Young Caucasian rural man planting garlic in the ground at his farm.

Test the soil

When you pick the garden location get the soil tested for pH and nutrient availability. The best time to test and prepare the garden soil is in fall. The second-best time is in spring, a couple of weeks before you plan to plant the garden. Some gardeners add compost or peat moss to improve water drainage in the soil. The should be loose when you pick it up in your hand, free from toxins.

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