Easy Fix for Bad Soil
I can't seem to grow anything in our lousy soil. I've enhanced it with topsoil and water frequently, but even wildflowers refuse to sprout. What can I do?
—Norman Rosenberg, Incline Village, Nevada
Melinda: Try using compost. It will add organic matter to the soil, which improves drainage and increases the soil's ability to hold water. You can make your own compost or purchase it at a garden center. Work several inches of it into the top 6 to 12 inches of your garden soil. You should see some improvement during the first growing season, but it takes years to build good garden soil. If you don't want to wait, try creating raised beds instead. Use lumber, plastic timbers or large stones to build a raised garden, then fill it with 6 to 12 inches of quality topsoil. Voila! An instant garden.