Make yours an intensive vegetable garden this year. Go in for beds and forget those long skinny rows. In the backyard the only space you need is room for your hand or a hand-held hoe. For the rest, if your soil is rich enough, the plants can be spaced so that their outer leaves just touch when the plants are mature.
Make your beds just a little wider than your arm is long. This will allow you to comfortably reach into the center of the bed from each side.
Experience suggests that plants grow better in blocks than rows.
Their leaves form a complete canopy that shades the soil, moderating its summer temperature and trapping moist air that helps create a favorable environment (mi-cro climate) around the plants with fewer weeds.