Should You Mow Wet Lawn Or Not?

Should You Mow Wet Lawn Or Not?

For many amateur gardeners, the lawn is one of their favorite and most intensively cared for areas in the home garden. All the more controversial are topics around care and maintenance of this green area discussed. Again and again, the center of numerous discussions is the question of whether it is permissible to mow wet lawns, or whether mowing the lawn when it is wet is more likely to harm than help the grass.

To mow or not to mow?

The numerous discussions in forums and other digital exchange areas already show that there is probably no one, universally valid model solution to the question of mowing the lawn when it is wet. But let’s take a closer look at the individual aspects for decision-making:

What does wet mean?

First of all, you should address the question of what “wet” actually means in relation to your lawn. What should be indisputable is what characterizes the actual lawn itself when wet:

Leaves of grass wetted with water droplets.
Drops of water standing between blades of grass
Moist, or even wet soil in the root area
In addition, the question arises whether “only” the lawn is wet, while the weather at the time of mowing is already dry and sometimes even sunny, or whether rain falls during mowing.

Mowing in the rain

From a purely biological or botanical point of view, cutting the lawn when it rains does not pose any problem for the plants. Quite the contrary. As long as it rains, the environmental conditions are such that, on the one hand, too intense drying of the interfaces and thus damage to the blades of grass is avoided. The absence of too intense sunlight also reasonably safely prevents burns in the area of plant injury. On the other hand, the microclimate between the blades of grass when it rains ensures that pathogens and fungi cannot too easily migrate into the lawn plants via the cut wounds and damage them.

Mowing when the lawn is wet and sunny

A wet lawn in combination with dry weather, on the other hand, should only be mowed under certain conditions. When the sky is overcast, the intervention is hardly a problem for the plants and can be equated to cutting a dry lawn.

On the other hand, the situation is different when a wet lawn meets blazing sun. Surely you have heard about the sunlight focusing effect of water droplets. What quickly burns a person’s skin in an outdoor pool or at the ocean can also quickly and permanently damage plants damaged by pruning.

As a consequence, this means that from a biological point of view, you can basically mow a wet lawn as long as it is not done in intense sunlight.

TIP: Keep in mind that you should therefore not cut your lawn only when the sky is overcast. Because, of course, early morning or late afternoon sunlight is also significantly reduced, so you can definitely mow it here even when the sky is cloudless.

Technical aspects

Should You Mow Wet Lawn Or Not?

Now, of course, it is not only the lawn plants that matter. Because around the lawn cutting you have to deal with numerous “technical” aspects, which can also lead to a decision for or against mowing a wet lawn:

The lawn mower

The fact that the lawn itself can usually handle a cut when wet has now been clarified. However, this alone is not enough. After all, no grass cut succeeds without technology.

Generally speaking, a blade of grass does not change its resistance even when wet, so the technical device should be quite capable of cutting even wet blades of grass. But:

  • Rapid clogging of the mower due to grass clippings sticking due to wetness.
  • Less accessibility of grass blades for the knives, if blades lie down due to weight of water
  • Danger of sinking of wheels or getting stuck of driven lawn mowers in softened soil
  • More difficult to pick up the grass cuttings
  • As a result, less aeration of the lawn and increased risk of mold and rot, and establishment of mosses, etc.

The soil

In addition to the technical equipment, however, the soil also plays a role in the decision for or against cutting the lawn when it rains. Because contrary to the lawn plants themselves, it actually changes in essential aspects in case of humidity or even wetness:

  • Less support for root system, thus easier extraction of plants from the softened soil by mower blades.
  • Increasing compactability due to moisture
  • As a consequence: high soil compaction by driving with lawn mower in wet conditions
  • As a result: reduced soil aeration, poorer precipitation infiltration, generally more disadvantageous supply of plants

NOTE: Not every wet lawn must also have soaked soil. Before deciding to mow, first check with your finger to see how dry or wet the soil is. Even wet lawns can be mowed without concern in this regard if the soil is only moderately moist.

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