I love raised bed vegetable gardening. Raised beds have many benefits. If properly (and minimally) taken care of, there are few weeds, nutrients and water can be conserved, and growing organically is easier. In addition, a raised bed can be put on most surfaces, and since soils must be added, you have the ability to mix and develop your own soil which will suit your needs.
I read a lot about soil and experimented with soil mixtures for decades until I read the, All New Square Foot Gardening: The Revolutionary Way to Grow More Food in Less Space (2nd edition) book by Mel Bartholomew. Now, square foot gardening techniques are fine for people who grow what they eat and don’t preserve a large number of vegetables, but I don’t use the technique as it is written by Bartholomew. I do use use his soil mixture, however.
Mel’s soil mixture is a little expensive to initially make (or buy pre-made), but it is easy to make, good for most plants, and my plants seem to love it. There are only three ingredients: compost, medium-grained vermiculite, and peat moss. Even easier: When you mix the first batch of the soil mixture, you use equal amounts of each ingredient. How simple is that?
I also use Mel’s suggestion of making the beds no wider than you can reach without having to step inside them. If you don’t step in them and compact the soil, you promote a light, airy soil which needs little work in the future. My beds are never more than 4 feet across. You just plant your plants, and when they are exhausted, you pull them up, add compost, and replant the garden. As you can see by the photo, the plants love it!
Mel Bartholomew’s techniques really work. I suggest that you read his newest book which was published after he perfected some of his techniques further than what was in the first book. Use some or all of his ideas, and I think you might be surprised at how much nicer your garden might be. My garden is a hybrid design between Mel’s ideas and the ideas of a couple of other gardeners… more on that at a later date! Happy Gardening!