Can You Mow Wet Grass?

Generally, most of us wait for a nice sunny day to mow the lawn, but if your grass is getting a little wild and it’s damp under foot, is it a good idea to head out anyway?

Well, first things first, let’s cover the health and safety warning – water and electrics don’t mix well, so if you’ve got an electric mower, if its raining or there’s water around (including coming up through the ground) mowing is definitely off the cards. In fact, for electric mowers, don’t risk it at all – it’s just not worth it.

So, assuming we’re talking about a petrol mower, you want to think in terms of getting around without damaging the lawn. Most mowers are quite weighty, and that’s all supported with (usually) 4 wheels, which have minimal surface area in contact with the lawn. That means you might just create mini trenches in the lawn if the ground it too soft. You’re also likely to scrape up turf from the lawn as you go, so if you’re going ahead with mowing, start in a subtle place, and check for dints in the ground on a small patch first.

Generally speaking it’s safe to go ahead with damp ground with a petrol mower – of course bogginess (is that even a word?) is a sliding scale, with a swamp at the end to avoid, and a solid, dry lawn at the end where perfection lives. Everyone will have their own level of tolerance as to what constitutes acceptably firm turf, but if you’re not physically sinking and nor is the mower, you’re probably going to be fine.

The exception to the electrical rule is the robot mowers that we’ve mentioned before. While they’re quite expensive compared to the type that most of us use, some are designed to get to work navigating the lawn in remarkably damp conditions, and in some cases, even the rain. The ones that are rainproof (not the same as waterproof) often include sensors to determine when it’s too wet and abandon until conditions improve, but at least they’re working to a set of rules determined by the manufacturer.