What Is The Ideal Mower for Wet Grass
Is there really a type of lawn mower for wet grass that is specifically built to deal with wet or damp grass? If we look closely at lawn mowers no matter their kinds (gas-powered, electric or rechargeable), all of them can be used on wet grass. Except of course the electric type which even you follow the safety precautions can never be 100% safe as water is a high conductor of electricity.
The most typical advice when cutting the grass when wet with lawn mowers is to use the gas-powered units because there are no risks of electrocution unlike with the electric types. The rechargeable lawn mowers are also the second option if this is the only unit you have. However, whatever types of lawn mower you have, cutting grass in the rain is not a smart idea. The same with wet grass and there are logical reasons behind these which we will discuss below.
If you are looking for the best lawn mower for wet grass, we should say the best that you should look for are the ones that have powerful engines, reliable sharp blades, and with adjustable height decks.
Cutting the Grass When Wet - Is this Plausible?
Is cutting the grass when wet a wise move? Actually, it’s not. But if you live in a region where rain comes almost everyday especially in spring, there’s no other choice but to mow your grass. However, mowing wet grass can have some consequences but here some of the solutions if there’s the problem.
Moisture from morning dew or rain can weigh down the grass especially if your grass’ length already passes the cutting limit. In this case, making a straight cut would be very difficult and the result would be uneven cut with the grass. So it’s either you need to do many passes before you cut the uncut grass or let the grass dry first before you mow.
Wet grass will tend to clump up under the mowing deck and also onto the blade of the mower which adds cleaning labor to your mowing task. A heavy deck and blade full of clumps can strain the engine while the blades would not be efficient in producing refined grass cut. Check under the deck after every several passes and use a garden hose to spray water underneath and a long brush to clear out clumps.
A blade that is covered with wet shredded grass can produce a ragged cut which will not look nice on your lawn as the cut will turn yellow or brown in a few days. Such cut grass can also help introduce pathogens to the grass. You can either spray water and use a brush to clean the blade while attached or change it with a sharpened one.
If you are using a mulching blade, using your mower for wet grass will not be able to spread the grass evenly on the lawn but rather produce clumps. These clumps may even kill patches of grass due to heat caused by decomposition. So avoid using mulching blades on wet grass.
Even with the use of the best lawn mower for wet grass, there is the potential for the new grass to get their roots torn by the mower tires. If your grass is too wet, this can happen. So let the grass dry a little until it only gets damp before you do the mowing.
Bagging the grass clippings would also be difficult when cutting grass when wet as the grass becomes heavy, sticky and clumps together. Shift to side discharge instead although you need to rake out clippings after mowing.
Cutting the Grass in the Rain - Tips and Tricks to Avoid Disaster
Some people like those working for lawn care companies should do what they have to do even if it’s raining. They just don’t want to get bothered by rain which most of us have the options to avoid. So instead of giving up, they find cutting the grass in the rain and can still work. So what do they do and how can we learn from them?
One of the things that the lawn care specialists do is sharpen their mowers’ blades to a razor edge. In this manner, the wet grass could be cut clean and not shredded to avoid possible clumping. They also raise their decks and don’t force the blades to go down the grass and cut so much grass which can become heavy. They always go slow to ensure that the bent grass could stand up and get cut as the water is fanned out from it.
Then to clean up the clumps under the deck quickly, powerful water sprayers are used or backpack blowers to avoid messing up the ground. They generally use riding lawn mowers or zero-turn mowers on large lawns because these are loaded with powerful engines that can put up powerful torque and can spin blades faster than the walk-behind lawn mowers. But for small yards or lawns, walk-behind lawn mowers are used but their engines should have at least 5 hp and with adjustable mowing deck.
Can Lawn Mowers Get Wet?
Why some people ask “can lawn mowers get wet” is at first glance sounds like a foolish question. But indeed, lawn mowers can get wet in a sense that water can penetrate inside its parts that can cause problems to the engine. There are various ways on how a lawn mower can get affected by water and the first one is cutting grass in the rain or leaving it outside and it rained. Another probable way is condensation if you have covered your machine in plastic sheets and stored it in the winter.
If your lawnmower is a bit old, there is the possibility of water penetration through cracks or dents in the fuel tank or on the carburetor. Also, using stocked fuel without a stabilizer can introduce water to the fuel tank due to condensation. Cutting the grass when wet may also expose the different parts of your machine to water intrusion. And the most sensitive parts of a lawn mower that should not be penetrated with water are the spark plug, air filter, carburetor and fuel tank.
Other parts of your lawn mower when they get wet are not much of a problem. But those parts that generate electricity, draw air and generate power can have problems if they got mixed with water. Below are what you should do if you suspect that your machine has been affected by water penetration.
Things to Do With a Wet Lawn Mower
Take your machine inside your garage and wipe all the water that you see with a dry clean cloth. Start the engine and let it run for 5 to 10 minutes to be able to heat itself and evaporate the water. If there’s the sun, start it outside and let the engine run for several minutes.
If your lawn mower doesn’t start, do the troubleshooting guide. Remove the spark plug and check for water or condensation. Wipe it thoroughly with dry clean cloth including the plug seat. Check the electrode for water and dry it as well including the gap between the ground electrode and the center electrode. Use a sandpaper if there is carbon or oil to expose the metal electrode. Reinsert the spark plug and start the engine. If it fails, go to the next option.
Check the air filter. An air filter can get soaked if you use your mower for wet grass and air may not pass through which can bring problems to the air-fuel ratio. Wash the air filter and dry it thoroughly. Change it if you have a replacement. Still won’t start, go to the next option.
