6 Tips To Use When Mowing After Rain
- August 9, 2016
You may have heard that mowing a wet lawn can be damaging not only to your lawn mower but also to your grass. While this is true if you have no choice but to mow a wet lawn, here are 6 steps you can take to minimize any potential damage to your lawn or mower.
Mowing with dull blades causes extra stress to your lawn by shredding it rather than cutting it. This makes it easier for diseases to take over your lawn. Keep your grass healthy, especially in damp mowing conditions, with a sharpened blade. If you’re strapped for time or prefer to have an expert sharpen your lawn mower blade, choose a small engine repair shop or hardware store in your area to safely and effectively do this project.
If your lawn consists of cool-season grasses, you’ll want to raise your mower deck to cut at about 3-4 inches. Most homeowners cut these grasses too short, and that causes more problems that are magnified by damp conditions. Your mower cannot handle cutting cool-season grasses so short in damp conditions, so move the mower deck to the highest or second-highest setting.
Instead of bagging or mulching, set your mower to the highest setting and put the side discharge in place to mow. Your lawn will have rows of clippings that you can mow again after they dry for a couple days.
Don’t overfill your mower with fuel — only purchase enough fuel to use in two to three weeks. Ethanol in gasoline has an affinity for moisture, which can affect your mowing. Prevent fuel contamination by using a stabilizer when filling your mower, and only purchase more after your fuel has depleted.
After mowing your lawn, clean out the underside of your mower where grass clippings can cling so they don’t form a soggy layer that becomes a moldy mess. Use your mower’s washout port, if it has one, to clean the deck. Scrape the deck clean with a putty knife and clean your mower’s tires with a wire brush. Regular cleaning will help your mower continue to work properly and give your lawn a healthy cut.
Lots of rain means an increase in the growth of your grass. Shorten your mowing interval by a few days to prevent the grass from getting too long and shaggy. Tall, wet grass is difficult to mow properly.