I’ll give you some basics, until the folks with better experience jumps in. I would then defer to them.
The first thing is, did you download the Grow Bible and check out the Guides section? A lot of what you seek may be there. Granted, you will find differing opinions in different guides / forums; however, I think that is because there is no absolute right or wrong way. Some things work better for tohers, and everyone has their own preference.
You may also wish to give more details about what you wish to grow and how you wish to accomplish it, e.g. the type of strain, the grow medium, *soil / soilless, etc," There is a support ticket that you may find linked in some threadds. That would, imho, a good starting point for the folks to look into your situation.
Per length of time, I beleive it varies by strain and other factors. On a general scale, I would say you could expect the germination to seedling stage to go ~3 - 4 weeks, followed by veg and flower. Some people, I’ve seen, veg for only 3 - 4 weeks, while others take it out to 8 weeks or so. Bloom / Flower is when determined when you take it out of Veg and switch the light cycle to 12 / 12. From there, you change the nutes, and watch for flowering. Each strain has somewhat differing floweing times, and even then, some folks harvest earlier than others. The rule of thumb I’ve seen is that you want to see trichomes mostly milky, with anywhere from 25% or higher turning to amber, depending upon what type of esperience you are after.
Per quality, imho, like anything else, it’s all in the care you give, the attention to detail, and maintaining eveery aspect, e.g. nutes, lighting, etc, to optimum levels. Insufficient lighting, lack of nutrients, too much or too little water, improper pH level of water / nutes and grow medium, will all have some effect upon your final results, with some more detrimental than others.
As far as your setup, everything I’ve seen reccomends the basic 18 / 6 rule of light to dark for veg cycle and then switching to 12 / 12 for bloom / flower. If you are at 45N Lat, will you have sufficient lighting during the winter to maintain the ~18 hours of light? That’s a tough question to help with, without knowledge of what lighting you intend to use. You could also go the autoflower route, where light cycles aren’t an issue; however, even then, I believe that autoflower likes more light versus less light.
I hope this at least points you in the right direction to look into things while waiting for some others to chime in. Good luck in the grow.