Step 1: Look on the Bright Side
Step 2: Remove the Sod
When removing the sod, measure the width of your lawnmower (or eyeball it at least) so you can leave those widths of grass between the rows. You will be able to kneel on the strip of grass when planting, weeding or dividing plants, thus preventing your knees from getting dreadfully muddy. Make sure that you can easily maneuver the mower to access the strips. You could even be creative and make a spiral labrynth garden, though that would take some fancy maneuvering with the sod cutter.
It took about 1.5 hours of sod kicker action and another 1.5 hours to drag the sod into the back yard for removal.
Step 3: Break Ground and Add Amendments
Step 4: Dig In
Also, since the rototiller often distributes the roots of perennial grasses and weeds, I was able to pull out the maturing weeds as I used the fork.
After raking the debris that didn't get incorporated, I got excited to put seeds in the ground!!
Step 5: Map Out Your Plantings
It is always a good idea to make a list of the vegetables and herbs you eat and cook with on a regular basis and a few that you would like to experiment with. This year, I used http://www.growveg.com to plan my garden. This web-based program allows you to see information about each vegetable and helps you to retain enough space in your plan between vegetables.
Have fun and enjoy your new, mudless-knee Farmville garden!! Maybe I'll add chickens next year... ;)