Select a site that suits your plants' light requirements. Plants labeled as "full sun" require at least 4 to 6 hours of sun daily. Those labeled as "partial sun" do well in dappled sunlight. Plants that prefer "full shade" perform best in locations that receive very little direct sunlight.
Plants appreciate moist, not soggy, soil. If your soil is heavy or claylike, improve it by mixing in organic matter such as peat moss, dehydrated manure or sand.
Plants can't absorb the nutrients they need if the soil does not have the proper pH level. While most plants prefer a neutral soil (pH 6.5-7.0), plants such as azaleas and blueberries require an acidic soil (pH 5.5-6.0). You can test your soil's pH yourself using a soil test kit or contact your county or state agriculture extension service.
Loosening the Soil
Loosen the soil before planting. For perennials and bulbs, loosen the soil 3 times the width and the height of the pot/root system and for trees and shrubs at least 11⁄2 -2 times.