It is a common misconception that grass clippings left behind after mowing contribute to thatch build up in Newnan, Georgia.  This is simply not true!  Leaving behind grass clippings is actually healthy practice that aids in preventing thatch since grass leaves decompose without difficulty.  Thatch is a layer of dead and living grass stems and roots that develops between the soil surface and the turf and do not decompose.   A thin layer of thatch is in fact good for the turf as it provides insulation against temperature extremes and variations in soil moisture.  However, when thatch becomes more than a 1/4 of an inch thick, a think mat forms making it hard for air, water and nutrients to pass through to the soil and the root system.  Too much thatch blocks sunlight from reaching the grass blades as well as blocking the soil, forcing grass roots grow into the thatch layer creating a shallow root system.   In addition, too much thatch also creates an uneven turf stand which leads to uneven mowing and even scalping of the lawn.  Excess thatch also creates an increases in pest issues.