Answer: Thatch is a buildup of dead stolons or rhizomes. If the layer is thick enough, it can prevent water and fertilizer from penetrating the soil. Dethatching can remove most of the debris. Grass clippings can contribute to thatch, but generally they decompose to almost nothing once the moisture evaporates. If you don't intend to dethatch your lawn any time soon, you should bag your clippings; if you do dethatch, you can continue to leave the clippings on the lawn.
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