Re: Ground cloth above ground garden bed
You can garden in just about any fashion that suits your needs. Raised beds can be done with just about anything, just depends on your budget, ingenuity, and how much work you want to put into it.
I personally would not use weed cloth or anything like that, it is an unnecessary expense because weeds and grass cannot germinate if below a depth of just a few inches. That means that the soil you're going to fill your beds with will choke out whatever is under them.
Whether or not raised beds are feasible depends on how much space you've got. If its just a few square yards, then beds will work great, if it's a larger area, then standard practices will work better, you just have to amend the soil.
You can turn dead soil into fertile loam in short order just by applying copious amounts of organic materials such as compost and/or fresh manure. I would start with 4" - 6" of material spread across the area, then work it in as deeply as possible with a rototiller. You can plant in this immediately, or better, you do this in the fall and not only work in the material, you apply another 4" - 6" over the top and let it stand for the winter. Come spring, work the ground again and you're ready to plant.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!