Who is J. R. Love? A great movie actor? No. Dr. Love was one of the greatest soil teachers at UW Madison. He made us all tell the 10 types of soil by the feel of our fingers. He truly made us appreciate what good dirt was.
A garden soil needs to have structure. Good soil when it is of the proper moisture and structure will feel like a sponge and crumble in your hand.
To get better soil structure we need organic matter and to do everything we can to enhanse earth worms. Manure and compost do a very good job of this and should be worked into the soil before you plant.
Cocoa nut shells are also very good as they are easy to work with. They are excellent to put down after you plant but do not put to deep a layer on the soil after you plant as they will mold.
Good soils hold nutrients and water and release them over time which is exactly what the plants want.