Can Grass Be Cut When It's Wet?

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

Mowing the lawn is an important, but often dreaded activity. As the summer heat increases, this chore can become hot, sweaty, and altogether exhausting. So, there may come a time when you have procrastinated longer than you should have, and find yourself needing to mow the lawn in the immediate future. But if the immediate future calls for rain, you might find yourself wondering if you can cut the grass when it is still wet.

While you can cut grass when it is wet, it is not a good idea. Cutting wet grass can cause the clippings to clump and clog the mower, which can cause damage to the machine. Cutting wet grass can also spread disease through the lawn. You can also increase the risk of slipping and injuring yourself, and the mower could leave muddy tire tracks throughout your lawn.

If you find yourself in a position where you need to mow your lawn but the lawn is wet, make sure you keep reading. While in many cases it is possible to mow your lawn when it is still wet, it is usually a bad idea. It can even be dangerous. If for some reason you have no choice, and must cut your grass when the lawn is still wet, don’t worry. There are several tips we have listed below to help you safely and successfully cut your grass when it is still wet.

Can You Cut Grass When It Is Still Wet?

Yes, you can cut your grass when it is still wet. But the more important question is should you cut the grass when it is still wet? The answer to that question is — probably not.

Cutting the grass when it is still wet can damage it and there are some major safety concerns to think about as well. So, while you might not die, or completely destroy your lawn or mower, there are some very real and serious risks involved. See the six main risks listed below in detail to get a better understanding of why mowing a wet lawn is almost never a good idea.

Six Reasons Why You Should Not Mow Wet Grass

1. Potential To Clog And Damage Your Mower

One major reason why you should never mow when the grass is still wet is that it can cause damage to your mower. If you have ever mowed grass when it is even slightly damp, you know it loves to clump up whenever it is damp. This clumping can clog up the mower, and cause all sorts of issues, including blocking the mower vacuum and messing with the engine itself. Moisture also has a way of finding its way into the machine if you mow in wet conditions, like getting into the fuel pump.

2. It Can Spread Disease In Your Grass

One of the biggest reasons you should think twice before mowing when the lawn is wet is one you might not even know about. Mowing the lawn when it is still wet can cause the spread of diseases. Fungal diseases always pose a risk to your lawn, and they spread much easier in wet conditions.

Fungus loves moisture, and cutting your grass when it is wet can allow these diseases, including brown patch disease, to spread all over your lawn. So, while you might think lawn grass is a bad look, imagine if your entire lawn was covered in brown, dead grass. It’s best to wait a few days until the grass is dry.

3. Wet Grass Is A Safety Hazard

If you have ever run on grass in the rain or after a storm, you probably know it is slipperier than dry grass. It should come as no surprise that cutting the grass when it is still wet can result in personal injury.

Slipping on the ground is bad enough, but doing so while you are pushing a heavy and dangerous machine can be significantly riskier. For your own safety, you should avoid mowing in these conditions, or at least use the proper footwear to prevent slipping.

4. Can Leave Muddy Tire Tracks In The Wet Ground

Cutting grass when it is still wet likely means the ground is also wet. This also means that the ground is pretty muddy under the grass itself. While this might not be evident at first, if you run a heavy mower over your lawn, you might notice that the wheels sink into the earth.

This sinking can cause tracks all over your lawn. These tracks can take weeks to go away and will remain an eyesore during this time. Make sure that the ground is not soft before you pull out your mower to cut the wet grass.

5. If You Use An Electrical Mower This Can Cause Electrocution

If you have a mower that runs on electricity, then you should, under no circumstances, mow the lawn when the grass is still wet. It is a no-brainer that electricity and water do not mix.

Mowing the lawn with an electric mower when it is still wet can cause electrical shock or electrocution. Even if you don’t get injured, you run the risk of ruining the machine. Always mow when it is dry if you have an electric mower.

6. Wet Grass Can Cause Unsightly Grass Stains

Another reason to reconsider cutting the grass when it is still wet is the dreaded grass stain. Grass stains can ruin perfectly nice clothes. These stains are notoriously difficult to get out. They also happen more frequently when the grass is wet and freshly cut. Therefore, cutting the grass when it is still wet poses a significant risk of grass stains, so it’s best to avoid it.

Tips To Safely And Successfully Mow A Wet Lawn

Take Frequent Breaks To Clean And Check Mower

If you find yourself needing to mow your lawn when the grass is still wet, do your best to take frequent breaks. Each time you take a break, check the mower. Look underneath and see if lots of grass has clumped up. If so, make sure you remove it, so the mower continues to function properly. Also, wipe the mower and remove any condensation and water on it, especially near electrical parts.

Make Sure Your Mower Blades Are Sharp

While cutting the grass when it is still wet is not ideal, it helps if the lawn mower blades are extra sharp. Sharp blades allow the mower to cut through any clumps and chop the grass several times, which results in smaller pieces. If you need to cut the grass when it is still a bit wet, make sure the blades are extra sharp.

Raise The Height Of The Mower

You can also raise the height of your lawn mower if you have to cut the grass when it is still wet. Raising the height makes it possible to cut the grass, but you’ll cut less of it. Shorter clippings mean less dead grass clumping up in the machine. Try to cut less grass when you mow a wet lawn.

Take Your Time

In addition to taking frequent breaks, you should also take your time in general. Mowing slowly means you are mowing less grass at a time. You might even want to cut a shorter patch of grass each time you go down a row. This will require more time, but it is safer and better for your mower.

Summing Up If You Can Cut Grass When It Is Wet

In some cases, it is possible to cut the grass when it is still wet, but it is almost never a good idea. You should wait a day or so after it rains, and avoid cutting the grass when it is still wet with dew. Cutting grass when it is still wet is a safety hazard, it can damage the mower and it can also spread fungal diseases throughout your lawn. It can even cause you to have grass stains on your clothes and shoes and potentially create muddy tracks in your lawn.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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