seedlings in a flat
Image by Sandy Repp

Learn the first and last dates to plant veggies in our area!

Image by Sandy Repp

Pansies are an annual that provides early blooms.

Plants in Cornell Plantations (PLTNS) greenhouses (Cornell University Photography)
Image by Lindsay France

Coleus plants in a greenhouse

Our IPM pages can help you control garden pests.


Seeds sent from China - unsolicited, mislabeled

If you have received a similar package, please email USDA with your full name and telephone number, pictures of the package and any other relevant information as soon as possible.

Packaging and Seeds mailed from China unsolicited and mislabeled

NY Ag and Markets Press Release:

“Our office has received questions from a few New Yorkers who have received unsolicited packages allegedly sent from China that are marked as containing jewelry but which actually contain plant seeds. Similar packages have been received in other states and the United States Department of Agriculture is investigating. People who receive seeds should not plant or handle the seeds. They should store them safely in a place children and pets cannot access and email USDA immediately at for instructions. Seeds imported into the United States are rigorously tested to ensure quality and prevent introduction of invasive species, insects and diseases. We will continue to monitor this issue and will pass along guidance as it is received from USDA.”

-Statement by NYS Commissioner of Agriculture Richard A. Ball
July 27, 2020

Read more in this article from the USDA:

USDA Investigates Packages of Unsolicited Seeds from China


Soil Testing

At the present time we are unable to offer Nutrient Soil Testing at CCE Albany County.

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.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County is your resource for information on soils, site improvement, plant selection, proper plant care, eco-friendly practices, integrated pest management, composting and so much more! We offer free or low-cost gardening classes and tours all year long, and opportunities to share your love of gardening as a volunteer!


Carole Henry
Master Gardener Coordinator, Albany County CCE

Last updated August 26, 2020