Answer: Congratulations on your new home and your new garden. To prepare your soil for planting, you'll want to incorporate some organic matter to help loosen the soil. I usually spread 4-5" of organic matter such as compost, peat moss, aged-manure, or shredded leaves over the top of the bed and dig it in to a depth of 8-10 inches. Then plant your annuals and perennials. After planting, cover the bare soil with additional organic matter. A 2-3" mulch will help suppress weeds, slow water evaporation and moderate soil temperatures. In the spring you can dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer on top. A few years of incorporating organic matter will turn your dirt into rich garden loam. Your plants will thrive.
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