We started a kitchen garden from scratch, and in my estimation it took 3 years to get our soil to the point where it had sorted itself out, had healthy microorganisms, and did not need tools to work it. Your soil should be fluffy and tillable with your bare hand. Later, we converted to raised beds bottomed with local dirt and topped with organic soil from the big box store. Though started with a bit of expense, this was much easier to deal with, was instantly fertile, was easier to weed, and much more productive. Stay away from manure or hay, unless they come from your place and you know for sure they are unadulterated. Wood chips are great, though you won’t find anyone recommending that in the literature – they make a good mulch and provide a substrate for microorganisms. Every year is different.