Answer: For a vegetable garden, it is most important to add ample organic matter to the soil. Compost is the best thing to add. After that, use an organic mulch to help add organic matter on an ongoing basis. Also consider using a winter cover crop to add organic matter.
You would also want to run some basic soil tests to check fertility and soil pH. This will allow you to customize your fertilization based on the test results. There are many different organic fertilizers, you would want to use what is appropriate to provide nutrients that need to be supplemented. (You do not want to over fertilize or under fertilize.) You would also add lime as indicated by the tests so that the plants are able to use the nutrients most effectively.
For starting a new lawn from scratch, removing existing weeds is critical. Then loosen the soil down about six inches and work in organic matter such as compost. Again the soil tests are critical in guiding your fertilization and if indicated by the test results, adding lime. The best time of year to start a new lawn is late summer to early fall. So you have time to run the tests and begin your soil preparation.
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