Ah, the age-old question: to mow or not to mow wet grass? It’s a dilemma every homeowner with a lawn has faced at some point. On one hand, you want your yard to look pristine, but on the other hand, you’ve heard that mowing wet grass can cause damage. So, what do you do? To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of pros and cons to consider before firing up your mower after a rainy day or early morning dew.
Pros of Mowing Wet Grass
Let’s face it – sometimes life gets in the way and we simply don’t have time to wait for the perfect weather conditions to take care of our lawns. If rain has been in the forecast for days on end and there’s no sign of respite anytime soon, it might be more convenient for you to just bite the bullet and mow your wet grass.
2. Clippings Can Be Beneficial
When mowing wet grass, clippings tend to stick together more than they would when dry. This can be beneficial because these clumps can act as slow-release fertilizers for your lawn when they decompose.
3. Fewer Dust & Allergen Concerns
Mowing dry grass can kick up a lot of dust particles and allergens into the air (hello hay fever!). However, when cutting wet grass, these irritants are less likely to become airborne due to dampness weighing them down.
Cons of Mowing Wet Grass
While there are some benefits to mowing wet grass, it’s important not to overlook its potential drawbacks:
1. Increased Risk of Damage
One major concern with mowing wet grass is the increased likelihood that your lawn will sustain damage during this process:
- Clumping: Wet grass clippings can clump together, creating unsightly piles on your lawn. Additionally, these large clumps of grass can smother and kill the underlying vegetation if left unattended.
- Soil Compaction: The combination of wet soil and the weight of your lawnmower increases the risk of soil compaction. This is problematic because compacted soil restricts root growth and prevents water from penetrating properly.
- Uneven Cutting: Wet grass tends to be more slippery than dry grass, which can result in an uneven cut as blades struggle to grip onto the damp surface.
2. Lawn Disease
Mowing wet grass may inadvertently contribute to the spread of lawn disease. The moisture that’s present on wet blades facilitates the transport and growth of fungus spores, bacteria, and other pathogens.
3. Mower Damage
Lawnmowers are not designed for use on wet surfaces; doing so increases their susceptibility to damage in a variety of ways:
- Clogging: Wet grass tends to wrap around mower blades or collect under mower decks, clogging important components and reducing overall efficiency.
- Blade Dullness: Mowing wet grass often requires more force from the mower’s blade(s), which can lead to dulling or even damage over time.
- Rust Development: Moisture promotes rust development on metal parts, so prolonged exposure to damp conditions during mowing sessions could shorten your lawnmower’s lifespan.
Tips for Mowing Wet Grass Safely
If you find yourself with no choice but to mow wet grass (or simply prefer it due to convenience), keep these tips in mind:
- Wait until after any heavy rain has subsided before starting – this minimizes possible damage caused by overly saturated soil.
- Raise your mower deck height slightly higher than usual – doing so helps prevent scalping (cutting grass too low) and reduces the likelihood of soil compaction.
- Mow slowly and carefully, allowing your mower plenty of time to process the damp clippings.
- Clean your mower after each use by scraping away any wet grass that has collected on the blades or undercarriage – this will help prevent clogging and reduce rust development.
Pros And Cons Of Mowing Wet Grass Conclusion
Ultimately, whether or not you should mow wet grass comes down to a balance between convenience and potential damage. If it’s been raining for days with no end in sight, you may have no choice but to tackle the task in less-than-ideal conditions. However, if there’s an opportunity for your lawn to dry out before mowing, it’s generally best to wait for better weather.
With proper precautions in place (such as raising your mower deck height), mowing wet grass can be done without causing too much harm – just don’t make a habit of it! By understanding both the pros and cons of this practice, you’ll be well-equipped to make educated decisions about caring for your lawn in all types of weather conditions.