Compost in Place
If you are putting in a native planting where you currently have turf grass you can compost in place.
1) Mow the turf grass at the lowest setting.
2) Cover the area with eight layers of overlapping newspaper or two layers of brown landscaping paper on rolls
(found at paint stores or paint departments at home improvement stores). Burlap or cardboard can be also be used. Do not use a fabric weed barrier as this will degrade over time and add plastic to the soil.
3) Cover paper with 3 to 4 inches of mulch.
Double shredded hardwood mulch works well. Do not use rock or dyed mulch. Wait at least two months before planting. Ideally, do this in the fall and plant in the spring or vice versa. In the fall, you can rakes leaves onto the area, then cover with paper and mulch.