Remove sod, weeds, rocks, and roots. Till in 6 inches of material from your compost pile or well-rotted mature for fertility and good soil structure. Get a soil test and amend the pH level, aiming for a neutral pH, if recommended.
Related: What To Do If Your Soil Is Too Alkaline
Wait to work the soil until it is no longer soggy, then add amendments if recommended by a soil test. Use a digging fork or broadfork to gently aerate the top few inches of soil.
Throughout The Growing Season
The Secret To Perfect Soil is that whenever a bed becomes empty, spread a half inch or so of compost over the soil and rake it lightly into the top 2 inches. Then aerate with a garden fork.
Related: Everything You Need To Know About Organic Fertilizer
Spread a 2 inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure on any beds being retired for the winter, there is no need to dig it in.
Watch Your Step
Refrain from walking on the soil and make beds narrow enough that you can reach into them from the paths.