The mowing season can bring unpredictable weather, and during long stretches of rain, lawns can quickly get out of control. If you’re stuck in a rainy pattern and your grass needs cut, there are a few things you need to know before deciding if mowing your wet lawn is the right move.
What are the risks to my lawn from mowing wet grass?
Mowing wet grass comes with risks for both you and your lawn mower. Wet grass clumps together and easily gets clogged in your mower blades. When mower blades get clogged with wet grass, they slow down which makes the engine work harder. If the engine and blades must work harder, more wear and tear will shorten the lifetime of your mower. Along with the harder engine work, if the wet grass isn’t properly cleaned out from under the mower deck, the moisture will cause the blades and other metal to rust.
Wet, slippery grass and shoes on metal equipment don’t mix. No matter how good of traction you think your tennis shoes have, you are still going to slip when moving from wet grass to a metal surface. Add to that there are sharp mower blades, and the situation becomes more dangerous than the risk of a simple fall.
Mowing on slopes or hills is dangerous even when the grass is dry but mowing the grass on wet slopes or hills increases the risk even more. Once the tires are wet and moving across the wet grass, there is a greater chance of the mower slipping or not being able to drive in the straight line you plan. It is never advised to mow hills or slopes with soft ground or wet blades of grass.
What are the consequences of mowing wet grass?
If your goal is to have the best-looking lawn, you must understand the potential consequences that come with mowing a wet lawn before you choose to do so.
Dry grass stands up straight, whereas the weight of the water on wet grass causes blades to be limp or bent over. Wet grass blades are weighed down from the weight of the water, so they don’t stand up straight as dry blades do. If all the blades aren’t standing up straight, you won’t be able to cut them evenly. Once the grass is dry and standing up straight, you will notice the unevenness of your lawn. This will result in having a messier, choppy-looking lawn from torn grass blades and cause you to have to mow again.
Fungal diseases thrive in a wet environment, and torn grass blades make your wet lawn more susceptible to these diseases. Common fungal diseases from mowing wet grass include:
- Brown patch – Brown grass in irregular circles
- Anthracnose – Reddish-brown patches
- Leaf spot – Small brown spots with purplish-red or dark brown borders
- Red thread – Reddish threads on the tips of grass blades
If fungal diseases aren’t caught and treated early, they can spread and cause more damage throughout your lawn.
What lawn mower features are important to consider when mowing wet grass?
While it is not recommended to mow wet grass, there are a few key features to pay attention to when purchasing a mower if there is a chance you might be mowing your wet lawn.
Adjustable Deck Height:
Grass usually grows taller during a rain period, and if you try to cut it down to your normal mowing height, you will risk having too many grass clippings and clogging the mower deck. By raising the height of the mower deck there will be fewer clippings and reduce the chance of clogging your mower deck.
The Cutting Deck:
You need to ensure that the blades on the mower deck are sharpened. During the wet season, grass fungus can make your grass unhealthy, so make sure you're able to cut the grass cleanly to keep it healthy. Along with the sharp blades, have a mower where you can adjust the speed of the blades. While you need to be mowing at a slower speed, the mower blades need to be able to run at a faster speed.
The weight of the mower is a big factor if you plan to mow wet grass at any time. A lighter mower does better on a wet yard as it will not sink into the wet ground and leave ruts. The John Deere Tweel is an airless, lighter tire option for commercial mowers, which can help reduce ruts.
Where can I find lawn equipment that fits my needs?
No matter what kind of lawn mower you are looking for, our sales experts at Koenig Equipment can help you find the perfect mower to fill all your needs. With a variety of mower models, deck sizes, and power sources, we have the mower you are looking for.