If you'd like to know more about what grows well in your area and how and when to plant it - you can call your local Cooperative Extension Office, previously known as the Agricultural Extension Agency, and they can send you tons of material on what grows in your locality and when and how to grow it.
It's worth it if you have the time to go there for a visit. Where I used to live in Wilmington, NC they have a wonderful garden open to the public showcasing regional plants. Most Cooperative Offices give classes and love to give advice to new gardeners. You can pick up armloads of free info that's geared towards your local area.