Prepare the Bed for Planting:
If you aren’t going to used raised beds (see below), you’ll need to clear out a space. You can do it the hard way by digging up all the grass and weeds, or if you aren’t in a hurry, you can use what’s called the Lasagna Method. Use a garden hose or rope and lay it out to mark the edge of the garden. Now, clear out all the grass and weeds. This is hard work and another reason to start small.
Next you’re going to amend the soil a bit. Mix in a good amount (like 4 or 5 inches on top of your existing soil) of good organic compost. Check to see if there is a compost site available in your county, where you can pick up free compost. If not, it's easy to find bagged compost at most big box stores. After the compost has been mixed in, rake over the entire area to smooth and level it out. Now you have a blank slate with which to plan out and plant your veggie bed. I love dirt and this part always excites me. And, yes, I realize I'm a little strange!