After seeing how well the hugelkultur beds were doing, I decided to make another bed but with just digging in massive amounts of woodchips.
The idea is to see if you can get a good first year harvest from this and then in future years will there be enough organic matter in the soil so that it becomes a good no till bed.
I dug down about 1 to 1.5' deep, double dig style. Then I added wood chips to the dirt pile and raked it back in. The bed rose about 1'+ after doing all this.
This picture shows the bed after being prepared. The "density" of woodchips on the surface, is the same as the density of woodchips added to the entire 1' to 1.5' depth.
This seemed like a lot of wood chips to me at the time. However now when I dig into the bed to take a look at the soil, it does seem like much less wood chips than I remember. Next time I'll add a lot more.
The bed was planted in mid June with transplants and direct seeds of corn & pole beans. Here it is on July 10th. So far it looks quite well. The plants are not quite as green as they should be, but I'll be adding more liquid fertilizer shortly. I have been able to keep squash, cukes, & tomatoes in hugelbeds dark green, so keeping this woodchip bed green shouldn't be an issue.
No compost, no leaf mulch, and no store-bought fertilizer was added. The only additions were wood chips and HLF (homemade liquid organic fertilizer).