Make sure you know what kind of soil and drainage you have, and work with it or amend it to accommodate the plants you want to grow. Find out what was added to your soil before you took possession. If the area has been stripped of topsoil or if chemicals have built up in the soil, you will have to improve the soil over a period of time.
Plant when pests are less evident.
A handy way to inoculate your soil against diseases is to plant marigolds and then rotate them from year to year. An added bonus: rodents don’t like them.
Learn to treasure the soil and approach it as a living creature rather than some dead stuff you clunk plants into. The more you are aware of the symbiosis between yourself and the soil, the more careful you will be with this miraculous substance.