@Stacey: Add lots of three things: Compost, compost and compost. :) Seriously, you need humus (broken-down organic materials that was once leaves or other plant material and manures and so on, all nice and composted now) to improve the “tilth” of your soil and its moisture-holding capacity. Definitely start collecting and composting leaves (you can mow over the piles to pre-shred them and speed decomposition) or inquire whether a local collection site offer free leaf mold and other composted materials you can get lots of and work in.
@Accidentalartisan: I am all about pre-composted mulches…nothing raw used here (especially not fresh wood chips). Definitely age them first. My mulch FAQ pages goes into detail:
As for using wood chips (even aged one) to fill “no-till” beds, hmmm…do you mean on the very top as the final layer of mulch? Not as the growing medium, I presume. Even Ruth Stout (famed no-till type who mulched nonstop) didn’t heap up the chips as I understand her method, but rather used other garden wastes that would break down nicely in the the underlying soil. Read about her here: