At the beginning of April, my wife and I set up some raised planters to make it easier for her to garden. We used some horse troughs because it was cheaper than buying redwood. Here is a link to the first post where we show what we did, Some Easy to Make Raised Planters.
My wife planted various seedlings she got from a local nursery. The soil that we used is mulch that my father (he is in his 90s) had made last year. He gets horse manure from his neighbor and mixes it with leaves and yard waste. The mixture then sits for at least a year. Once in a while, he turns it over with his backhoe. His neighbor has several horses and my father normally has 10 yards or more of mulch available all the time.
The tubs were filled with this mixture and nothing else was added. The plants have done very well. It is barely a month and we have been eating lettuce and Swiss chard. My wife cuts the leaves off and lets the plant stay in ground to grow new leaves. It has only been a few days and you can already start to see the new growth. This works well with most greens. The trick is to cut the leaves when they are fairly young, if you leave some leaves on to get old they will get bitter. If you do this, each plant should give you several cuttings.
Everything else in the garden is doing well and my wife loves the raised planters. The horse troughs have worked out so well, we will probably purchase a few more. Out yard is not very large and the soil is not the best, but this has worked out to be a good solution to let us grow a surprisingly lot of food in a small space.