Rock hard soil
Hi - can anyone help me find a tool or technique for dealing with rock hard soil?
I want to help a friend who has just moved into a new house. Her garden is small and consists mainly of patio, but has about 4 raised borders (each about 1m wide x 2m long). In addition, there's a separate area which is a combination of really bad lawn and borders (entire space about 3m wide by 5m long). Wherever there is soil it's completely compacted (?) and too hard for me to break through with a fork (plus my full body weight). I think the garden hasn't been touched for a number of years.
I want to help my friend get the garden into a state where the soil is fit for planting but we don't have the budget or the space to hire expensive machinery to break up the soil and turn it into something useable. Not afraid of hard work or a long term project - just don't have a clue where to start (except for resorting to a hammer and chisel) - very grateful for any suggestions or advice. Many thanks.