My wife gets cranky if I mow the grass without the catcher as she reckons all the clippings end up in the house (courtesy of the dog and the kids). But I thought it was best for the lawn as the nutrients go back into the soil. Do you mow without a catcher? Or at least spread some of your clippings back onto the lawn?
I always go with the catcher. My two puppies always treck it through the house or eat it otherwise. As a kid i do remember my dad spreading it onto some of the garden beds.
If you have a mulching mower, it can create very fine pieces of cut grass that do provide nutrients for the lawn and soil. It's obviously fine right now but my understanding is that you shouldn’t put the clippings on in winter as the mulch won’t break down as fast as it does in the warmer conditions, which can cause problems.
Remember not to cut the grass too short, either! If you cut the grass too short it doesn’t have enough leaves for photosynthesis and might be weakened.
I rarely use the catcher (just occasionally in winter) and haven't had many problems with clippings spreading around. I use a mulching mower which makes pieces fine enough that they fall into the thatch and don't really spread too far. I've got a buffalo lawn which I leave a lot of height on which also helps I guess.
Has anyone had success with lawn food? I've never tried it and wonder whether it does anything. My lawn's struggling given the recent hot weather, although the weeds are doing alright.