First thing you need to do with your garden soil is to get a soil test. Results of the soil analysis will guide you for what you need to add to correct the pH and boost deficient nutrients.
A soil rich with organic matter is considered to be best for plant growth. It is a good gardening practice to mix compost into the soil at the start of the gardening year. It enhances the soil’s physical condition, resulting in improved drainage, increased moisture retention and better aeration. Compost compliments soil with organic matter that contains plant nutrients and act as a fertilizer.
Based on specific plant requirements you should add extra nutrients, fertilizers, and additives. For indoor as well as outdoor plants bat and seabird guano provide fast- and slow-release nutrients. It is a nematocide. Bone meal is high in phosphate and good for bulbs and root crops. A blood meal is nitrogen-rich dried powdered animal blood and builds leafy green plants. It also helps in controlling moles, squirrels, and deer. Cottonseed meal is a high-nitrogen, slow-release fertilizer that also adds organic material to the soil.
As topsoil dressing, you may also apply corn gluten meal-a pre-emergent herbicide. It helps control crabgrass and small weeds. You should apply it when seeds are germinating. It will release nitrogen by decomposing. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate – magnesium and sulfur in a highly soluble form. Magnesium is essential for chlorophyll production which makes plants bushy and green. It helps seeds germinate and improves phosphorous and nitrogen uptake.
Fish emulsion, powder, and meal contain many slow release micronutrients. Kelp and seaweed products are rich with sea minerals including trace elements, amino acids, vitamins, and hormones. These are good for indoor plants, houseplants, outdoor plants, seedlings, and transplants.
Milorganite is a biosolid made from composted dried sewer sludge. It provides nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. If used as topsoil dressing it repels rabbits, voles, squirrels and deer. You should not apply this to the on root vegetables as it may contain heavy metals, pathogens, and salts.
Mycorrhizae are beneficial fungi in the soil that work together with plant roots. Mycorrhizae are critical to providing nutrients and moisture to plants. Miracle-Gro offers several highly soluble quick-release fertilizers that fill different plants’ needs. Osmocote acts as a slow-release resin-coated fertilizer.
Many gardeners prefer using sawdust and wood chips in their gardens but only decomposed sawdust should be applied to the lawn and garden. Wood ashes contain phosphorous and potassium but are alkaline and therefore avoid it using around acid-loving plants like azaleas.
Red worms produce worm castings and it has excellent water holding capability. The water when released is full of rich nutrients. It is good for landscape and houseplants.
You must note that the soil in your garden must be fixed prior to growing anything and it is always better to prepare in advance.