Turning Awful Dirt into a Garden
First, some background: Last year my husband and I bought a section of our neighbor's property to expand our back yard. The man who owned that property before was into construction, and stored a lot of big machinery on it. He'd laid down an awful surface of gravel and a kind of dirt that seems to compact. We had the yard landscaped, but due to lack of foresight we didn't have the landscaper tear up an area that we want to use for a garden. Needless to say, we can dig down about four inches but then we hit some solid type of soil that is nearly impossible to dig through. This stuff doesn't drain very well either.
So my question is, what's the best way to deal with this and turn it into a garden? I was thinking of putting box walls around the area that are about 12 inches high or so, throw some good soil on top, and plant. :) My husband doesn't think it'll drain well once it gets to the icky ground cover. He also says that using a home or rented tiller just won't get through that ground, it's too hard. We could try hiring someone to dig it up or till it up with maybe a professional tiller? We haven't done much with it this summer and it's currently covered in weeds, we'll need to get those killed off, too.
Thanks for any help. :)