close-up photo of soil after tilling

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

Soils & Climates


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. A soil test will tell you what nutrients are in your soil and what you may need to add (in the form of fertilizer) for successful crop growth. Plants need nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (macronutrients) as well as micronutrients to grow. Deficiency or excess of these elements will impact the health and productivity of crops. In addition, the pH (acid/alkaline level) of your soil has an impact upon how much of your soil's nutrients your plants will be able to use. CCEDC can provide or arrange several different tests for your soil and can help you to interpret the results and choose an appropriate course of action if necessary.

For Home Gardeners:

Non-commercial can receive assistance through our Master Gardener Program. Click here to view instructions and FULL ANAYLSIS soil sample testing options offered by CCE Dutchess.

Soil pH testing:

We test pH of the soil In-House for $15, you can also purchase a kit for $15 and do it at your own leisure.

  1. Samples should be 4 to 5 inches below soil surface or sod layer.
  2. Take serval random samples from the area to be tested & mix together.
  3. Submit at least one cup of DRY SOIL.
  4. Samples for pH testing can be dropped off M-F 9am-12pm April-October.
  5. pH In-House sample form. (PDF)

Complete Soil Nutrient Analysis

We provide more extensive testing through Rutgers University. The cost for Full analysis testing (includes pH & nutrients) is $25.00. You can pick up the soil kit at our office and mail it yourself with the choice of your mailing courier. Kits can be picked up M-F from 9am-4pm at the Dutchess County Farm & Home Center.

For Commercial Growers and Farmers:

Commercial and Farm producers can receive assistance through Agricultural program educators. Full soil test is conducted by Dairy One Lab in Ithaca. Soil sample DROP OFF are conducted M-F 9am-4pm only, fee is $30 per soil sample.

Click below for submission forms:

Please visit here Dairy One for testing instructions and other forms.


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.

Last updated July 25, 2023