What is thatch and what is an acceptable amount to have in a lawn?

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Thatch is the grass plant’s roots growing above ground level and an acceptable amount is ½ inch or less. If you mow your lawn and return the clippings to the lawn which is preferred those clippings will collect in the thatch layer but will decompose and most research has determined that clippings don’t contribute to an excess thatch layer. The problem with thatch is if it gets too thick it can prevent water from soaking into the ground and prevent sufficient oxygen for the root system to grow. When thatch levels exceed ½ inch, we recommend aerating your lawn as it provides more benefits and is less destructive than a dethatcher.

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