Should You Catch or Mulch When Mowing?

Maybe you’ve recently moved to a house with a garden, or perhaps you’ve been mowing for a while and are just wondering whether you should catch or mulch when mowing.

There are pros and cons to each method. Today we walk you through the reasons why you may choose to mulch and why you may choose to catch, with insight into the decision from local expert John Wildes. 


Mulching involves cutting the lawn without an implement on the back of the mower to collect the grass. 

Pros of mulching:

  • John says that mulching adds to the organic layer in the soil which is good for the health of the lawn.
  • This method also means there is no waste that needs to be taken away once the job is completed.

Cons of mulching:

  • Mulching leaves a layer of grass on top of your freshly-cut lawn, which can make it look less tidy than if it had been caught
  • John also says that mulching can pose a problem when they grass is long or wet.

“When you’re mulching you’ll find because it’s trying to cut the grass, if the grass is a little bit long or a little bit wet, the blades start to labour a bit,” he says.

“So, it’s not cutting as well, or is as effective. It’s fine if it’s nice and dry. In the springtime and there’s good moisture or it’s rained or something, it’s going to make the disc labour a little bit. So, it’s not going to spin fast enough and cut the grass, so you’re not going to get a really good cut, in my opinion.”

John goes on to mention that sometimes grass thickness can also impact mulching results.

“Sometimes it’s not about the length of the grass, it’s about the thickness and strength of the grass you’re cutting,” he says.


When you mow a lawn with a catcher on, this device collects the cut grass, allowing you to remove it from the area.

Pros of catching:

  • “Catching picks up all the waste, all the grass, neat and tidy,” John says.
  • Excess grass is less likely to be picked up on feet and taken into the pool or walked through the house

Cons of catching:

  • You will need to dispose of the grass cuttings that are collected in the catcher, which could come at a cost
  • As you will be removing the clippings, this method of mowing can take longer than mulching.

There are pros and cons to each choice, and at the end of the day, choosing whether to mulch or catch when mowing your lawn is a personal decision.

“There is no right or wrong answer to this,” John says.

“It’s your decision.”

For more insight into the decision, and a demonstration of the two different choices, view our first episode of The Mow Show.

Listen to John’s advice about mulching and catching.

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