plants sprouting in dark soil
Image by Alex Sartori

Knowing the pH and nutrient content of your soil is important to successful growing.

Soils & Climate

The CCE Albany County Horticultural Lab will not be accepting plant, insect, or soil samples from Nov. 30, 2020 to Mar. 1, 2021.Please send your gardening questions and/or pictures for identification to or call the Gardening Hotline at 518-765-3514 and leave a message.

Soil Testing:

Dairy One/Agro1 Lab is accepting soil samples for pH and nutrient testing.They prefer the soil testing samples be mailed directly to them.Please order the testing kit from their website via phone800-344-2697. You will then receive the testing kit and form to submit.

Soil Texture. This factsheet discusses the four soil texture classifications of sands, silts, loams and clays; how they combine to make textural classifications; how soil texture is determined; and the 5 soil management groups in New York State.

Soil Organic Matter. This factsheet describes types of organic matter in soil; their physical, chemical & biological benefits; farm practices that help maintain or increase soil organic matter levels; and the importance of continued monitoring of soil organic matter content.

The Cornell Soil Health website offers a variety of resources on soil testing and improvement.

Soil Testing. Visit our page on "How to take a soil sample" for testing and see what Soil Testing Services are offered by or through Cooperative Extension.


Growing Degree Days (GDD) are a measure of heat accumulation used by horticulturalists to predict the date that a flower will bloom or a crop reach maturity. Statistics for the Northeast are provided on this Cornell Atmospheric Sciences & Turf Team website.

Cornell Gardening page with information on average dates for last spring frost and first fall frost, US hardiness zone map, and microclimates.

Last updated November 25, 2020