Dig a hole in your garden area about the size and depth of a large coffee can (8 in. x 8 in. x 8 in.) and fill it with water. Time how long it takes for the water level to drop. If in one hour the water level has dropped by 1/2 in., you can figure the soil drains an inch in two hours. At this rate, the garden soil will handle 12 in. of water in a 24-hour period, making the ideal depth of this garden 12 in.
Turn old newspaper into seedling pots. They can be planted directly into the ground as the paper will eventually biodegrade. You can form them by wrapping the paper around a jamjar or similar, or there are 'devices' that can be bought to make the pots. I think using the gardening supplement that comes with the weekend papers would be quite a nice touch :D