starting a garden
i'm looking for advice on starting a garden from scratch. it would be in the back yard of a lot that is east west facing. there is a large maple tree in the yard. i don't know the condition of the soil at present. there is a layer of leaves on the grass which has been there since the fall and the soil has not been worked for many years.
my question is when should i start to prepare the area for the garden, what would be a good spot for the garden in the yard, i.e. how far from the tree, the house faces to the west should the garden be near the house etc ... any tips are greatly appreciated.