I also changed the layout and method of my garden this year too. Last year I tilled the soil and hoed weeds. This year I did not till. Instead I am using a deep mulch method based on lasagna gardening. You build up layers of organic matter, a very deep sheet mulch, and plant in it. This creates a very soft soil that you don't want to compact, so instead of planting in traditional rows I planted 4 foot wide beds separated by 2 foot wide walkways. I could probably get by with narrower walkways, you live and learn, but it works. This also divides my garden into 5 beds, which make rotating crops easy. Four of the beds are close to the house and one that is separated. The bed that is separated is planted with melons, gourds, pumpkins, potatoes, seed amaranth, and sorghum. None of these crops need daily observation, so they are perfect for a bed that is further from the house.
These changes have made my garden much more vigorous, enjoyable, and less work. The combination of better sun and lots of organic mater to feed the soil has produced a healthier, more vigorous garden. I have yet to harvest a tomato, we're getting close, but my tomato vines are taller and look better than what I grew last year. This week was fairly cool, but my tomato vines still grew 8". If all the fruit hanging right now ripens I will have a better harvest than all of last year, from fewer plants. That does not include the fact that last year I had problems with blossom end rot (BER), usually attributed to a calcium deficiency. I did not add any calcium, other than egg shells in to my compost. Yet there have not been any signs of BER. As I have said in a previous post I spend my time planting, training vines, and harvesting. There is a little weeding, but any of the other activities takes way more time even though most of my plants have yet to produce fruit, or ripe fruit. Making the beds 4' wide has worked well, but a shorter person might making their beds 3'-6" or even 3'. It is easy for me to pick 3/4 of the way across my beds from either side and I am able to plant more plants due to less square footage wasted to rows that you can walk/till in between. I think that relocating the garden closer to the house and deep mulch gardening are both great ideas and I would advise other gardeners to consider trying them.