|can I start strawberry and raspberry plants indoors?? please recommend a good basic reference for vegetable gardening|
|Your raspberry and strawberry plants need to rest until springtime so I won't recommend forcing them to grow indoors. Unless you have a heated greenhouse where you can provide natural sunlight 8-10 hours a day and 70F plus temperatures, your plants will suffer a setback if you start them indoors and them move them outside.
The "Dummies" series includes a number of practical, no-nonsense, straightforward, and to-the-point books on gardening including introductory basic gardening ("Gardening for Dummies" by Michael MacCaskey ISBN 1-56884-644-4) as well as vegetable gardening, landscaping, houseplants, lawn care, roses, annuals, perennials, container gardening, flowering bulbs, herbs, and so on. They will help you get started and pursue your interests as they develop and they are available in most libraries and bookstores.
Another to consider is "Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens"
Each easy-to-follow guide to different types of small organic gardens in "Starter Vegetable Gardens: 24 No-Fail Plans for Small Organic Gardens" is complete with a list of materials and instructions. Even if you have never planted a seed before, this book will tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. The garden ideas were developed for small spaces, such as an urban balcony or the corner of a tiny yard. Bag gardens, vertical growing and growing vegetables as borders are covered. The book contains basic organic growing information so you can grow your own vegetables easily. The list price is $19.95
Best wishes with your garden.