Answer: The first thing you need to do is run some basic soil tests so you know what your soil is (or is not) lacking. Your county extension (378-1327) should be able to help you with the tests and interpreting the results. You will probably need to add some amendments (possibly lime and/or fertilizer) based on the test results. It is also a good idea to add ample quantities of organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves, or aged stable manure and bedding to help improve the soil. Regular additions of additional organic matter plus the use of an organic mulch such as shredded bark will help to "feed" the soil on an ongoing basis as well as improve its ability to hold moisture and air -- both of which are important to plant health. In my experience, the most important thing you can do when starting a new garden is to add that organic matter, so don't skimp!
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