The method is time consuming and requires a considerable amount of physical labour. To prepare a bed, start by edging the garden in the desired shape then remove whatever was growing in the spot before. If it was lawn cut out sections of sod with a spade and dig under them to remove. Try to remove only the uppermost layer of soil with the sod, because the richest soil is near the surface and you want to keep it. This is my technique, remove a chunk of sod, place in wheelbarrow and bang the piece against the inside edge of the wheelbarrow. This removes the soil which you will replace in the garden then discard the sod. Also this greatly reduces the weight of the sections for disposal. Removing weeds is positively paramount to successful gardens. Take your time and meticulously pull any weed or blade of grass from the soil. Keep your garbage bin close at hand and make sure the weeds are tossed in the garbage as they will rapidly blow back into the garden area or spread onto your lawn.
When removing sections of sod make sure to cut them in manageable sizes. This will enable the gardener to remove weeds with ease and in my experience is less time consuming than enormous chunks that are back breaking. The picture depicts the size of sod sections to remove. As you can see these are not gigantic pieces rather medium to small and easily handled.
Edge Weed Rake
Next go through the planting area with a weasel or garden fork and dig weed roots out of the soil. Then cover the soil with a good mixture of compost, topsoil and peat. I use the wheelbarrow to prepare this mixture then apply to the area.
After the mixture is dumped from the wheelbarrow to the garden area use a steel rake to level the bed. This will produce a rich dark brown effect and provide a good foundation for your plants.