The choice of soil is immensely important to your vegetable garden; the dirt around the backyard just won't do unless properly amended. Even still, you may find that little bugs of all sizes and shapes have moved into that rich dirt you so carefully amended. My spinach seeds popped up one day and were mown down the next. Which is why I love containers. They keep out a lot of pests that seedlings just can't be roommates with and survive to tell their offspring about.
This year and last, I chose to buy Kellogg's Patio Plus All Natural Outdoor Potting Soil. Included in each yummy bag are forest compost, worm castings, bat guano, and chicken... castings. Good stuff. Really. You should have seen the smile on my face as I read the ingredients.
Since it's such great dirt, I only add organic bone meal to the mix. Yes, bone meal makes me happy too. Bone meal promotes strong root growth and did wonders for my tomatoes last year.
Buying your soil (and planting in large containers or grow beds) almost guarantees gardening success. If you choose to amend your soil, you'll need to find out what your soil lacks and make up for the deficiency, which can be an extremely complicated task.
Love your soil and your soil will love you back. Really. I haven't quite gotten up the nerve to use blood meal yet. Maybe that'll make me do a happy dance next year.
What do you do to prepare your soil for spring planting?