Mow or Let it Go? Six Tips on Mowing During the Rainy Season

 Learn More about Blue Wave Bluegrass

The cool spring season with plenty of rain and Uncle's Idiot Proof Program have Blue Wave bluegrass and Heat Wave fescue lawns growing like crazy. It's easy to fall behind on mowing schedules when it's raining every day. When the grass is wet and the soil is saturated, should you mow or just let it go? 

1. Be Patient
Excess water in the soil essentially pushes oxygen out of the soil. Without oxygen plant growth will stop until oxygen can be replaced. Be patient with an extremely soggy lawn and give the wettest areas a little time to drain and grass blades time to dry before mowing. Use your best judgement, you know the spots that hold water and those that drain well. A sunny south or west facing yard may need only one good afternoon to dry out and an east or north protected area may take a few days. 
Wet soil is easily compacted. Mowing or even walking over saturated soil can cause compaction problems making it difficult for grass to grow.

2. Use a Sharp Blade
When it does dry out enough to mow, we cannot stress how important it is to use a sharp blade on your mower. Sharp mower blades make mowing so much easier. They give a better-looking finish cut and cause less stress on the grass plant.
Keep two and swap them out every 8 to 10 hours.

3. Don't Cut More Than 1/3
If you fall behind on mowing and the grass gets too tall, on your initial cut, raise the mower deck two notches, then wait a few days and cut it again at one notch lower. Wait a few more days, then cut at your original setting. Removing too much leaf can stress the plant and turn it yellow.
Once you're back to a regular schedule, set your height and leave it. Cutting at 3.5 - 4 inches will shade the soil keeping the roots cool in summer and help fight weed pressure.

4. Don't Leave Heavy Clippings
We all prefer to mulch mow. Mulch mowing is easier and beneficial, but at certain times bagging your grass clippings is a necessity. Cutting an overgrown lawn is one of those times. Heavy clippings left over the top will smother and yellow the grass plant. If you don't have a bagging mower, then do it the old fashion way and rake up the clippings.

5. Clean the Mower
Cleaning is a must if you want to keep Mama happy. Store a wet mower in the garage without cleaning the deck and in two days your garage will smell like a compost pile. Eventually, you will need to clean the deck, and it's a lot easier to clean before the grass mulch dries into a brick. Take the mower to an out of the way spot in the lawn, tilt it back and wash it out with the garden hose. Some of the new models have a hose attachment on the mower deck for clean out. Remember to remove the heavy clippings from the lawn to avoid smothering your grass.
Avoid washing it out on the driveway to keep grass clippings out of the storm drains.

 Clink on Image
6. PREVENT!  Booster Shot
Excessive rainfall will break down the weed barrier created by PREVENT! Step #1, leading to crabgrass breakthrough by fall. A second application of PREVENT!, crabgrass pre-emergence plus fertilizer, extends crabgrass control through the summer and gives a booster shot of nitrogen that has been leached from the soil by heavy rainfall.