Can You Efficiently Strim (and Cut) Wet Grass and Should You Be Doing it at All?

The rain keeps pouring seemingly without end and your lawn is now soaked. For the first time in days, however, the sun makes its way through the crowd of clouds. This is your opportunity – you’re about to mow the tall neglected grass in your yard… But should you?

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Strimming after rain may become tricky because of the soggy grass, so you start asking yourself questions. Will the damp lawn be kind to your string trimmer? What about mower blades, will they be as efficient this time around? Is it safe to cut the grass when wet at all if you own electrical equipment? Let us explain.

Can You Adequately Strim Wet Turf and Should You at All?

When the grass is wet, it will become heavy and sticky. The blades (or lines) of your tool of choice should either be freshly sharpened or brand new. Otherwise, they will have troubles with cutting an even lawn level. There are a few situations when you can (and should) strim wet grass:

Only strim a wet lawn if the rainy weather doesn’t allow it to completely dry out. When working, frequently check if the tool is clogged. There’s a chance that your strimmer will chew up, knock over or even miss the taller wet grass blades altogether. When the ground dries out afterwards, the bent over sod will straighten up. To avoid an uneven lawn cut trim repeatedly.

Consider this: You will lose the benefit of evenly spread fresh grass mulch. Wet clippings will stick together forming clumps. These clumps, if not raked, may damage some of the grass patches by suffocating them and depriving them of sunlight.

More powerful mowers and trimmers, like the professional (link to our service page) or agricultural models, will be more helpful here as they have a better chance of handling a damp lawn properly.

Note: Strimming wet grass will paint everything in the vicinity in green. Be cautious when doing this around white walls or outdoor furniture!

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How mowing a wet grass is done correctly + Advice

As far as the UK weather is concerned, you will probably be forced to get your hands dirty. There could be almost no windows of opportunity here since it’s likely that you’ll luck out on a prolonged rainy period. In this case, letting your lawn to become overgrown is the worse scenario from the two. Given that you have no other option here’s how to go about cutting wet grass efficiently:

  1. Stick to petrol-based tools. When the turf is soggy it is NOT safe to use electrical equipment, such as a lawnmower with an extension cord. A cable’s insulation can still be compromised.
  2. Strim the grass at a high cut setting before the actual mowing. Rake any formed clumps to allow the air and sun to do their job and dry your lawn out.
  3. Sharpen your equipment’s blades. Do it right before the job as wet grass can be evasive.
  4. Spray the underside of your mower with lubricant. This will help you avoid clogging.
  5. Set your mower at the highest cutting setting possible. You can cut down your lawn to your desired height once the grass has dried out.
  6. Mow at least twice on the same day. This is a great way to break clumps and avoid an uneven cut.
  7. Avoid using lawn striping attachment. As beautiful as pronounced lawn stripes can be you should only focus on getting a nice clean cut and not bending the grass.

Because the soaked grass blades are more likely to bend over rather than get cut it would appear that your mower is inefficient. Mowing the grass when wet will not dull your blades. The effect is a result of clogging, soggy clumps, and broken rather than cut grass. However, you stand a better chance to do the job right if you sharpen the blades beforehand.

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Do leave a comment below if you feel you need more answers!

Header image source: Shutterstock / By Evgeny Glazunov

Posted in Garden Advice

Last update: August 24, 2018
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