Any garden or planter is only as successful as its soil – the 'home' plants depend on for nourishment and protection. To give your plants the best possible growing conditions while warding off weeds and pests, you need to give their soil a little care and attention. Buying commercial topsoil does not mean that it will contain everything your plants need. Soil should be light and crumbly, giving roots the chance to expand freely. If it’s too dense, add peat moss to lighten it. You also need to ensure soil has the proper nutrients, so treat it with an organic fertilizer and add compost you can make yourself in your garden. Over time, soil will need to be replenished with 'green manure' (the remains of fast-growing plants) and rock phosphate, as well as – of course – ongoing TLC. Your efforts will be swiftly rewarded as your plants grow, thrive, and blossom.