My 2014 garden officially got underway last weekend, after I'd broken down the compost pile and deposited its contents on the raised beds in the garden. My strategy this time around is to smother all the weeds currently growing on the beds with the blanket of compost, then turn it all over in a few weeks to bury the compost and dead weeds, and bring up a nice layer of garden soil for the plants to get started in. By the time their roots reach the layer of compost, some 4-6 inches down, they'll be ready for the extra nutrients and moisture being held in the compost.
Here's a few photos of where I'm at so far. I have turned over a small area to get some peas and other early stuff started. I'll be doing more of that in the coming weeks as the seeds sprout and need to be transplanted. I prefer, whenever possible, to start my seeds in a bunch, then transplant them into rows once they sprout. This saves having to thin rows planted with seeds. Stretches my seed dollar and I think it's easier.
The pics (taken with an iPhone 5S, which has an amazing camera, and so easy to whip out when a good shot presents itself).
Here's the compost pile before I got too far into it. Note the yellow square. That's the same rock you see in the photo below:
There's about a yard left over, on the left. I'll dry it out, sift with that old milk crate, and use it to dress the plants later in the season.
Here's the general idea--smother the weeds with compost. Later, I'll put down weed-blocking fabric and wood chips in the walkways between the rows.
All tucked in.