Test the soil
You need to test the soil in order to find out its components. This will help determine the pH level of the soil but also find out how much nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium it contains. In order to test the soil, you can simply buy a home soil test kit from your local garden centre.
Adjust the pH of the soil
After finding out the pH of the soil, you are required to either increase or decrease depending on the type of plants you are growing. If the plant requires a higher pH, you can increase it by adding lime. In order to lower the pH of soil if the plant requires, you need to add peat moss or sulphur.
Adjust the nutrients of the soil
Next, you need to balance the nutrients of the soil. In order to increase the phosphorus level, you need to apply bone meal. In case the soil lacks nitrogen, you will have to add blood meal to the soil. If the soil is lacking potassium, prepare it with greensand.
Loosen the soil
In order to properly aerate the soil, you need to loosen it. By doing this you will be able to work with it easily.
Before starting planting, you need to kill off any weeds in the soil. You can do this with the help of black weed paper or an old bed sheet to cover the area.