It's the dirtiest little secret among gardeners: Soil provides the key to plant health and a garden's vitality. The type and quality of your soil affects not only the success of your garden, but how you'll spend much of your time working there.
Ideal soil offers a hospitable environment for plants in a blend of air, water, and nutrients. But the ideal loam, a humus-rich balance of silt, sand, and clay, eludes most gardeners. Even those who are fortunate enough to start with good soil must contribute to its improvement regularly because soil is a living layer of earth that changes naturally with time and the weather.
Follow these general guidelines in working your soil: