Despite the fact that our summer garden was an almost complete loss (we do have summer squash, good old reliable zucchini!) we went forward with a fall garden this year, but we decided to experiment with a different method of bed making. Instead of adding some compost to the top and tilling it all in we sheet mulched the entire bed.
First, we did no tilling, we did mow down the weeds and old plants, but the ground was not disturbed. Then we added a layer of cardboard (thanks Amazon and Costco). Over that about four inches of straw (to help absorb and store water). Then over the entire thing six inches of rotted manure. This is a permaculture method, I plan on talking about it more as time goes on. In this I planted peas, beets, lettuce, cabbage and kale. With the exception of the peas and lettuce, the plants are doing fabulously. I believe it is too rich for the peas, who do well in poor soil and the lettuce, well my family of quail enjoyed it very much!