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Soil

When soil is good, plants thrive, but when soil is bad -- well, fortunately, it can be fixed. To do that, you first have to understand what goes into soil, why soil can be difficult, and how to transform it into a growing medium that allows your plants to flourish. First, test your soil; that will determine what your soil has enough of and what it's lacking. Many homeowners have great soil to start with, while others are faced with soil that's too sandy or has too much clay. Amendments can help, including compost, manure, and peat; we offer a guide to how much to work in and how you can change your poor soil into great dirt. Even good soil can benefit from a few additions, including supplemental nutrients; here's how to achieve the best balance and give your plants the best growing conditions possible. While you can amend clay soil, you can also work with what you have by choosing plants that are more tolerant of this type of growing medium. Start with our recommendations of 25 beautiful plants that offer color and texture in the often slippery, solid soil that is clay.

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Follow these guidelines for working your soil for maximum quality.

Identify your soil type and then determine the best way to improve it.

A simple soil test will pinpoint what your soil lacks -- so you won't have to...

The polite phrase is "poor soil," but whatever you call it, you can...

Easy tests to determine what type of soil you have in your garden, plus how to...

Just because you have a garden doesn't mean you have good garden soil. Luckily...

Don't let clay soil keep you from having a beautiful garden.

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From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home an...

What to add to your soil to make it better and more productive.

Compost, well-rotted manure, and other forms of organic matter can improve jus...

Midsummer can be a challenging time for my front lawn ornamental edible...

Big, blank, shady walls are bullies in my garden. Limited by no sun, dry...

Want container gardens without the pain of regular watering? Planting...

Think one soil is the same as another? That's not the case. Knowing the answer...

Finally it is summer and with the coming of summer, we mark the beginning of...

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