When we first started gardening we started by planted all our vegetables and herbs in rows...It was very hard keeping up with weeds and we nearly gave up until we found out about square foot gardening or raised beds. We grow everything in raised beds all our vegetables, herbs and our fruit. Here are a few reasons why.....
We usually had big puddles in our beds after it rained our drainage has improved.
Soil warms up faster and dries out more quickly....this means we can plant earlier in the spring.
We don't walk up to our plants so we don't disturb the soil.
Our beds are smaller so we can reach the weeds easier....when we pull weeds it is easier to clean a whole bed in a matter of minutes instead of hours.
We can build our beds in the fall and have them ready for spring...remember we add lots of compost to all our beds in the fall.
We can plant our plants closer together so this leaves little room for weeds to grow.
Okay what are the disadvantages of raised beds?
Our garden beds dry out in the heat of the summer. (which means extra watering) (you could add extra mulch or even a soaker hose during this time.)
The paths down the middle get rather weedy.... we just mow between our beds and I kind of like the look. I have friends that pile up leaves or use straw to get rid of the weeds. I myself do not like this look so I would rather mow between the paths.
I wanted to remind you.... we don't use treated lumber for our raised beds so they do need to be replaced after a few years. I know lots of people that use cinder blocks which work great but they are a little expensive for me.