I’m pretty sure everyone with a lawn has been in the situation where you have been delaying cutting your grass until the weekend, and then it rains.
This can be a disaster for your schedule as everyone says you should only mow your lawn when the grass is dry.
In this article, I will look at whether or not you can actually cut your grass after it rains and what the risks are.
Will cutting your grass after rain destroy your lawn mowing equipment or will it actually damage the grass you have been working hard to make lush and healthy. I will also look at ideas for if you really do need to cut your grass and how soon you will be able to do this vital task after a downpour.
If these are the questions you have then in this article you should learn from my experience and mistakes so you can have the knowledge without making the mistakes I have made.
When you cut your grass after it rains it will result in your grass blades getting ripped instead of cut (unhealthy grass), your lawn will look uneven when the grass dries and stands up again, and you will shorten the life of your mower due to additional stress on the engine.
Why Should You Not Cut Grass When It’s Wet?
When your grass is soaking wet all the water on the blades of grass is quite heavy and this will cause the blades of grass to bend over instead of standing straight up.
This means that if you do decide to mow your lawn when it is wet it may look like you have done a good job but when the grass dries and stands up straight again it will be uneven and you will probably have to cut it again.
Also, when your grass is wet and you decide to mow it the cut will probably be more like the grass getting ripped whereas to grow healthy grass you want it to be a clean-cut when you mow it.
So if you decide to cut your grass when it’s wet not only will you end up with your lawn being cut all uneven but you will also make it less healthy due to the wet grass blades being ripped, best to wait until your lawn is dry before you cut it.
How Soon After Rain Can You Cut Your Grass?
How soon you can cut your grass after it rains really depends on a few factors:
- How long did it rain for?
- What’s the condition of your lawn?
- What’s the temperature like?
If it has only been a shower or light rain the good news is that you will not have to wait a long time before you can cut your grass as it will likely only be wet on or near the surface and it’s quite unlikely a shower will have turned your lawn into a swamp.
If you have had torrential rain for weeks then it may take a good few days of sunshine for your lawn to become dry enough for mowing.
The condition of your lawn does matter because if it is in good condition with sufficient drainage it will dry quite quickly however if your lawn has drainage issues and the water has formed puddles it may take some time to dry out.
It really all depends on what your local climate is like and that makes it impossible to put an exact time on it.
If you live somewhere with a cool climate it could take a full day for it to become dry enough to mow whereas if you live somewhere like Texas or Florida the grass should be dry enough to cut probably within a couple of hours.
How Dry Should Grass Be Before Mowing?
If you had been planning on mowing your lawn and then it rains, the dilemma is how dry does your grass have to be before you can get your mower out and cut the grass?
You ideally should leave it until the blades of grass have no water on them and the ground underneath is reasonably dry and not squishy.
If you have had rain constantly for weeks and it’s getting to the stage you desperately need to mow your lawn you may want to go ahead and mow while it’s wet but I would not recommend that course of action.
I would definitely recommend you wait until there is a break in the rain for a few hours so that at least the blades of grass have had time to dry.
If your lawn has become flooded and you still want to mow it the best thing to do would be to aerate your lawn with a garden fork to help drain the surface water before you cut the grass.
Mowing Dewy Grass
Ok, so I have talked about rain but what about grass that is damp from morning dew, should you mow your grass when it is not completely dry during these circumstances?
If you mow your lawn when it is damp from dew it will have exactly the same results as mowing grass that has been rained on.
It will result in a poor quality cut and there is a good chance the wet clippings will clog up your mower.
I also find when I have actually done this that when the clippings decide to unclog from the mower they fly out and next-door neighbors really do not appreciate their cars being sprayed with clumps of wet grass clippings.
Don’t mow your lawn when it’s wet from dew to avoid:
- Poor Quality Cut
- Mower Getting Clogged Up
- Mower Blades Rusting
- Wet Grass Spraying Everywhere
A big dose of patience is the key if morning dew has delayed your plans to mow your lawn, just wait it out and your grass will become dry enough to give it your usual high-quality cut soon enough, but what time?
What Time Does Grass Dry In The Morning?
Where you live and your local climate are the factors that will decide the exact time your grass will be dry in the morning.
The general rule is that your grass will be dry between 8am and 10am.
Between 8 am and 10 am also happens to be the best time of day to cut your grass because it should be dry enough from any morning dew or irrigation yet the midday sun is not beating down and causing your lawn to suffer from heat stress.
Remember if your grass really needs cut it does not have to be completely dry. Ideally, the blades of grass should be totally dry whereas it’s not so important that the soil underneath is completely dry, it just helps.
It may be just me but I don’t think it’s actually appropriate to mow my lawn much earlier than this as it will wake up my neighbors, I’d rather annoy them by having the lushest green lawn on the street!
Should You Mow Right Before It Rains?
So we all know it is definitely best to cut your grass when it is dry as this will result in a cleaner and more efficient cut and that will lead to a healthier lawn in the long term.
What about if you have been planning to mow your lawn at a set time and then 20 minutes before you are due to start storm clouds start to gather, should you still cut your grass?
The answer is most definitely yes.
You should quickly get to work on mowing your grass if you think it is about to start raining because when the grass gets wet that changes everything.
When you cut your grass it will stress it out and one of the best ways to make grass healthy is to give it a feed of water.
Mowing your grass right before it rains is actually the best way to achieve a clean and healthy cut while at the same time it will help promote your grass to grow healthy and recover from the mowing stress.
Will Mowing Wet Grass Ruin Lawn Mowers?
If you decide to mow your lawn when the grass is wet it will probably not cause an immediate catastrophic failure but in the long term, it will probably shorten the life of your mower.
The way wet grass clippings clump all-around your mower blade will probably be the main source of your problems.
It’s probably not a good idea to use a corded electric mower for wet grass because if the cable has any problems the combination of water and electricity may not only ruin your mower but will also ruin you.
When your blade is covered in wet grass clippings the engine of your mower will have to work a lot harder and it is this extra stress that will shorten the life of your mower.
When your blade becomes caked in wet grass clippings this will more than likely lead to rust problems on the blade so if you do mow your grass when it’s wet you should definitely clean your blade when you are finished.
What Happens If Your Lawnmower Gets Rained On?
If you have left your lawnmower outside and it gets rained on it could be really bad news.
If there has been a shower of rain your mower will probably be fine but if there has been a torrential downpour or you leave it outside long term you could be in for a world of hurt.
When rain actually manages to get into the fuel supply of a gas mower, to save it, you will have to empty the fuel out and dry out the carburetor then hope for the best.
If you have an electric mower and it has been left outside in the rain you really should dry it out before you even try and start it. If you try and start an electric mower while it is wet there is a good chance the internal circuits will blow and you will have to purchase a new lawnmower.