Raised beds worked great for me. I had 8 of them and grew about 25 tomato plants and about 60-80 pepper plants. I made them out of 2x10's so they would hold more soil. I spaced the tomatoes & peppers off the square foot method. So a 4'x4' bed could hold 16 peppers. Larger plants like squash/zucchini need more space and they are easy to grow too. Mine were all along a fence so the backs of the beds were tomatoes and in front were peppers. I also had a timed drip irrigation system to water it all since during the summer in GA it is hot as hell and needed to water almost daily.
So I say setup a few raised beds as you get the most plants in smaller area. Grow what you will eat. For peppers I pretty much grew bell peppers, banana, jalapeno, and cherry. For tomatoes I only grew 2-3 varieties as I found many tasted alike. Cherokee purple were my favorite. Peppers grow like crazy and can take the heat. Tomatoes you have to be a little more careful about getting them water.
For herbs, they grow well in pots or in raised beds too. Just make sure if you grow mint to put that in a pot by itself. That stuff is like a weed and will choke out anything it is planted next to. I pretty much just grew mint, basil and rosemary.
I miss growing stuff as I did for 4 years, but moved and might try and start up another garden soon.
Oh and good soil. Good soil is key. For me it was almost as easy as get good soil, put plants in the dirt and water. Almost that easy