Healthy soils cycle nutrients effectively, minimize runoff, retain water, and absorb excess nutrients, sediments, and pollutants. Have your soil tested for nutrient content, pH, soil composition, and organic matter content. (State universities may offer a soil test kit or soil testing services.) Very sandy soil, heavy clay, compacted soil, or extreme soil pH may impact which plants are right for your yard. For more information, check with your neighborhood nursery, a horticulturist, or other expert.