How To Use Lawn Mower Without a Bag?

Since the invention of the self-bagging lawn mower, most people usually bag their grass clippings; but wouldn’t it be nice to use a lawn mower without a bag?

The process of using the lawn mower without the bag is known as mulching. When done correctly, mulching can help nourish your yard without you having to buy and distribute fertilizer. Several other advantages come with using the lawn mower without the bag.

This article will teach you how and why you should mulch rather than use a bag.

Guide on How To Use Lawn Mower Without Bag?

For those who want to know how to use the mower without the bag, we will teach you the simplest way. It is straightforward, but there are some things you need to do to keep yourself safe and enrich your lawn. Handling a mower the wrong way can cause damage to your lawn or yourself.

There are two ways of using the lawn mower without a bag:

  • Mulching
  • Side discharge

Side Discharge

This was the earliest type of lawnmower before the bag came into existence. Professionals still use it. The advantage of this method is that nutrients are recycled back into your lawn. The disadvantage of this method, if not correctly done, is poor aeration, over-fertilizing, and too much pesticide.

You must cut the lawn clippings to a perfect size that supports nitrogen recycling and provides additional nutrients. This can also help you save money since you do not have to buy fertilizers.

Another disadvantage of this method is that it can cause a mess. To avoid this, make sure that you have the correct blade height. This ensures that you get the proper size of lawn clipping.

Side discharge allows you to go through your grass quickly, significantly benefiting you if you want to get the yard done.


Mulching is very similar to the side-discharge method in that it also redistributes your lawn clippings back into your lawn. The difference is that the lawn clippings are not shot out of a side port. They are instead cycled around the blade’s location and dropped back to the ground. With this, you don’t have to worry about making a mess. Mulching requires the use of a mulching mower bag.

Another requirement of mulching is that you have to cut your clippings to the correct size. This shouldn’t be an issue with the new robotic lawnmowers.

Cutting your lawn regularly with them helps to prevent weeds and recycles the clippings naturally.

The Bagless Process

Let’s get you through using your lawnmower without the bag. As we stated earlier, a mulching lawn mower is needed if you want to mulch. But you need an adapter if you want to use the side discharge.

Irrespective of your style, you must follow some basic rules to keep your lawn healthy.

Here are some of the rules:

  • Your lawn clippings should be the proper size. You might be wondering what that size is. The answer to this question depends on your grass type and season. During the spring, when your grass is just growing, cut your grass at least once a week, and your clippings should not be more than 1 inch in size. For more extensive clippings, cut them regularly to prevent clumping. A shorter grass reduces the risk of thatch forming and increases the possibility of a greener lawn.
  • Later in the year, it would help to increase your blade height to have longer blade clippings. Your blade clippings should be around 2 to 2.5 inches in size.
  • Also, remember to keep your blades very sharp. This ensures you get clean cuts and prevents the grass from dying.

Advantages of Using the Lawn Mower Without Bagging

1. Natural Fertilizer

People who bag usually mix their clippings with other organic nutrients in the compost. Compost can convert your clippings to fertilizer you can use on your lawn. However, making compost is tedious and usually requires a selected area in your lawn. Mulching is also a much faster alternative to bagging as it splits all the time spent bagging into half.

2. It Does Not Promote Thatch Build-up

Shoots, grass stems, and roots usually cause thatch build-up. Most people think it is caused by grass clippings, which is untrue. Clippings consist of 75% water and decompose faster, adding nutrients to the soil.

3. It Does Not Promote Weed Growth

One thing to remember when using the lawn mower without the bag is always to remove one-third of the grass blade whenever you mow. This means you may need to cut your grass frequently, as it reduces the chances of weeds growing in your yard. Remember that you have to use a sharp blade. Using sharp blades helps to reduce the possibilities of pests and diseases, thus creating a healthy lawn.

4. No Visible Residue

The key to a fresh lawn devoid of residue is to follow all the above comments. As I mentioned, do not cut more than one-third of the grass blade whenever you. Always use a sharp blade. Do not mow when the grass is still wet. Mowing wet grass leads to clumps, so it is best to avoid them.

Other Benefits Of Using Your Lawn Mower Without a Bag

Some also use their lawnmowers without a bag because it saves time and effort. Moreover, lawnmowers without bags can be used in tight spaces, even if you have narrow hedges or flower beds to work on. You can also use it to clean off the lawn edges and sidewalks.

It also keeps your lawnmower from clogging up and making it eco-friendly.


Because all fallen leaves are recycled into compost when you use a lawnmower without a bag. This makes it suitable for the environment as your leaves will decompose naturally. Leaf shredding is of great help not just in composting but also in mulching leaves into garden beds.

Using a lawnmower without a bag can also reduce the waste you create since all shredded leaves are recycled into compost.

Can You Convert Your Lawn Mower To Have a Bag?

Many mowers require the purchase of an adapter or converter kit to change from bagging mowers to non-bagging. So it becomes an additional cost. Furthermore, if you fail to operate a modified mower correctly, it can result in serious injury.


These guidelines will help you use a lawn mower without a bag without stress, recycle valuable nutrients back to your lawn, remove excess waste, and achieve a very needed and tidy result.

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