Can you mow your lawn when it’s raining? What you should know about wet grass

Garden tips: How to maintain your lawn

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Grass grows more quickly in the heat of summer and often needs to be cut on a weekly basis to keep it neat and tidy. While many gardeners take a break from cutting their lawn in the hot weather to avoid damaging the grass, some experts warn that doing it in the rain is just as dangerous. Here’s what you need to know about mowing your lawn while it’s raining, including whether it really can be done safely.

Should you mow your lawn when it’s raining?

Gardening in the rain is not something many people enjoy, but there are some things that just can’t wait, such as mowing an overgrown lawn.

While you may think it is best to get the job done at the first opportunity, several experts, including the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), have warned against this risky practice.

The RHS explained that doing so can damage the turf and compact the soil, so mowing should always be left until the grass has dried out.

However, Francis Rose Landscaping and Garden Services believes there are a few exceptions to the rule of never cutting wet grass.

The company said: “While cutting grass while it’s wet can be damaging, your lawn may also be damaged if you avoid cutting it.

“That’s why you’ll want to evaluate the situation and find the best way to proceed.”

For example, if your lawn is only slightly wet and the rain shower has just started, you should be able to cut the grass without any issues – as long as you have a good mower.

Francis Rose warned: “However, if your grass is still very wet, and it was cut fairly recently, you may want to wait a few days or even a week to mow your lawn again.”

How to safely cut grass when it’s wet

The ideal time to cut the grass is when it’s nice and dry, though there are ways to ensure a cleaner cut if you do need to do it in the rain.

Don’t use a heavy lawn mower

The extra weight of a heavy machine will compact the ground and could even leave tramlines on the lawn.

Instead, use a lightweight mower to reduce the impact on the soil and grass blades.

Cut slightly higher than usual

Wet grass clogs up your mower really easily, so it is best to raise the height of your cut by a click or so.

Avoid roller mowers

A perfectly striped lawn is something many of us long for, but this simply can’t happen when the grass is wet.

Instead, focus on the cutting itself rather than a seamless finish. This can always be done when the lawn has dried.

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What are the dangers of mowing wet grass?

If you do decide to take the risk and mow your lawn in the rain, there are a few things you should consider.

The grass itself and the mower you use to cut it can both suffer as a result of a wet-cut.

Some problems you may face include:

A clogged mower deck

Grass cuts less cleanly when it’s wet, which means your grass clippings are more likely to clump together.

In fact, you could end with a clogged mower deck if you’re not careful.

Francis Rose said: “If you’re seeing a lot of clumping, you should stop mowing, even if your mower is able to handle the larger clippings without getting clogged.

“Wet grass doesn’t make great mulch, and it could actually damage your lawn.

“If these clumps are left on your grass, they could crush or even kill lawn patches.”

An uneven cut

When grass is wet, it’s more likely to bend when a mower passes over it and make it harder to cut in one swift motion.

This means that many blades of grass may not be cut at all, resulting in an uneven finish and little to no improvement in the appearance of your lawn.

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