Is It Better To Mulch Or Bag Wet Grass? (What’s The Difference)

If you live in a rainy region, you’re probably familiar with the challenges of having a damp lawn. It’s more difficult to manage and mow the grass neatly when wet. So, is it better to mulch or bag wet grass? And what’s the difference?

Is It Better to Mulch or Bag Wet Grass?

If you want to cut grass in your yard, you should wait until the lawn is dry enough. Nevertheless, if you still have to cut it for any reason, mulching is a better option than bagging. Wet clippings tend to pile together, making the bag heavy and unclean. You don’t want to be hauling that around.

Mulching also includes less work because you don’t need to bag or rake the clippings.

However, it’s worth noting that mulching is still not ideal.

Bear in mind that wet grass doesn’t mulch effectively. Big, thick piles of grass can drop out from the deck and accumulate on the ground. So, you’ll probably need to clean the mess after.

When cutting wet grass, you must be cautious and constantly inspect your machine.

In this article, we’ll go over whether you should mulch or bag your wet lawn. Additionally, you’ll learn more about the distinctions between the two.

Mulching Vs. Bagging

Mulching and bagging are two different grass mowing techniques. Each has a distinct role. So, depending on your requirements, you may prefer to use one over the other.


Mulching is a common way to recycle your yard waste. It involves cutting the grass and discarding the clippings on the ground. That doesn’t promote thatch accumulation and improves the lawn’s health.

The grass clippings that fall on the ground eventually decompose. When they’re wet, they disintegrate even faster.

Mulching is healthy for your lawn because the cuttings replenish the soil with nutrients and are recycled into fertilizer. That way, you can promote your grass’ growth without buying fertilizer.


Bagging easily disposes of grass cuttings. When you mow using a bagger, the trimmed grass gets dropped in a bag, which leaves your yard neat. In addition, you can store the trimmed grass afterward in a compost bin for future use.

If you intend to seed the lawn, you should bag the cuttings and place them in your compost pile. Mowing the grass and emptying the bag is time-consuming and pricey, so it’s better to put them to good use.

When you have a yard infested with mold or unhealthy grass, it’s advisable to use a bagging mower. Bagging prevents the infection from spreading.

Why You Shouldn’t Mow Wet Grass

There are certain drawbacks to mowing the lawn while it is damp. So, before you mow, make sure you know the risks.

It’s Dangerous

Electrocution can occur when using an electric lawn mower on damp grass. However, it could mainly happen when using an extended power cord. Plus, the equipment may get damaged when you expose the wirings to water. 

Not to mention, mowing a wet lawn is dangerous for your well-being. Walking across a slippery lawn to drive the machine could cause you to slide. You can badly injure yourself if you don’t take caution.

Damages Your Lawn Mower

Moisture can ruin the remaining gasoline in the fuel tank. Additionally, it may cause your device to rust and get ruined. To prevent this, make sure you apply a gas stabilizer. 

A gas stabilizer prevents the fuel from getting burnt in your lawnmower.

Grass cuttings can also obstruct the mower’s performance. They can start piling on the machine, eventually clogging the suction or blocking the blade. 

If you don’t thoroughly clean as you go, these jams may cause the mower to operate harder until it cuts off.

Difficult to Mow

Damp grass is sticky and difficult to trim. Since it’s sticky, it may result in an inconsistent rip rather than the neat trim you’d get on a bright day.

Ensure your blades are in good shape, sharpened, or even replaced. Dull blades may take two or three runs over the same section of the damp grass, which isn’t ideal.

Spreads Disease

Fungus grows in a moist environment. Hence, some dangerous conditions can arise in a freshly trimmed wet yard.

Grass becomes prone to fungal infections when moist, tangled trimmings are kept in the yard. The grass needs enough ventilation to dry off to avoid mold. Mold can grow on the damp trimmings that remain in the bottom of the deck and can lead to its spread to your yard.

Damages Your Lawn

Trimming damp grass can harm the soil. Mowers are large, hefty devices that should not be used on mushy and wet ground. The wheels can crush moist soil or even generate ruts.  

Ruts are crushed soil that requires time to smooth out. Unfortunately, the ruts make your yard look messy and unappealing. Plus, they’ll harm the stems and hinder the future growth of healthy grass.

Always inspect the ground before starting your machine. If it appears wet or spongy, it’s generally best to wait.

Constant Cleanup

Due to how sticky grass cuttings become, damp grass will need additional cleanup. In addition, wet grass trimmings shouldn’t stick to a mower’s underside for an extended period. 

If wet grass sticks, the equipment can become a site for mold to grow. Unfortunately, it could be a problem if you continue to use a moldy mower because it can spread the mold to the rest of your lawn and infect healthy grass.

Remove any stuck grass from the deck, clean the tires, and clean up the mower’s body. After that, focus on the marks that have remained. The chlorophyll in freshly cut wet grass causes more smudges than in dry grass. That will likely leave marks on your clothes.

How to Cut Wet Grass

It’s best not to mow damp grass. However, you can do so if you have to. Just make sure the grass isn’t completely saturated. Meaning there are no pools of water in your yard. 

It’s better to wait 2 to 5 hours for the grass to dry before mowing. If you’ve had a substantial rainfall, you should probably wait one day before mowing your lawn.

It’s best to use a side discharge mower for the best results. Then, gather the cuttings or trim the grass with a bagger or mulcher once it’s dry.

To begin, sharpen your mower’s blades and put a stabilizer in your fuel. Next, raise the mower’s height, so the engine isn’t in direct, constant contact with the wet ground.

Trimming at three and a half inches is recommended. Use the highest option on your deck because, in damp conditions, your machine won’t be able to trim very low.

Mow only half the area you typically would every round while mowing. This prevents exhausting the engine.

As you proceed, wipe the bottom of the deck and the discharge chute. The cleaning prevents cuttings from sticking onto them. 

Afterward, gather the cuttings with a rake and place them in your compost container.


Mulching the grass is much better than bagging if mowing a wet lawn.

But it requires cleaning afterward. So, generally, waiting until the grass is completely dry before mowing is preferable.

The mower may get damaged if there’s too much water, causing harm to your yard. However, if you absolutely have to cut your grass during a rainstorm, make sure to follow my tips above, and it should be fine.

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