close-up photo of soil after tilling

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

Soils & Climate


Soil Basics.  This Soil Biology page from the USDA covers living organisms that are critical to soil  health. 

Soil Texture. Agronomy Fact Sheet #29 from Cornell Cooperative Extension 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.  Agronomy Fact Sheet #41  from Cornell Cooperative Extension 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.

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. 

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

Cover crops can meet important management goals such as suppressing weeds, protecting soil from rain or runoff, improving soil aggregate stability, reducing surface crusting, adding active organic matter to soil, breaking hard pan, fixing nitrogen, scavenging soil nitrogen and suppressing soil diseases and pests.  For more information on selecting a cover crop and planting

The Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities project is a research and education partnership with New York’s urban gardeners and others interested in healthy gardening. We help people make more informed decisions to address concerns about lead and other contaminants in gardens, farms, and other community spaces.


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.

Climate Friendly Gardener

Sustainability in an Uncertain Climate


Russell Welser
Senior Resource Educator
(585) 394-3977 x 436

Last updated April 14, 2020