I chose a raised bed because my yard is full of large rocks and whatever else the construction workers threw in there to level the ground. (I've found plastic utensils, bottle, condom wrappers (eeeeew!) and other miscellaneous items.)
I'm the first to admit I have no clue whatsoever about gardening. I can grow some container herbs which I do almost every year. But growing things like tomatoes and lettuce? NO IDEA. I'm going into this with the hope that Mother Nature will be kind and forgive my ignorance.
For instance. The Roma tomato plants you see below? I had no idea I needed to stake them. I puffed my chest out and got all excited and showed this picture to my Dad and he's all aren't they planted too close? and where are the stakes? And I was all huh? See, I told you! I know nothing! So I'm going to move one of the plants farther away from the other and get a stake, whatever that means.
Also, those rocks? Are my fancy way of marking where I have things planted. I hadn't though about that until after I was all ready to plant things. I planted cucumbers (for the boys because I'm not a fan) and two kinds of Swiss chard. I read the directions on the seed package and I'm tracking everything in a notebook so I know when to prune, harvest and thin out. Not in that order of course. I'm still waiting for other seeds to arrive such as onions, broccoli and a few others. I'm sure I'll place them to closely and over water them. But it's all about the learning curve. Or in my case, a brand new way to do things.
If all else fails I'll just throw a bunch of magic beans in there and hope for a miracle.