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Dig a small hole about 2 feet deep to see what sort of soil and conditions you have. Then amend your soil as needed.

Control severe weed problems by mowing and then spraying the area with a non-selective herbicide, such as Round Up. Wait three days to proceed. Or,
as a non-chemical alternative, mow the area, dig it up or till it up. Then let it set for two to three days to allow annual seeds to germinate. Hoe or till a second time.

Spread 4 to 5 inches of compost and any other soil additives over the top of the area you have for the bed, grass and all.

Till or dig up the soil to at least 18 inches deep, 24 inches deep if you're planting perennials.

Toss out any hunks of sod or tufts of grass that appear on the surface.

Rake smooth with a ground rake and plant your flowers.

Install edging, if desired. Edging isn't mandatory but it does help keep out the grass and other weeds while creating a neat appearance.