Most of the plant life prefers a particular type of soil, so it helps to identify the soil requirements before planting.
However, it is possible to improve most soil types with a regular application of organic matter (compost, manure, animal residue, etc) at the start of the season.
Here are several steps to improve the quality of the garden soil: Sand - Sandy soil is easily improved with the addition of organic matter.
A regular application of organic matter helps to bind the sandy particles to improve the nutrient and water retention.
The best time to introduce the organic material is at the start of the season.
Another option includes applying a two or three-inch layer of mulch (bark, pebbles, state chips, gravel, etc) to help reduce evaporation and hold moisture in the soil.
Silt - Silt soil has a common issue with high compaction, so it can help to include an organic material to improve the overall structure.
Add a two to three-inch layer of organic matter to the surface of the soil or fork in for improved results.
Similar to clay soil, try to avoid walking on silt since it is easily compacted.
If it is necessary to walk across the soil, use wooden boards to help with spreading weight and causing less damage to the soil structure.
Clay - The best time to work with the clay soil is in the autumn.
In the spring or winter, the clay soil is often too moist which makes it very difficult to work with.
Try to lift the large clogs of clay and break them down into smaller chunks.
Add in well-rotted compost or manure to make sure the soil is more manageable and beneficial for the plant life.
A compost mix will also be naturally inhabited by earthworms, which can further promote the quality of the soil.
Also, it can help to keep a good layer of organic matter in place to prevent the soil cracking and drying out in warm weather.
Clay soil may benefit in raised beds because this offers improved drainage qualities.
It can also eliminate a need to walk on the soil.
Also, avoid adding sand to the soil in an attempt to improve the structure, since this is likely to make it much worse.