If your friend is using using peat moss and vermiculite in a raised bed, maybe your soil is very hard or clay-like? To be honest your best bet for information on your local conditions would be your state master gardener program (google your state + master gardener program), or an independent (NOT big box store) garden center. Or your friend, I guess, if he has a healthy garden going on. Also you can get your soil tested pretty inexpensively.
I'd say if you have thick grass and healthy weeds and other growing things naturally, your soil is pretty good. If lots of bare spots and sparse natural growth, then probably not.
I have very good soil so mostly use what I have. When I buy it, I use two parts commercial soil to one part compost and I buy organic and locally sourced. Some plants like more acidic, some less, etc. But for the most part most vegetables and other plants will do fine in adequate dirt.
Almost every garden bed will benefit from a heavy layer of mulch. Conserves water, regulates soil temperature, controls weeds, breaks down and enriches the soil every year