Mowing When Wet?
June 28, 2004 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Doesn't it seem like I always have a question about my house or lawn? Well, here's another one: My Gladys-Cravitz neighbor just called to tell me that the guy who mows our lawn mowed it the other day when it was WET. Can you imagine the horror? Could anything actually result from mowing a wet lawn, other than clogged mower blades?
posted by LittleMissCranky to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Well, if he didn't bag the clippings or rake them up when he was finished mowing, the wet grass can clump together and create small dead spots in the lawn if left long enough. That's all I can think of.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 1:23 PM on June 28, 2004

I would think that when the grass is wet the blades aren't all sticking up straight so it might cut unevenly. I've also red that the when it's wet the mower will mat down the blades, and again, make for uneven mowing. It also might compact the soil (since it's easier to compact when wet), which won't be good for your lawn. It also supposedly encourages disease

Or so I've read.

I guess it depends on how long your grass is, how short you're cutting it (hopefully not very) and how sharp the blade is.
posted by evening at 1:56 PM on June 28, 2004

I am pretty sure your lawn its fine. I use a non-powered push mower and it doesn't cut as well if the grass is wet, so I'm sure that's the problem with mowing with a power mower, too - wet grass doesn't cut as evenly. But I don't think there's any actual risk to your lawn from it.
posted by drobot at 2:28 PM on June 28, 2004

Whether true or apocryphal, it's said dishonest landscapers cut lawns when it's raining so they have to come back sooner.
posted by yerfatma at 2:44 PM on June 28, 2004

You'll get a rather more uneven cut when the lawn is wet - but the amount of unevenness depends on how high the lawn was. For example, my grandma has zoysia, which barely grows an inch a week (but is very dense, so it still needs to be cut weekly). Her neighbor has watergrass, for the most part, which grows about three times as fast. When I cut the lawns in the spring/rainy-season, I don't have much opportunity to make sure the lawn is bone-dry before cutting, so, as long as rain isn't actually falling, I cut when I get the chance. The zoysia, which is only being cut down an inch, looks much better (or less bad) when cut wet than does the watergrass.
The only other problem was alluded to upthread - if the soil is soaked and soft, the wheel tracks will stay in the lawn for *weeks*. You might want to request that the lawn guy cut it 90 degrees from his normal direction next week, which will help with the wheel marks.
posted by notsnot at 4:00 PM on June 28, 2004

Disease. Mowing when wet supposedly cuts the grass less cleanly creating more opportunities for disease to enter. Big worry? I have no clue.
posted by caddis at 7:40 PM on June 28, 2004

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