While it's possible to garden in nearly any soil, to get the best out of your plants you'll want to know the pH of the soil. When correct the pH will help the plants flourish. If the soil it is too acidic or too alkaline the plants may not thrive. Purchase a test kit and be ready to test as soon as the soil is prepared.
Plant stakes at 10-foot intervals, lengthwise and widthwise, in the garden by loosely pushing them into the ground.
Dig a hole at each stake that is 1 foot wide by 16 inches deep.
Hold a cup or container along the bottom of the hole against an inside wall. Scrape soil from the wall with a trowel, allowing it to drop into the cup. Collect approximately 2 tbsp. of soil.
Collect soil samples from each hole in the same cup. Mix the samples well and use this mixture to test the pH.
Refill the holes and smooth out the garden bed.