|Start raised bed by spreading black plastic and weighing down edges.|
|Three months or so later, uncover.|
Weigh down the ends and sides with bricks, stones, logs, or dead rabbits. Not serious about that last, and they don't keep long enough.
|Till or turn over soil.|
When uncovered, all of the grass and weeds were dead. Oddly, there was green moss. I consider that about the same as peat moss and worked it into the soil.
We have a family of moles in our yard. There are annoying, and dig where I'd rather they don't. I accomodate to them by lining the bottom of raised beds with chicken wire, which keeps them out. For a while, I collected mole-hills in the wheelbarrow to use as the base soil in raised beds. Now I usually use a garden rake to smooth molehills and fill in low spots in the yard.
As it turned out, moles loved the black plastic. They tunnelled throughout the beds, such that all that remained was finely tilled soil and a few patches of moss. I started with a hand tiller, but it was easier to use a garden rake - type - hoe to break up the soil and smooth it. Very easy.
Note, I turned over another bed last month, and the soil was much tougher. There was no mole-assistance with that bed. These moles were my buddies. Moles are carnivores, so I imagine there are no bugs, slugs, or caterpillars in the bed. Didn't see any. No earthworms, either, but they will return.