If you want your lawn to look its best and you’re wondering, “should you water the grass after mowing?” you’re in the right place. There are several different answers to this question which can get rather confusing. So, in this article, we will show you why you should or should not water your lawn after mowing and whether it is good or bad.
You will learn the reason behind each statement and the possible problems you may cause if you water your grass right after cutting. In short, your action to either water or not has to do with the current state of the grass.
Let’s dig into this a little deeper.
What's In This Article
- Is It Bad to Water the Lawn After Mowing?
- So When Should You Water Grass After Mowing?
- Should You Water the Lawn Before Mowing?
- 3 Reasons Why It’s a Bad Idea to Water Before Mowing:
- Is It Better to Mow and Water at Separate Times?
- Final Thoughts
Is It Bad to Water the Lawn After Mowing?
Firstly, watering your grass immediately after mowing is not necessarily bad and is not as important as learning how and when to water the lawn. So a better question would be, “when do I water my grass?”
One of the determining factors of watering after mowing is the wetness or dampness of the grass. When the lawn is dry, you should water it, especially if it is still early in the day. But if it is wet after mowing or late in the day, do not water it.
Overwatering and waterlogging can cause several problems, including fungi, root rot, and more. Also, watering before the grass has had the chance to dry out enough will cause shallow rooting. Therefore, it is important to carefully check your lawn’s moisture level before watering to avoid these problems.
So When Should You Water Grass After Mowing?
As mentioned above, the short answer is that it depends on the current state of your lawn.
The main purpose of this article is to teach how you can personally tell when you should water your grass. A quick and easy way to determine if it is dry is by using the “footprint test.” After mowing, walk across the lawn and look back. Can you see your footprints? If yes, your grass needs watering. However, you do not need to water if your footprints are not visible.
Grass stores moisture between its layers when saturated with water. So, if anything disorganizes the bonds between the grass and the water, the water readjusts or assumes a new position. The same applies to your footprints: they disappear when the water rearranges, forming a new bond with the grass. Conversely, your footprints are visible on dry grass because no water is available to make new bonds.
One of the reasons people water the grass after cutting is the theory that water helps the grass bounce back quicker. Well, we can say this is true to some extent. However, do remember you risk causing the problems we covered earlier if you overwater. For a safer approach, just water the grass when there is a need to do so – do not follow the crowd and risk damaging your lawn.
Should You Water the Lawn Before Mowing?
Definitely not! Many serious issues arise from watering the lawn before mowing. Plus, you can wait and water afterward, if necessary.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the main reasons you should never water before you mow.
3 Reasons Why It’s a Bad Idea to Water Before Mowing:
1. Water reduces the blade efficiency
The main reason to avoid watering before mowing is the side effect of the water on the blade. An efficient blade cuts the grass evenly. Note, however, that it does not matter if the blade is sharp or not. The main consideration is the manner of cut. If the grass is covered in moisture, it will be bent over and clumped together, causing the blade to make an inefficient and uneven cut.
If you have ever experienced this situation, it might be that you used your mower on wet grass. Furthermore, a dull blade tears the grass instead of cutting if the grass is wet. On the other hand, using a dull blade on dry grass is still inefficient, but it causes more harm if the grass is wet.
2. Mowing wet grass increases soil compaction
Another reason not to water before mowing is that it can cause your lawn to become compacted. When your grass is wet, the soil underneath it is also wet. Lawn mowers are heavy machines. So, when the ground is soft and wet after watering, the weight of the mower rolling across it compacts the soil and removes the air from it, making it denser.
Additionally, cutting wet grass with a riding mower is more likely to cause compaction due to its heavier weight. As a result, this destruction of the soil structure makes it more difficult for your grass to grow.
3. It’s not safe for you or your mower
Finally, but most importantly, mowing when the lawn is wet is unsafe, especially if you use a corded electric lawn mower. If any part of the power cord or extension lead is damaged, you risk short-circuiting the mower and electrocution.
If you use a gas-powered mower, moisture from the lawn can make its way into the fuel tank, causing corrosion. What’s more, wet grass clippings that stick to the underside of the deck will cause it to rust over time if not cleaned off afterward.
Not only is mowing wet grass messy and inefficient, but it also forces the mower to work harder, overheating the engine and ultimately reducing its lifespan. And as it takes more effort to push a mower on wet grass, you are at higher risk of slipping or injuring yourself, particularly if the lawn is on a slope.
Is It Better to Mow and Water at Separate Times?
Yes, it is best to water on the days when you are not mowing. However, if you notice your footprints after mowing and can see that your lawn really is dry, go ahead and water it. But this should be an exception to the rule and not a regular routine.
Heat and the rate of evaporation are two essential factors to consider when watering your lawn. Since heat is lower in the morning, causing low evaporation, you can water your grass after mowing if you mow early in the day. The grass has enough time to absorb the water it needs before the sun comes directly overhead.
On the other hand, if you mow late in the afternoon or evening, leave the grass and water it the following morning as the sun rises. It is better to water the grass early in the morning and let it dry out during the day than to leave it wet overnight. Watering at night increases the chance of fungi affecting your lawn.
In conclusion, you want your grass to stand up well whenever you mow and, likewise, to look fresh after you water it. It is better not to introduce extra stress to your lawn when you want to make it look its best. So by now, you should know the right answer if you were asked, “should you water grass after mowing?”
Ensure you apply the information in this article as it will save you from extra costs – on your lawn and your mower. Lastly, check the mower blade and clean it after mowing. Sweep clippings from driveways and paths and only water the grass if necessary.
Steve is a passionate gardener and particularly loves growing vegetables. His interest was spurred at eight years old while helping his parents take care of their extensive yard, lawns, and vegetable garden. Over the years, his childhood interest grew into a lifelong passion. Read more »