Using Soil
Use a good soil mixture, incorporating fertilizer and vermiculite, or as recommended in a gardening book. Ask gardeners in your area (with similar soil conditions) what works best for them. Soil, fertilizer, and something for drainage, are all home deliverable, so you may buy large quantities but dole it out in small pails to minimize lifting. Soils should not be too sandy-adding more rich soil will balance it. Too much clay won't allow for good drainage, so add sand, rocks, or vermiculite-even hemlock bark mulch to unpack clay. (Do not use cedar mulch near vegetables; it's toxic.) Soil should be fluffy. Top the whole bed or container with mulch to keep moisture in and prevent plant leaves from getting soggy on cloudy days or burning in hot weather.