8 Disadvantages of Mulching Grass | Things You Must Know First

Mulching your grass can be convenient and a real time-saver. Direct mulching grass clipping on top of your lawn using a mulching mower is the most common method.

The disadvantages of mulching grass include more maintenance for your lawn and mower, the need for a very powerful mower, the lawn area can look messy and if the mulch layer is too thick the lawn can dry out.

Let’s take a look at these and other disadvantages in more detail.

8 Disadvantages of Mulching Grass

The most significant disadvantages of mulching your grass include:

1. More Maintenance

When you mulch your grass regularly, there will be much more maintenance on your lawn mower. You’ll be replacing your blades more frequently, as well as replace air filters and sharpen your blades.

It is best to use the mulch setting on your mower when you are only mowing a small amount of your grass. This will minimize the wear and tear on your mower compared to trying to mulch large amounts of tall, thick lawn.

2. Damp Soil Can Become a Problem

Leaving a thick layer of mulched clippings on your grass can cause damp soil.

This can cause fungal growth or make the lawn vulnerable to pest attack.  When mulching your lawn it is essential to only do this in small amounts. Make sure that you can still see the healthy blades of grass underneath.

3. The Soil Can Dry Out

Adding too much mulch to your lawn can alternatively cause it to dry out. A thick layer of mulch can absorb any rainfall or irrigation water before it reaches the lawn roots.

This can lead to brown or yellowing, or light green lawn patches as it lacks the sunlight and water it needs to thrive.

Rake off any excess lawn mulch to expose the blades and help the lawn to recover.  

4. The Soil Might Overheat

In addition to drying out, your soil may also overheat, and usually this happens when the mulch too thick.

5. The Mulching Process Can Be Messy

Mulching lawn clippings can be a messy process. If the lawn is damp the clipping can clump and if the lawn is dry it can spread in the air.

Keep in mind that if your grass is tall, it is best to avoid mulching. This usually makes a huge mess.

If it’s damp outside, you’ll want to cut down the grass and make it short first before you move onto the mulching process.

6. You Might Need More Power

Mulching lawn mowers tend to be more expensive and powerful than regular mowers. This gives them the power they need to chop the lawn into small pieces so it can quickly break down.

If you know you’re going to much your grass clippings regularly, save yourself some stress and buy mower specially designed for mulching grass.

7. Avoid Using Fertilizer

When you’re mulching your grass, it’s going to decompose quickly. It is best to avoid adding lawn fertilizer at the same time as you are direct mulching your grass.

Mulching mowers can pick up and spread fertilizer off of your grass and can cause burning of the roots and leaves.

8. It Can Encourage Pests

Mulching lawn can encourage the appearance of pests such as snails and slugs. The mulch provides a great place for them to hide and food for them to eat.

4 Ways to Use Grass Clippings in the Garden

Instead of mulching the grass, you can use the grass clippings themselves in the following ways:

1. Place Them All Over the Lawn

Once your grass clippings are ready, you can simply spread them out over your lawn. This will return nutrients and water back to the soil and keep it healthy and green for a long time.

2. Use Them as Compost

There are numerous types of compost, but if you add grass clippings to your compost, you’ll have a very healthy type that you can use for all types of gardens, trees, plants, etc.

3. Make a Fertilizer “Tea”

You can make a tea with your grass clippings and use it as a fertilizer. Put the clippings in a bucket and add water to the top of the bucket. Let it sit for a few days, put a lid on it, and let that sit for two to four weeks. When you’re done, you can use it to fertilize your garden.

4. Use Them in New Raised Garden Beds

If you’re creating new garden beds, you can nourish them by adding some grass clippings to them to speed up the process of having lush, thick garden beds.

Which Is Better: Mulching or Bagging Grass?

There are both pros and cons to mulching and bagging your grass. If you have a powerful mower and live in a warmer, more humid area and therefore mow your lawn frequently, mulching might be more convenient for you.

If your lawn mower is less powerful, you live in a cooler climate, or if you like to let your grass grow a little longer before you cut it, you might be better off bagging your grass. Mulching saves time, feeds your grass, and saves you money on fertilizer.

Bagging produces a cleaner look and picks up small debris a lot better. It’s up to you to decide which is more important to you.

Is Mulching Better for Your Lawn?

This depends on what result you prefer, but mulching certainly produces a nice, healthy lawn for you to enjoy, and it’s super-easy to do. You simply mow like you normally do but you’ll be mulching while you’re mowing.


There are pros and cons to both mulching and bagging your grass clippings, and the disadvantages include a messier yard, more lawn mower maintenance, the possibility of your yard overheating, and the fact that it encourages pests such as snails and slugs. This means you need to think carefully before choosing this option.