Hi everyone. Newbie gardener here. I recently moved to North Idaho from the Midwest, and last year I planted my first vegetable garden EVER (never had room for one before). In my 2009 "starter garden" I planted peas, beans, beefsteak tomatoes, cucumbers, and cilantro. The peas did great until they developed a powdery white mildew later in the summer. The beans were delicious, but the yield was low. Tomatoes didn't ripen until September, so the season was short-lived. A neighbor gave me some squash plants that flowered but did not bear fruit. And I got exactly one cucumber. It was delicious. :-)
This year I've planted seedlings indoors: so far peas, beans, cherry tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, and strawberries. I've heard that the seedlings should not go out into the garden until May at the earliest. What about peas and lettuce--can they be planted earlier?
About my garden: I have raised beds in a fenced enclosure. My property is on an east-facing mountainside and very rocky--had to bring in soil as I don't have very much soil to begin with. Last fall I mixed horse manure into the soil, and I've also been composting. The garden gets strong morning and midday sun, then the mountain overshadows it by late afternoon. I don't require a huge yield because there are only two people in my household, but I would like to learn how to can and preserve produce this year.
All this to say, I welcome any and all gardening advice you can offer. Believe me, nothing is too basic to tell me! I have a few good gardening books (Sunset's Western Garden Book, Month-By-Month Gardening in Idaho, The Pitiful Gardener), but nothing beats the counsel of those who've been there.
Thanks so much! Looking forward to participating in this forum.