soil preperation for next year

I have the CRAPPIEST soil ever, but i think with a lot of tender care, and LOTS of fertilizer, i could make it workable. all my crops are growing very slow this year, and i think its due to their malnutrition from the soil. what advice could anyone give to help me prepare the soil for next year (i.e. different minerals and vitamins needed to incorporate into soil for good farming) thanks!
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A little info might help, like for instance where you are, your weather conditions, soil type, and the type of things you're trying to grow. In what way is your soil so bad? clay? stony/sandy? polluted?
Anyway, let's assume general purpose growing and not in too extreme an environment, when the growing season is over for this year, since you are sure it's malnutrition, I would put about a 6" layer of stable manure on it, the older the better, but since it's going to have time, it won't be that critical. Dig it in or cover it with plastic sheeting or old carpets etc, and next spring you should have something better than you did this year. As a general rule you can't have too much humus.
And get a compost heap or two started ASAP.:-))
HTH Steve
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i live in the S.F bay area, CA, so the weather conditions aren't very extreme, although i do get some wind where i live. I planted things like squash, red peppers, cucumbers, basil, chard, tomatoes, corn, italian beans, and snap peas. My soil is very rocky with lots of clay in it (how do i find out my soil type?). i heard that nitrogen is very important to incorporate into the soil, but how do i incorporate it, given that i need it?
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