First, the idea behind the veggie garden was my DH's. His idea of a veggie bed it a long wide rectangle, with chicken wire (or similar fencing), that you walk down the rows and weed, weed, weed.
1) I hate fences 2) All vegetables and no flowers? ARE YOU NUTS??? All of this lead me to start reading up on companion planting, also how to build a better mouse trap, oops! vegetable garden.
Since I had already tilled the plot out, and the weeds started growing back, this was a perfect excuse to try lasagna beds. Which is basically no till gardening. I'mm tilling out the trenches because our soil in so hard.
You soak newspapers in water and lay them down thick (6,7,8 pages) over your proposed site, this kills the weeds. Then cover it in layers of your organics, peat, manure, humus, leaves...now you have built a raised bed, without the building.
You can use this method in Spring to quick jump your beds, or in my case Fall, and the beds will be good to go in Spring. I'll use Fall clean up to help build the beds up and add the top layer in Spring. Instead of fencing, I am going to try to use different flowers and herbs as pest and animal repellants (I am keeping fencing by JIC)Again, I will find out in Spring if this works too. DH thinks I'm nuts anyway, he doesn't quite get the idea. What I like about doing this in Fall, is I can take a little more time in buying and hauling peat, compost and manure, I'd rather spend 10-15 bucks a week than all at once in Spring. We don't get the paper delivered, so I can go to my mom's and take the ones she saves again at my lesuire. And it's also become quite the conversation piece.
What I did was break the original bed up into 8 sections (5 1/2 x7 1/2 apprx.) and tilled out trenches around each section so I can comfortable walk around each bed and not have to step in it and compact the soil. You use the dirt from the trenches and pull it up into the individual beds to make the "raised" part. I will use recycled boards for the trenches so I am not walking in mud after it rains. Also the hope is with obvious paths, no one will walk through the beds since the paths are so close. It's also suppose to make crop rotation easier, I guess I will find out.