Clippings less than 1 inch long sift back into the lawn and provide free food (yes, no cost to you, you bargain shopper). Ever see Mother Nature vacuuming? I think not!
What you are really doing when you “clean” your yard is removing valuable organic matter, which in turn increases the compaction potential of your soil, making it that much more difficult for roots to grow and grass to thrive.
Tamson Yeh is author of Can My Petunia Be Saved? Practical Prescriptions for a Healthy, Happy Garden (Cool Springs Press, 2007).