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Whether you are a gardener, a landscaper, a lawn nut or just an avid environmentalist, you'll find that mulching is a surefire way to improve the quality of your yard. Mulching often gets confused for composting, but they are two different things. Mulching is dry and composting is wet. Mulching is more about weed control and moisture conservation, and composting is used more like fertilizer. (It is also useful in preventing your yard from being affected by drought.) Both are great for your soil.

Here are some reasons to mulch:

1. Water Conservation Mulching traps more moisture in the soil where it gets utilized by plants. You won't have to water as often.

2. Plant Food Once the mulch breaks down, it turns into plant food (compost). It makes your soil and plants healthier.

3. Waste Reduction Instead of throwing your leaves and grass clippings in the landfill, you'll be reusing them to increase the luster of your flowerbed. You can even use old wood chippings and newspapers.

4. Weed Control Who'd like less weeds in their gardens? Don't raise your hands all at once. Mulching significantly reduces the amount of weeds. Why risk harming plants and the environment with herbicides when mulch can do the trick naturally? You can't lie on the grass and read like the guy in the picture when your yard is covered in chemicals.

5. Inexpensive This might not be environmentally green, but it's green like cash. Mulch can be made for free out of waste materials. Why spend countless dollars buying environmentally dubious chemicals and equipment to achieve the results?

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