Pretend you are a plant. Pretend you are standing barefoot on a NYC sidewalk. Now imagine standing in the sand on a beach in Hawaii. Which feels better? That's similar to how it feels for a plant to grow in soil well worked vs. hard compacted soil. Veggies are essentially crybabies and need you to do the work for them in the soil so they can focus on expanding above the soil. The harder they have to work getting through the soil, the less they can do up top. So make 'em happy and they will repay the favor. Essentially, if you can plant the starter plants barehanded, you have done your job. If you need a tool to plant them then you probably will not get the most out of your garden. Loose fluffy dark soil with lots of semi-rotted organic matter is what they need. We sell loose fluffy garden soil that you can veneer over the top of existing soil or you can turn over existing soil with a pitchfork or rototiller. Incorporating peat moss or rotted leaves or rotted wood chips is good. Soil pH should be 7. You really need to mulch the top with organic matter of some sort to control weeds. There is a picture of how far you should be able to shove your arm into fresh soil in our topsoil section in this website. Conclusion: pretend you are a plant-Would you want to live in your soil?
David Benjamin- horticulture degree North Carolina State University graduated 1983, has worked at the nursery since 1976. Somewhat tired of eating grocery store food.