Is It Safe To Cut Wet Grass With An Electric Mower?
The simple and straightforward answer is No. You should AVOID cutting wet grass with an electric mower. Apart from the health risks, you could damage your mower beyond repair.
But how do you know when your grass is too wet to be mowed? That’s exactly what you will learn in this article, plus the inherent dangers of mowing wet grass with an electric lawn mowing machine.
How to Determine If Your Lawn is too Wet for Mowing
If you are wondering whether your lawn is too wet for mowing or not, check the grass for the following signs:
- Walk across the lawn and see if you leave footprints behind. If you do, the grass is wet.
- If you also notice that the grass doesn’t spring back immediately after walking on it, that’s another sign that it is too wet for mowing.
- Touch the lawn and look for water droplets from the grass’ blades. Such droplets show that the lawn is too wet.
- During mulching or bagging, wet grass may compact under the mower. This will affect the mowing machine’s overall performance.
- That’s aside from the unsightly ruts that may result from mowing the grass in damp conditions. You may need to reseed your lawn if the ruts are too much. You may even have to hire a professional to repair the lawn at a great cost.
Any of the signs listed above shows that the grass is yet to absorb the moisture on the lawn. That’s not an ideal time to mow it.
What if you decide to mow the grass, the wetness notwithstanding? Well, that will be a costly mistake, considering the risks and dangers you will expose yourself to if you proceed with cutting it in that condition.
The Dangers of Mowing Wet Grass
Here are some of the challenges and risks associated with mowing wet grass:
- If you are using a corded electric lawn mower on wet grass, you can start a fire or suffer an electrical shock. The risk of electric shock is high if you are using a mower with a loose connection or an old model.
- You run the risk of getting your mower and clothes stained by the chlorophyll in the grass. If you don’t clean the mower immediately after use, the stain may ruin its quality.
- Wet grass doesn’t mulch well and that is thus, very difficult to mow. If you decide to mow your lawn despite its wetness, the wet grass will cling to the mowing machine, creating a breeding ground for mold. If you continue using it in such a poor condition, the mower will eventually break down.
- Wet grass is also very difficult to cut because the machine can’t hold the grass properly in that condition. The grass will be heavy and bend over, thereby increasing the difficulty of trimming it. So, you’ll be giving yourself extra work to do when attempting to cut the damp grass.
- When mulching wet grass, the top grass can kill the underneath grass. What you’ll have are brown patches of badly mowed grass that may take a long time to recover. The result is nothing but an eyesore.
- Mowing wet grass will also put a strain on the mower’s motor. This is especially true if the grass isn’t only wet but very tall. Under such conditions, the machine may overheat and prolonged overheating may cause it to stop working.
The extra strain on the machine will make the batteries run down faster because it will exert more power to spin the blades faster and harder to overcome the wetness.
- When you walk on wet grass, you’re prone to slips and falls because the wetness reduces the friction between the grass and your legs or shoes and makes the grass extra slippery. You’ll be prone to injuries you would have avoided if you postpone mowing till when it’s safer to cut the grass.
- You may also damage your mower in the process. The excessive moisture you expose the machine to while using it on wet grass may contaminate the leftover fuel in the mower’s tank. If the mower doesn’t have the appropriate stabilizer, the contamination may corrode it.
- It’s important to note that electric lawn mowers aren’t great for mowing tall grass. When you attempt to cut such grass when wet, you automatically set yourself up for failure.
You’ll end up doing a bad job. Aside from that, the wet grass may stick under the mower, thereby blocking the vacuum and blade. When these two are blocked, the machine may stop working or work below its capacity.
Mowing wet grass with a lawn mower isn’t advisable. Under no condition should you contemplate that if you are using an electric lawn mower.
Rather than put yourself at the risk of injuring yourself or damaging your mower while mowing wet grass, wait until it is dry before giving it a befitting cut.
However, it may be impossible to wait until the lawn is dry before you mow it under some circumstances. What practical precautions can you take to minimize the risks associated with mowing wet grass?
Precautions to Take When Mowing Wet Grass
However, consider the following safety precautions to minimize the dangers you’ll expose yourself to if you must mow wet grass:
- The first and most important precaution is: Do NOT mow wet grass with an electric mower!
- If you are using a gas-powered or manual mower, after completing a mowing session, remove grass that is stuck on the blades or under the deck.
- Dry the mower to prevent moisture from serving as a breeding ground for mold and rust.
- Raise the mowing machine’s deck to prevent regular contact with the wet grass.
- If your lawn mower has a bagging option, bag the wet grass so that grass clippings won’t clump on the lawn.
- If you own a corded mower, ensure that its extension cord is in good condition, and free from tears or cracks in the casing. Replace the cord if it’s exposed.
- A pair of slip-resistant shoes will come in handy when mowing wet grass. It’s a great way to minimize the risk of slipping or falling associated with cutting damp grass.
While these preventive measures will minimize the risk you’ll be running when mowing wet grass, it’s not advisable to mow such grass. Leave it until it’s dry and safe to give it a decent cut.