Why You Shouldn’t Mow a Wet Lawn

Why You Shouldn’t Mow a Wet Lawn
Photo: Gabe Smith, Shutterstock

While living somewhere with enough grass to be considered a “lawn” has its benefits, it also means having to mow the lawn. Considering that it’s hard enough to get your indoor chores done, finding the time to cut your grass can be tricky. And sometimes, your window of opportunity to mow the lawn just happens to be right after it rains. Is it OK to go ahead and mow, or should you wait until the yard dries out? According to home improvement legend Bob Vila, it’s not a good idea to mow a wet lawn. Here’s why.

Stop Mowing Your Lawn

I grew up mowing a giant, mangy lawn. My family lived on an acre of hilltop land, which we kept shaggily mowed, too spiky to walk on in our bare feet. On one side was a cornfield. On the other side was our neighbour, Mr Howland, the Ned Flanders of...

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Risk of shock

If you happen to have an electric lawn mower — especially one that uses an extension cord — using it to cut wet grass could result in getting an electric shock. “When the connections (and any wiring beneath worn or damaged portions of the cord) are exposed to moisture, that leads to damage to the machine and electrocution to the operator,” Vila writes on BobVila.com.

It’s easy to slip and fall

If you’re pushing a mower across a slick lawn with enough force, Vila says that it’s possible for you “to slip and fall too close for comfort to the mower’s blades.” No, thank you.

It can damage your lawn mower

“Without the appropriate fuel stabilizer, leftover fuel in the mower’s gas tank can be contaminated because of excessive moisture and even corrode your machine,” Vila explains. “Grass clippings can also interfere with the mower’s job by sticking to the equipment in clumps that block the vacuum or the blade itself.” Either way, these blockages make your mower work harder, which could cause it to shut off mid-mow.

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You don’t need to use up a ton of water to keep a nice, lush lawn. Keeping your lawn looking full and green actually starts with how you mow it.

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A wet lawn is hard to mow

When grass is wet, it’s slippery and difficult to cut, resulting in a lawn comprised of grass of a variety of lengths. “Unless your mower’s blades are in peak-condition, newly sharpened, or replaced, it may even take two or three passes over the same patch of wet lawn to get even a fraction of the cut you’d get if the lawn were dry,” Vila says.

Or, you could skip all of this and replace your lawn with one of these alternatives.

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