Answer: The best thing to do is remove any existing vegetation either by digging it out by the roots or using an herbicide containing glyphosate. (Read and follow all of the label direcions.) Then run some basic soil tests to see if you need to add lime to adjust the pH and to check the fertility levels. Now loosen the soil down about ten inches and work in organic matter such as compost, well rotted and aged stable manure/bedding, or rotted down autumn leaves. (Or you can do a raised bed instead, this may be easier if you want to plant just a small area.) Finally, level and rake the area smooth. You are ready to plant. Your local county extension should be able to help you with the soil tests and interpreting the results.
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