After living in Ohio for 50+ years, and gardening for over 40 of them, my main complaint was the nasty clay soil we had. Give me a break, that was pure heaven compared to what I have now in North Carolina. Clay soil in Ohio was like PlayDoh, you could form it into shapes and animals just like when you were a kid. Sure, it got mucky and dense but you could put a few additives in it and correct the problem in no time. It was dark, black/brown, and had a rich earth smell to it, enriched by worms burrowing through and other necessary, and some not so necessary, insect life.
North Carolina soil, well, isn't. It is a bright orange color, much like brick, and almost impossible to penetrate. If you manage to loosen some, you can add a bit of water and form it into a brick. Let it set in the sun for a couple of days and you can start building a house. It becomes so dense you can't break it with a hammer and don't even think about finding a worm or any insect burrowing about for that matter.
My first attempt at building a garden was in a desolate area that separated our driveway from our neighbors yard. It sloped miserably and was nothing but weeds and orange mud. To stop the mud from eroding into the neighbors lawn [it was one of their peeves and they even reported us for it, like it was our fault it rained] was to put landscape timbers around the area. Then I attempted to plant some perennials. Unfortunately I wasn't privy to any TNT to loosen the compacted soil.
Finally I went to Lowe's and purchased 3 bales of peat moss, 20 bags of manure, 20 bags of coarse sand, 25 bags of fine pine mulch that we used as a planting medium in Ohio, and 20 bags of Miracle Grow Flower & Vegetable Garden Soil. Then I started my mixing process on a large tarp. I wasn't even going to pay heed to the underlying soil in the garden area, hoping I could incorporate this next mixture into the holes I would be digging. By the way, I couldn't rototil the area because all our utility lines are buried here and not very deeply, so I found.
It took two weeks of backbreaking digging to plant a dozen shrubs and two dozen perennials. I also put in two walkways which required no digging at all, thank heaven. Then I overlayered the entire area, sans walkways, with the left over mixture I had brewed up. There wasn't that much extra since I had used most of it to treat the holes I had dug.
That fall I overcast the area with ten more bags of Miracle Grow F & V Garden Soil and when the leaves from the neighbors tress blew over in the fall I left them there. Spring came and I added two more bales of peat moss, 20 more bags of pine mulch and 20 more bags of Miracle Grow Soil.
That was three years ago. The growth in my garden is so dense now I am down to 10 bags of pine mulch, just to pretty it up, but first I always add my 15 bags of Miracle Grow Soil. In fact, this spring I made a trip back to Ohio and stopped at the nursery where I used to work and picked up two dozen more perennials [like I really had room for them!] and when I went to dig in my great new, additive rich, soil, I found worms and a slew of other insects scurrying about.
I can actually dig in the soil with my bare hands now, grab up handfuls and inhale that rich earthy aroma. Sure, that nasty brick orange soil is still down there but it is changing too. I know the other additives I used like the peat, pine mulch, and sand helped break up the soil but the addition of the Miracle Grow has given me a garden that people actually stop to stare at when they pass by. I've got Lilies that are 5' tall, Iris that are 4' tall, a butterfly bush that measures 7' tall by 5' wide, my Bachelor's Buttons, Coneflowers, and Phlox can't be rivaled. I owe it all to my wonderful Miracle Grow Flower & Vegetable Garden Soil.
From someone that used to be a mulch hound I'm just about to the point of spreading nothing more than my Miracle Grow Soil and enjoying the dark, rich color it gives the garden. What little ground you can see that is. I was never a proponent of Miracle Grow Liquid Plant Food. It was a quick fix, like putting a bandaid on an amputation. I always did, and always will, use Osomocote time released granules for my feeding but I can swear to this, I will never stop using that Miracle Grow Soil. In fact, I'm longing to start a couple more gardens around the house since that 40' x 60' area is full now.