North Alabama has had a lot of rain this summer. We needed the rain because our summers are usually hot and dry, and we were in a severe drought. However, it has created many problems for commercial lawn care services in Huntsville. Sometimes a decision has to be made. Is it better to mow when it is wet, or let the grass grow too tall. This decision has been made too many time this summer.
Scheduling has been the biggest issue. Mow Hawk Lawn Care takes pride in keeping our customers on a tight schedule. However, it is difficult to keep customers on schedule with the type of rains we have been having. It has rained 2-3 times a day for most of this summer. It has rained so much that parts of Huntsville are having issues with flooding. The extreme heat, and the intense sun, dries the grass quickly. Unfortunately, it will start raining almost as soon as it will be dry enough to mow.
In some instances, our crews are getting rained out in the middle of a job. This means that they have to wait until the rain passes, or leave and come back later to finish the lawn care service. This is a major reason why scheduling has been difficult.
Wet grass, especially if it’s tall, is hard on mowers. It’s possible that the strain from cutting wet grass can cause them to overheat. The grass will collect under the mower deck, and not discharge. This can cause unnecessary wear on the belts, pulleys, spindles, and the engine. However, this depends on the type of mower being used. Large commercial mowers with sharp blades can easily handle wet lawns.
Grass that is too wet will bend over, causing the mower to miss the taller blades. When the grass dries and stands back up, the blades that were missed will stand out. Before mowing a lawn after the rain, we inspect the grass to see if any blades are bent over. As soon as they are back standing upright then it is probably safe to mow.
Wet grass does not mow as good as when it is dry. This is messy due to larger than normal clippings. The wet clippings clump together and block the mower’s deck and discharge system. Wet grass does not mulch well and it will fall out of the deck in large, heavy clumps instead of evenly spreading back into the lawn as mulch. The clumps will eventually kill patches of lawn. Sometimes it is necessary to mow a lawn more than once in order to eliminate grass clippings.
Mowing when it’s too wet increases the risk of damaging the lawn by leaving ruts. Ruts are created by putting a heavy mower on soft ground. Leaving ruts means that the mower is sinking and will also mow the grass shorter than needed and will scalp the lawn. Also, since the soil is soft and slippery, the grass roots can easily be damaged by the mower tires. The soil will be compact around the ruts and it is unlikely that nice grass will grow back again until the ruts are repaired.
5 Tips for Mowing Wet Grass
1. Use sharp blades
2. Raise mowing height
3. Mow multiple times to eliminate clippings
4. Mow slow – do not want to sling grass clippings from tires
5. Mow using only half of mowing deck width
Huntsville Lawn Care – FAQ’s
Q. How to do I know when the lawn is too wet to mow?
A. When your shoes are wet after walking through the lawn. You should not be able to see, or hear, water squishing out from under your feet.
Q. Is it more dangerous to mow a wet lawn versus a dry lawn?
A. Yes – The potential for danger increases anytime water is added to the equation. Wet grass is very slick. Extreme caution is needed.
Q. What do I do if my grass gets too thick and my mower is not able to cut it?
Q. Is it ok cut wet grass with dull blades?
A. No – It is never a good idea to mow with dull blades. Dull blades can damage the grass and cause a lot of extra work for the mower.
Q. What is the cleanest way to mow a wet lawn?
A. Unfortunately, the only answer is to try hard to be careful. Wet grass sticks to everything like glue. It also leaves a green stain on anything it touches.