Warning! Don’t cut your lawn this weekend or risk ruining your grass – and your mower

A gardening expert has warned homeowners against one common spring job, that could leave your lawn ‘ruined’ if you ignore the advice.

March is a busy month for green-fingered Britons, who will be getting stuck into necessary outdoor preparations in order to have a beautiful garden by summertime.

However, when it comes to one particular task – you may want to hold off for another week or risk losing all your hard work.

James Lewis, expert gardener from MyBuilder.com, has instructed garden fanatics to leave their lawns alone this weekend and keep their mower firmly locked away in the shed.

February 2024 has been one of the wettest on record – but it was also one of the warmest, meaning that the grass has been growing despite the rain. 

James Lewis, expert gardener from MyBuilder.com, has warned garden fanatics to leave their lawns alone this weekend and keep their mower firmly locked away in the shed

James Lewis, expert gardener from MyBuilder.com, has warned garden fanatics to leave their lawns alone this weekend and keep their mower firmly locked away in the shed

While the temptation to cut your lawn is understandable, doing so while it’s not dry can cause a whole host of problems.

The expert stresses that mowing wet grass has disastrous consequences not just for the health of lawns, but the machinery used to cut it.

Problems caused by mowing wet grass include uneven cuts due to weight on the grass blade and damage to grass blade health due to tearing.

It will also mean your lawn is more vulnerable to fungal infections due to the torn blades.

As well as the problems it poses for your grass, it can also lead to lawn mower damage due to clumps of grass blocking mower blades.

Damage to yourself caused by slipping on wet ground or danger from electric mowers should damaged cords meet water, are also risks associated with the practice.

James explains: ‘While regular cutting of your lawn is essential for its general health, mowing while wet is counterproductive. 

‘When grass is wet, it doesn’t stand up straight and therefore it’s impossible to get an even cut. 

While the temptation to cut your lawn is understandable, doing so while it's not dry can cause a whole host of problems

While the temptation to cut your lawn is understandable, doing so while it’s not dry can cause a whole host of problems

‘You will end up with a messy cut, or the mower may miss blades of grass entirely, leaving you with patches of totally unmown lawn.’

He continues: ‘Worse still, these tears in the blade leave your lawn vulnerable to fungal infections, which thrive in wet conditions.

‘We’d advise you to leave the lawnmower in the shed this weekend, and wait for the dryer weather to arrive before cutting your grass.’

However, if you really can’t wait, there are a few methods James recommends you follow which lessen your chances of a problem.

TIPS FOR CUTTING A WET LAWN 

1. Sharpen your mower blades – Sharp blades increase your chances of getting a clean, even cut on your lawn. This is important at all times, but especially so when cutting wet grass

2. Raise the mower deck – Set the cutting blades as high as possible. This will help to stop clogging of your blades, as well as minimising any damage to your grass plants

3. Remove excess water – Before you start to mow, do your best to remove any water from your lawn. You can use a hosepipe to do this by dragging it across the lawn in a ‘squeegee’ effect

4. Clean up – Immediately clear up any clippings and move them off the lawn. Leaving the cut grass will decrease oxygen to the remaining plants. Be cautious with using a rake if the ground is saturated as it could pull up plants with the soil underneath

5. Take it slow –  Keeping your speed slow and consistent will minimise the load on your mower, therefore lowering the risk of damage to your machine

6. Hose it down –  Make sure your mower is thoroughly cleaned after use, removing any clogs of grass. Leave it to dry in a well-ventilated area before putting it away

It comes just after the news that three-quarters of households must now pay if they want grass cuttings collected.

Figures have shown that 254 of the 314 councils in England charge to collect green waste – dubbed a ‘garden tax’.

The proportion charging residents has soared in recent years from about two-thirds (62%) in 2019 and fewer than half (48%) in 2016.

Annual fees average £56 but a handful of councils charge as much as £100. Some town halls make families pay for a garden waste bin.

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