After over 60 years gardening, I have just had an epiphany. No more digging of any description, mulch mulch mulch!!!
Best mulch I have found is tree mulch, not bark but whole tree branches which must include leaves...
To cover weedy ground or grassed areas of a new garden, lay down a good covering of cardboard or newspaper, wet down well (at this stage as I had some rotted horse manure, I added a sparse layer of this on top of the cardboard) then a 6/8 inch layer of tree mulch as described. Leave for a few months before planting, just part mulch and plant...
If you want to plant almost immediately add a little good certified organic compost to the planting row/hole and water well. When plants have a bit of size, put mulch back round plants.
I have been amazed by the results, any weeds that do come through are very easy to remove, as you must avoid as much as possible mixing soil with the mulch, nitrogen is not robbed from the base soil by the breaking down of the mulch by our soil workers (worms, microbes fungi etc).
Think about the forest - the trees keep continually layering material which decays from the under-layers up in a never-ending cycle.
The photos show broadens 2 months after planting into unrolled tree mulch, asparagus mulched with a layer of hay and about to have mulch over the top to keep them happy 'til spring and kale, planted about 1 month ago next to the broad beans which have had dwarf sugar snaps planted among them about 1 month ago.