close-up photo of soil after tilling

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

Soils & Climate


  • 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 information and to see what Soil Testing Services are offered by or through Dairy One. If you are planning to stop by the CCE-Livingston office for assistance with your soil sample, it is best to call ahead and confirm that our educator will be in the office.

***For composting information/resources, visit our "Compost Resources" page.


  • Monthly Temperature Averages for Ithaca, NY lists normal temperatures and precipitation averages for 1971-2000. There are also links to daily and monthly climate updates recorded at 4 sites around Ithaca, on the Ithaca Climate Page (Northeast Regional Climate Center website).
  • 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.
  • Hardiness Zone Changes - See how the hardiness zones have changed over the years.


David Thorp
Senior Issue Educator

Last updated June 4, 2019