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

At the present time we are unable to offer Nutrient soil testing at CCE Albany.

Dairy One/Agro1 Lab is still accepting soil samples for pH and nutrient testing. They recommend that the soil testing samples be mailed directly to them from the customer to minimize the amount of people who are contacting the samples. Dairy One/Agro1 Lab asks that the customer order the testing boxes from their website: or via phone 800-344-2697. They will then mail you the testing box and correct form for submission.

How to Take a Soil Sample:

CCE offices are open to staff but remain closed to the public. Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County Master Gardener Program has a drop box located to the right of the entrance of the Voorheesville building.Samples (plant, insect, soil pH) may be dropped off at any time. Please call the Master Gardener Hotline at 518-765-3514 for instructions, forms and additional information.

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 July 14, 2020