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Lawn mower performance under wet conditions.....

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Hi there, I'm a final year student studying Design Engineering. During the summer I was working in the gardening business and noticed that mowing under wet conditions can be quite time consuming and frustrating. I was using high end products so the use of a poor quality mower can be ruled out, and I've already had similar feedback from other gardeners. However I wanted to gain further feedback on your thoughts on this matter? and if a new product was developed to tackle this issue, would this interest you?

I would greatly appreciate your time to voice your opinions as it will benefit me greatly in my degree and towards something I feel can make a difference.

Thank you!

Graeme Ross



Unless you're a professional, you'd never cut the grass when it was wet anyway, but if you had to, so long as it isn't actually raining, and you have a safety cut out plug and are wearing proper footwear, then an electric Flymo hover mower without the grass box attached can't be beat. Cuts anything, wet, dry, long, but there is a technique to the cutting to prevent the motor burning out, specially if the grass is long.
The contract gardeners where I live cut the lawns with a petrol mower and I've seen them do it in pouring rain. The results from a lawn appearance point of view are not fantastic...

11 Nov, 2013


Thank you!
I would be looking towards aiming such a product towards contracted gardeners as I understand the market wouldn't be the same if I was aiming it towards home owners who may not cut there grass as frequent under wet conditions. Where as contracted gardeners, companies, councils will carry on due to financial reasons.

11 Nov, 2013


In my opinion one of the reason why wet grass is difficult to cut is that the weight of the water causes the blades of grass to lay flat instead of standing up allowing the mower blades to do their work easily. The biggest mistake people make when mowing wet grass is to lower the mower blades to compensate for this and this tends to rip the roots of the grass out or even digs into the soil causing bald patches in the lawn. I've often thought that it could be possible to fit some kind of device on to the front of the mower to straighten the grass just before it's cut. Maybe I should patent it? ;o)

11 Nov, 2013


This is great, thank you! Maybe wait until my project is over...... haha!

I would also like to add that I was hoping to use comments as evidence to back up my projected proposal and if anyone has any objections whatsoever to me using comments as quotations then please do not hesitate to say so. Thank you once more!

11 Nov, 2013


I used to live near a golf club, the groundsmen used to swish a long flexible cane over the green to knock the drops off the grass so it would dry more quickly for mowing later. I have tried something similar going over the grass with a stiff broom and it did help, but gave it up when we moved to a house with a lot more grass!

11 Nov, 2013


Realistically folks with gardens with grass do not cut and would not consider cutting when wet. You need to talk to commercial gardeners who have to cut their clients grass no matter what! Mind you I would have thought those big ride on mowers coped with wet or dry grass, the problem is if you are using an actual lawn mower petrol or electric.

11 Nov, 2013


All I do is spray the blade and surrounding mower parts with WD40 before cutting damp grass and it does not all stick to the blade and surrounding area and then harden into a thick mat.

11 Nov, 2013


Wow, Kildermorie, what a great idea - must give it a go.

11 Nov, 2013


Best tip all year Kildemorie :)

11 Nov, 2013


I'm a professional gardener and cut 35 customers lawns a week. I have to work in virtually all weathers and sometimes on a large lawn I find myself grass cutting in heavy rain.

I use a self propelled 17 inch mower because most of my work is on smaller gardens. In the early days i tried various makes of mower but have found that the Honda HRX range is the best all rounder and works better than other makes on wet grass. The tunnel from blades to grass box clogs less than other mowers I've used so it may be worth looking at how it is designed to see why. I tried a top of the range Hayter which was lighter and better in dry conditions but the tunnel to the grass box clogged very rapidly in wet grass so I sold it and bought the Honda which I've now stuck with for 8 years

I cut all my customers grass weekly so it never gets more than say 3 inches long. Even so when the grass is very wet indeed I have to turn the mower on its side every few minutes to scrape off the grass that has stuck to the circular body shell area around the cutting blade. I'm not sure how it could be done but if something could be done to clear this grass automatically it would be a boon to my work.

Wet grass does sometimes also stick to the tunnel, between the blade and the grass box and I reckon that some sort of gadget could be designed more easily to solve that problem as it wouldn't be affected by the spinning blade.

A product that works well in very wet grass would I think be welcomed by professional gardeners who have no choice but to cut in almost all weathers

12 Nov, 2013


On the bigger mowers, those with a 'skirt' over and around the blades, doesn't the action of the rotary blades 'lift' the grass anyway by the passage of air over and through it? I've always wondered how the roadside cuts never looked too bad despite being cut in the wet, and presumed somehow the airflow was the reason

13 Nov, 2013


Thanks for all the comments guys! This is really helping me with my project! Keep them coming! :)

18 Nov, 2013

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