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While mulching is not mandatory in the garden, the benefits make this practice a no-brainer. Mulch not only provides a layer of insulation that helps cut down on the need for watering, it also works as a weed blocker. Start by putting down a thick layer of wet newspaper over the weeds and any new soil that needs covering, then top the paper with at least an inch of mulch. Eventually, the paper breaks down and builds up the soil.
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