Our new mini cultivator was surprisingly effective at tearing up the grass, and cutting out the basic shape for the bed:
Eric followed behind me and raked up the grass and weeds. It did a better job than I expected, but it's not a rototiller, so I still had to turn over the soil by hand after I made the first pass with the cultivator:
Like all soil in this region, it's just tons of heavy clay and rock. I've added two 40 pound bags of gypsum, and will be adding sphagnum to make it more friable. I bought some composted manure to get started, and will probably get more this weekend. I am going to try to stick as closely as possible to organic methods. I might buy some ladybugs or mantises for pest control.
Also, I just like ladybugs and mantises.
Hopefully, my garden posts will be more colorful and interesting as the season progresses. But for now, look at all that cool dirt!