All our gardens have something in common, and that is soil. However, soil can vary massively from one area of the country to another, from one garden to another. It is important to get to know it because by understanding what your soil is like, you can choose plants that are really going to flourish in your garden, which is going to grow.
The soil itself contains several things. It has masses of microorganisms in there. It got the nutrients that will feed the plants and lock in the moisture for their warm water. When you take a handful and squeeze it together, there is probably a lot of sand or silt in it if it breaks up and crumbles. If it sticks together, it probably has more clay in it. Clay soils stay wetter, more water logs, and if you want to make them free-draining, you can dig in some gravel or some grit and sand if your soil is very free. We want to make sure it will have more moisture because that’s where you can put them manure and compost to increase the organic content of the soil.
The other thing you have to check in your soil is the chemical composition or its pH. You need your garden to have a neutral pH because neutral soil is great for many plants or shrubs. There are soil test kits that you can use to do simple tests on your soil.
If you have a part of your garden you wanted to plant on, you must check first that there are no invasive weeds in the area. Most of the weeds can literally be towed off, and you can rake these away. After removing all the weeds, cranial or annual, you can now try to break it up. It can be quite hard work, but you can do it with a spade or a fork. It would help if you made sure that the water or rain can drain away easily.
After that, improve your soil with homemade composts or compositive farmyard manure, and be generous as possible when using it. Mix it down into the soil because this is what the worms will be feeding on, and turn this organic matter into houmous.
If your soil is very heavy and very waterlogged, you can help it become more free-draining by getting some supply bags. Mixing in gravel generously into the soil itself, either over the whole area or definitely at the base of planting holes, can help drain away from the water and not drown the roots. Dig deeply if possible to improve the soil more; it also helps the compost be more beneficial to the plants.
Lastly, you may want to improve the nutritional content of your soil by adding rock dust which is a volcanic rock and broken down into dust that contains lots of essential minerals.
If you are done with all of these preparations and improvisation, you are now ready to start planting.