Getting started: Knowing the type of soil
Soil that sticks together whe you press it probably has a lot of clay in it. This causes problems for good drainage of water to happen.
Soild that does not stick together and has much more air in it has too much sand. It does not hold the nutrients the plants need to survive well.
Loam is the best kind of soil, not as sticky as clay and not too sandy. You can add compost or an organic soil amendment, such as leaves, compost, horse manure, bat guano or pre-packaged items from the local nursery that have nutrients. Always follow the directions on the package when using pre-packaged amendments. Soil amendments and different fertilizers can help the soil get better. Soil can either be alkaline or acidic, but what you want is some of each.
Most plants need an average of 1 inch of water every week. You should try to water your plants earlier in the day, so the sun can help dry off any water left on the plant. If you see a plant drooping, be sure to water it, because some plants wilt and do not recover if they dry out.
Putting a much around the base of plants can help hold water for the plants and keep weeds away. It is also useful for enw and tender plants during cold months.