To be as blunt about the topic as possible, you should not mow your lawn immediately after rainfall. Any number of things can go wrong when mowing a wet lawn that could result in serious damage to your property or even your health. However, Heartland Turf & Landscape has been in the lawn care business for a long time, and we know it is not always ideal to skip or alter mowing sessions that fit your busy life. While waiting until grass dries is always the best option, we would like to address a few things for you to keep in mind if you are planning on mowing your lawn after rainfall.
Things To Consider Before Mowing A Wet Lawn
Though it is always recommended that mowing be performed on dry turf, it is not unheard of to mow a wet lawn. For whatever reason may be applicable to you, waiting until turf is dry to cut the grass is not always an option for homeowners. Constant and heavy rain may throw off your mowing schedule, and perhaps you do not have the time to wait until it is sunny and dry again. If you decide to mow while your grass is still wet, or maybe even while it is still raining, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind before starting up that mower.
Damage To Soil
Your soil gets softer as it rains. When soil gets too soft, rut damage becomes a strong possibility during mowing. The track marks made by mower wheels will compress and weaken the soil, and this damage will only worsen as conditions get wetter. It is best to wait until soil is no longer a mud-like consistency, and using a lighter mower could also help prevent damage.
Bent & Uneven Turf
An even cut can be quite difficult to achieve when mowing a wet lawn, particularly because of grass blades that are bent over. When too much water accumulates on a grass blade, the piece of turf will fold over and get too low for the mower to reach. To avoid an uneven lawn caused by bent turf, consider examining your lawn and waiting until grass is upright.
Damage To Roots
Healthy and strong soil will typically protect your lawn’s root system, but soil will become much less resilient when it gets soaking wet. As the soil weakens, mower wheels will dig down into your lawn, and the turning wheels could easily pull out turf roots. Damaging roots and grass is the opposite effect that proper mowing should have on your lawn.
Mangled Grass Blades
Aside from uneven grass growth, mowing wet turf can also lead to grass blades getting damaged and not regrowing properly. As the grass blades become slick and start to bend in every direction, it becomes much harder to get a clean cut like you would expect from dry, upright turf. A blunt cut means mangled turf, which leads to weaker regeneration during recovery.
Damage To Equipment
If not done with caution, mowing wet turf (particularly, mowing while it is raining) can result in significant damage to your lawn mower. Mower blades and other metal parts will begin to rust after repeated wet mowings, but too much exposure to rain/overly wet turf can also lead to water in the spark plug or air filter, which will cause serious problems for your mower.
Risk Of Injury
If nothing else, you should at least keep in mind that mowing wet turf greatly increases the likelihood of bodily injury. When using a walk-behind or self-propelled mower, slick patches of turf can easily cause you to slip and fall while pushing. Mowing wet grass will also become increasingly difficult/heavier as you mow, causing you to strain your body to get through the job.
Best Practices For Mowing After Rain
If you decide to mow a wet lawn after considering the aforementioned factors, there are a few ways you can minimize the risks involved. Safety needs to be your primary focus before, during, and after the mowing of a wet lawn. Understand that cutting the grass after rain is a more difficult and time-consuming process, but it can not be rushed. For the best results and safest conditions possible, we encourage everyone to follow the guidelines below.