Hi and WELCOME to the Forum! Congratulations on getting ready to start on what I expect will be a very rewarding hobby (with the possibility of morphing in to an obsession as it has with some of us
Something to think about re the basics thread, but it is hard because we have people writing in here, not only from all over the country, but all around the world. What you can say that would apply to all of those people would be very limited. Tomatoes are a summer crop where you are, a spring/fall crop in places like TX. The needs of people with clay soil are very different from those with sandy soil. Things that people swear by for their tomatoes in very dry climates, totally don't work for me in my humid climate (fungal diseases proliferate) and so forth.
There is a composting basics thread at the top of the Composting Forum and a seed starting basics thread at the top of the Seed Starting Forum and maybe a few others.
Someone else will have to answer the fertilizer question. I don't use any, just work on having good, rich, organic soil and add compost and mulch.
Re soil. You didn't say how big an area you are talking about (for all that you want to grow, including pumpkins, which get huge, it better be a large garden space). If you are talking about a large area, buying bags of stuff is prohibitively expensive (unless of course you have a fat wallet and money is no object
). Look around for people who sell top soil by the cubic yard delivered. Fill up your beds with that and then work on amending it heavily with some bags of compost, peat moss, and other soil enrichments.
Diatomaceous earth is good stuff and pretty harmless for using preventatively, so you could do that. I usually don't recommend any pest control until you have pests and know what it is you are trying to control. DE works against a lot of crawling things. It is useless for example against squash bugs, which fly and land on leaves.
RE: carrots, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, asparagus, tomato, potato, chives, jalepenos, pumpkin, beets Especially this season, while you are still making your garden, etc. , I recommend that you don't think about getting involved in indoor seed starting.
Carrots, spinach, lettuce, beets/chard, chives are cool weather crops that are direct seeded in the ground "as soon as the ground can be worked" I.e. is unfrozen and has dried out enough that it won't clump up. I am at that spot now, but I'm in zone 6. You may have a few weeks left.
Potatoes can be grown from grocery store potatoes, sprouted and cut up and they are planted pretty early also, traditionally when the forsythia blooms.
Tomatoes and peppers and pumpkins you should just buy well started transplants from a good local nursery (NOT big box store). Asparagus you buy crowns, which is roots plus the growing points where the stems will start. But you do know, asparagus has to get established. You are not supposed to harvest any until the third year after planting.
That's as much as I can do for you now, but stay in touch, let us know how it is going for you, post pictures!
, ask lots of questions. We will guide you through this. It's like having a bunch of wise aunts and uncles at your side. The internet is a wonderful thing!