Answer: Your plain old dirt can be turned into rich, loamy soil with the addition of organic matter. If you need additional soil to fill your planter bed you can purchase 3-way topsoil (contains compost, sand and garden soil). If you do this, mix your plain old dirt and the topsoil together, then spread a 4-5" layer of organic matter over the top and mix it in well. If you don't need to purchase topsoil to fill your bed, you can amend your plain old soil with 4-5" of organic matter. After planting, spread another 2-3" of organic matter over the bare soil to help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of next gardening season dig this organic matter into the soil and replace it with a new layer. A few years of incorporating organic matter into your plain old dirt will transform it into rich, loamy soil.
Best wishes with your new planter beds.
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