Organic matter is the elixir of life for the plant world. More is generally better. How much more? A large bag (1 Ft3?) is generally sufficient for planting a two gallon shrub or a flat of annual flowers. That bag of compost will cover 162 square feet (10’x16’) with a two inch layer. That is a lot of bags if you have a substantial food garden or perennial border! Bulk on the other hand avoids the bags and is a more appropriate scale.
Garden retailers offer compost made from spent mushroom soil, brewery waste and occasionally leaf mold. The last is often free through your municipality. Unfortunately, what is free sometimes lacks quality. Plastic waste, wood that will not decompose or stone require hand picking or screening. Whether native soil is better suited for a potter’s wheel or a beach, organic matter is the solution to its improvement.
Contact the garden helpline for more information (585) 473-5335