I decided to have a square foot garden this year, I am not doing it exactly like Mel did in his book but I did use some of his ideas...I lay it out in square foot sections but I use my own mix of manure, compost, etc and I used hay under my beds,,so it will gradully compost and add to the soil,,,meanwhile keeping the weeds down,,I also mulch with hay everywhere..in the middle of the boxes and around the plants. I learn to use hay when I did the Ruth Stout style of gardening when we lived in the country,,,Never had to weed,,It was wonderful but we no longer need that much produce so I decided to go this route.
I built my boxes, four feet by 12 foot....and about 8 inches deep. We built them, on top of a layer of hay, and then filled with a soil mixture we purchased from a garden center,,,it is the mix they use and has compost, peat moss, lime and other things that I am not sure of but it works so well for them...I added ten year old manure and stirred it all in.
11 hours ago