Check the carburetor. Even the best lawn mower for wet grass can have water in their carburetors due to cracks or loosened bolts. Close the valve that drains fuel into the carburetor and remove the carburetor cup. Dirt or water may have contaminated it which prevents proper air-fuel ratio. Your lawn mower starts and dies also due to this issue.
Finally, if all the above troubleshooting jobs don’t work, water may have penetrated the gas tank of your lawn mower. Drain all the gas of your lawn mower and change oil if needed as water may have penetrated the oil cylinder. Then refuel your engine with fresh gas mixed with stabilizer. Start it. If the engine still does not start, the only solution is to take apart the parts of your lawn mower like the carburetor, fuel tank, and air filter and clean and dry them all out. Or take your machine to a shop for a check-up.
If you are usually cutting the grass when wet, the most common signs of the water problem are the engine not starting due to water in the fuel system, lack of power and weak acceleration, and engine stalling which can be due to water in the carburetor or fuel tank.
Precautions to Avoid Problems When Using Mower for Wet Grass
If you cannot avoid using your mower for wet grass, there are some pointers to remember at least.
Always wear rubber boots and long pants to prevent slipping on wet grass and avoid getting grounded if you use a rechargeable type lawn mower. Remember that rechargeable lawn mowers use powerful batteries up to 40V which when water gets into it can produce grounding though not as fatal as electricity.
Make sure that your lawn mower blade stays sharp for a clean and quick cut. A sharp blade can prevent too much clumping of wet grass clippings.
If the grass is too wet due to morning dew or rain, adjust your mower’s deck to the lowest level as it should touch the grass and make a quick pass on the lawn without spinning the blade. This is to let the water on the grass blades drop to the ground. A bit tasking but this could help ease up the load on your machine rather than mowing very wet grass.
Use a more powerful unit. The stronger the engine, the faster the blade spins and the stronger and more stable the engine can become which is appropriate when dealing with wet grass.
If you are using a riding lawn mower or a zero-turn mower, avoid going to slopes if the grass is still wet as your machine may slide or rollover due to slippage. Or if you can’t avoid it, mow by going up and down the hill but never do turns in the middle of a slope.
Adjust your mowing deck to a higher level to avoid cutting the hard parts of the wet grass which can add load to your machine and always go slow. Shift to minimal throttle to allow the blade to dry the grass blades while cutting it.
Lastly, avoid mowing your grass very early in the morning when morning dew is still on the grass blades. Wait till the grass dries out.
Best Lawn Mower for Wet Grass
Push Gas Lawn Mower – Mower for Small to Medium Sized Yards
This gas-powered lawn mower has a powerful 132cc engine which is perfect for small to medium-sized yards. It boasts of its 3-cutting height positions so this can be reliable both for dry and wet grass. With a 20-inch wide cutting deck, it can cover a wide area regardless of the weather.
Why do we recommend this unit is because it also has large 7X7 inch wheels for excellent maneuverability, easy to operate, very lightweight and with a loop handle. But most of all, it’s 132cc engine is equivalent to almost 8 horsepower of force. Small but this mowing machine is powerful.
This is not designed for bagging but for side discharge only which is an ideal best lawn mower for wet grass. It also offers a 1-year warranty on all parts. If you want to keep your lawn looking trimmed even if it’s wet, this push mower can do the job. Just go with it slowly and you’ll see those grass clippings fly out. Also, maintain a sharp blade with this unit and this won’t fail you
Lawn Mower w/ Mulching & Intellicut 2x20V Batteries
This rechargeable lawn mower is loaded with 2 20V Lithium-Ion batteries that can deliver a total of 40V of force to deliver maximum performance. This means that there are no worries it will drain its battery on you in the middle of your wet grass mowing. It also utilizes a patented Intellicut technology which means it can automatically sense the power requirements needed by the machine to cut grass at a certain level and will only put up the right amount of energy to cut that grass level. This feature can save you energy on your batteries and recharging time as well.
For more relaxed mowing, it also has a foam padded handle to reduce hand fatigue. Since a mower for wet grass requires an adjustable cutting deck, this unit offers 3 cutting height options also. According to the manufacturer, this can mow about 5,500 square feet of grass in a single charge although this may go a bit lower if you’ll be dealing with wet grass.
If you don’t like to use a gas-powered lawn mower during the rainy season since the air is thick and fumes won’t dissipate quickly, we recommend you to try this unit. Very compact and lightweight at around 29 lbs only, this unit is also mulching capable. In summary, you already have an all-weather lawn mower with this unit that offers 3-in-1 capability (side discharge, bagging and mulching).
As we mentioned, there is no perfect lawn mower for wet grass and no company creates units solely for cutting grass in the rain. But there are lawn mowers with features that can be ideal for mowing wet grass especially those with adjustable cutting decks, powerful engines and side discharge capabilities. So if your area always gets the rain for many months in a year, consider the features first of the lawn mower before buying it.
The riding mowers and zero-turn mowers (ZTRs) are usually the preferred units when dealing with large, wet lawns. Their powerful torque and adjustable decks enable them to cut grass in varying heights regardless if the grass is wet. But still, the probability of clumping will always be there so if cleaning the underside of the deck including the mower blade is not an issue to you, then there’s no problem in producing a beautifully trimmed lawn despite the clammy weather.
If you have some tall grass that can’t be dealt with by your lawn mower, you may also be interested to know about the gas-powered mowing brush riding mowers for tall and tough grasses, weeds, and shrubs. You won’t believe how powerful this cutting and mowing machines are and we will discuss more of them in our other article.