To enjoy more success with any plantings, gardeners want soil that has the right texture and ph level. How do you know? What do you do?
Take a sample of soil from your yard about 3" down. To determine the soil type, do a "roll test". This is done by rolling small amount of dirt in your hand. If it sticks together like Play-Dough, your soil is towards the clay side. If it does not stick together and is a gritty texture, it is toward the sand side. If it falls apart in your hands and has little grit, it is toward the dirt side.
Gypsum can be added to soil to break up the clay. This will provide better drainage for your plants. Organics such as composted manure can also improve the texture.
Take a sample of soil from your yard about 3" down. Use a do-it-yourself soil Ph testing kit or a Ph meter. The result will show if your soil has a low Phd (acidic) or a high Ph (alkaline).
To Raise Ph - add lime (see bag for instructions)
To Lower Ph - add cottonseed meal or a soil acidifier (again see product instructions)