“Can I cut wet grass?”
We get asked this question a lot. More than any other.
Which is fair enough. Because, firstly: the great British weather.
And secondly: it’s very important.
So, here’s the answer.
Why knowing the answer is very important
Why is it very important to know if you can cut wet grass?
Because if you get it wrong, you risk doing some serious damage to your lawnmower and your lawn.
For your lawnmower, we’re talking clogged cutting decks and engine trouble. For your lawn, it could be anything from an ugly-looking cut to diseased grass and dead spots.
So, what’s the answer to one of gardening’s most-asked questions?
Can you cut wet grass?
Yes and no.
Keeping reading…it’s worth it
We know, we know. Hardly helpful. But bear with us – there’s a good reason why it’s both.
Perhaps the best place to start is to rephrase the question. “Should I cut wet grass?” works better for us.
It is possible to cut wet grass, yes, but you should only do it if you absolutely have to.
The whys and why-nots are very important.
What can go wrong when you cut wet grass
Mowing wet grass comes with some pretty big risks and you should know these before you decide to get your mower out. Here they are:
- Uneven trims. It is very likely that mowing wet grass will leave you with an uneven trim. Wet grass is slippery and this makes it difficult for your mower’s blades to cut evenly. This means an uneven height across your lawn and an untidy-looking cut.
- Clumpy clippings. Wet grass clippings tend to stick together, creating big unsightly clumps on your lawn. Not only does this look bad, but these clumps suffocate the grass beneath them, causing dead spots and a lawn full of brown patches.
- Lawn diseases. When you mow wet grass, you risk spreading fungal diseases and other blights, such as brown patch, dollar spot and leaf spot. The damp grass is a perfect breeding ground for fungi and pathogens, and your mower can be a super-spreader. Wet grass clippings also cause these diseases to spread.
How to mow wet grass (if you must)
There is a pretty big case against mowing your lawn when it’s wet, but sometimes you just have to get out there and do it.
So, if you must, follow these rules and you’ll be much less likely to run into any of the problems we’ve described above.
- Don’t try to mulch the grass. The wet grass will stick together and clog up the cutting deck, which will stall the engine and cause all sorts of damage.
- Use a sharp mower blade. A sharp blade will cut more cleanly, putting less stress on the grass. This lowers the risk of causing and spreading lawn diseases.
- Mow at a higher cutting height. This will help prevent scalping, which can damage the grass and make it more vulnerable to pests and diseases.
- Mow slowly. Take your time and move slowly across your lawn. This allows the mower to cut more effectively in challenging conditions.
- Clean your mower. After you mow wet grass, clean your mower thoroughly. Remove all clippings, dirt and debris because they can harbour fungi and other blights. This will help stop you spreading lawn diseases on your next mow.
- Remove your clippings. After you’ve mowed wet grass, rake up and remove any wet grass clippings left on the lawn. This will help prevent lawn diseases.