricity
This is what we have just told you about. When you are using an electric lawn mower on wet grass (especially if it has an extension cord), you run the risk of electric shock. If the connections and any wiring beneath worn or damaged parts of the cord get in contact with moisture on grass, that will lead to damage to the machine and electrocution to the operator!
Some of you may say that this problem can be avoided if you’re using a gas-powered lawn mower. But even in this case rainwater might get into the fuel tank!
As a result, the engine may malfunction and stop working at all. In addition, if you don’t remove that water, over time, it can lead to corrosion of engine parts. That issue will require expensive repair.
Cutting Grass In/After the Rain Can Be Dangerous For You
The risk of electric shock is not the only problem that you can face when using a mower on a wet lawn. Even walking on slick lawn grass, pushing the heavy mower could cause you to accidentally slip and fall. And if you fall too close to the lawn mower’s blades…
Besides, if you are mowing in heavy rain, it could make you unable to properly see what exactly you are cutting and where you are going. And even if you wear eyeglasses or safety goggles, the eyewear will most likely become fogged up or coated in water because of the rain.
Damp Blades Of Grass Can Damage the Mower
Poor vision due to heavy rains and/or electrocution are not the only dangers that are waiting for the mower. The lawn mower itself can be a source of damage caused to you as an operator.
See, without the fuel stabilizer, leftover fuel in the gas tank of your mower can be contaminated. It happens because of excessive moisture and can even corrode your machine.
In addition, cut grass clippings can stick to the equipment in clumps. Those clumps often block the vacuum or the blade itself. In either case, these blockages will make the machine work harder until it shuts off.
It’s Hard to Cut Your Lawn Evenly When the Grass Is Wet
When you cut dry grass, the mower’s blades clip it like sharp knives that cut a loaf of bread. But when the grass is wet and slick, it becomes tough for the mower’s blades to slice. As a result, you end up with an uneven shred rather than a clean and accurate cut.
Besides, there is another issue that wet grass brings. When grass is wet, it tends to create clumps, thus making it harder for the lawn mower blades to cut through them. That means you end up with a mess. And a cherry on top, if you mow your lawn with dull blades, this wet, soggy ground will most likely make grass be pulled out of the ground entirely!
Mowing a Wet Lawn Can Easily Spread Fungal Disease
All of us know that fungus thrives in wet environments, so you should not be surprised if you notice that a condition such as Brown Patch Disease develops on your lawn after you have cut it right after a rainstorm.
Why does it happen, you may wonder, if the lawn dries anyway?
Well, after you mow, you typically leave those clumps of damp clipped grass on the lawn. However, if left like that, they don’t get sufficient airflow to dry out, and as a result, the grass becomes more susceptible to fungal diseases. In addition, even the wet grass clumps that stick to the deck of the mower can grow mold! As you could already guess, that mold can easily be spread to your lawn the next time you mow.
The Base Of Your Lawn Can Be Damaged By Cutting Wet Grass
Mowing wet grass can damage not only the mower or the operator but also the soil. If you have ever used a mower, you know that those are heavy machines that are not designed for use on the soft, muddy ground.
When you cut your lawn with a mower on a rainy day or right after a rainstorm, the wheels of your mower can cause ruts to form, thus damaging roots and hindering the growth of healthy grass in the future. This is why you should always check the soil before starting to mow! If you see that the soil looks muddy or feels soft, it’s better to wait.
You Will Have to Do Extra Cleanup After Mowing a Wet Lawn
Cleaning your mower from the clumps of cut grass is always a tedious task. But these grass clippings get especially sticky and hard to remove when they are wet! This is why if you mow grass when it’s wet, be ready for an extra cleanup anyway.
Since those wet grass clumps can be rather dangerous because they may spread mold, make sure you follow a few simple cleaning tips:
- Scrape the deck of your mower to clean the clumps off
- Brush off the tires
- Wipe down the body of the mower
- Pay attention to the stains left after the mowing procedure. Freshly cut wet grass causes more stains, so you will have to remove grass stains from your clothes, shoes, and driveway immediately!
Now you know how much time you need to wait before you can start mowing a wet lawn and why this is not recommended to be done.
In addition, we explained in detail what this may lead to if you decide to cut your grass on a rainy day or when the grass is still very wet. As you can see, it is better to wait a bit more rather than deal with extra clean-up, stain removal, and mower cleaning later!
What to Do If You Have to Mow a Wet Lawn?
Of course, it’s great if you have enough time to wait until your lawn dries thoroughly. But what if you have to mow it right now? This can be done and moreover, there are a few rather easy tricks that can help you minimize the problems if you don’t have time to wait.
For example, using a sharp blade can help you keep your lawn healthier when the ground is still damp. But this is not the only solution. Below, you can check out a few more.
Use Side-Discharge Mode On Your Mower
This option is handy since it prevents wet grass from damaging your lawn mower bag. Before mowing a wet lawn, make sure that you get ready properly!
- First of all, test how saturated the soil is. You should not sink into it and there shouldn’t be water rising around the edges of your shoes
- Set your mower to side-discharge mode. This will leave rows of cut grass on your lawn for manual bagging later, but you will avoid the mess when cleaning a mower bag with wet grass clumps and cuttings
- If you have an old reel mower, this might be the best option for cutting wet grass
Set the Lawn Mower Deck to a High Setting
Another thing you can do to adjust your mower to wet grass for cutting it is to change your mower’s deck position. You need to opt for one of the higher settings to cut blades to 3 or 4 inches long.
See, it is a hard task for a lawn mower to get a clean cut when running over wet grass. By putting it a bit higher, you give the blades more space to work better and move freely.
With all these tips and life hacks in mind, cutting grass on a wet lawn should not be a problem for you.
Of course, it will require certain preparations and adjusting your mower as well, but it’s worth the time spent on that! If you don’t do it and just start mowing your wet lawn, chances are high that you either damage the unit or yourself.
Now you know more about mowing lawns when the grass is still wet. As you are now aware, cutting wet grass is technically possible and we even provided you with a couple of life hacks on how to do it effectively and safely for you and your mower.
However, if you have enough spare time, we would still recommend you wait a bit longer until the lawn is fully dry and start trimming it then. Like this, you will make the process easier, faster, and safer. In addition, you will free yourself from extra cleanup and washing (since cutting wet grass always means stained clothes and shoes!).
The best thing to do it is to wait until the soil is fully dry. There must be no standing water on your lawn, as well as no mud or puddles. Wet grass alone may not dull a mower blade. However, its slick surface certainly doesn’t make the cutting process easier. It dependent on where you live. If your mornings are dewy, and your afternoons are hot, mow at mid-morning. If it gets hot before breakfast, the best time to cut grass is in the early morning.
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐How to tell if grass is dry enough to cut?
⭐Does mowing wet grass dull the blade?
⭐When is the best time to cut grass?
The best thing to do it is to wait until the soil is fully dry. There must be no standing water on your lawn, as well as no mud or puddles.
Wet grass alone may not dull a mower blade. However, its slick surface certainly doesn’t make the cutting process easier.
It dependent on where you live. If your mornings are dewy, and your afternoons are hot, mow at mid-morning. If it gets hot before breakfast, the best time to cut grass is in the early morning.