Home vegetable garden

Save $$$ while you grow fresh produce, in your home vegetable garden!

Food Gardening

Growing your food can be a very satisfying effort that pays off in several ways: your fruits and vegetables are fresher and you can choose the exact varieties that you and your family enjoy. Plus, you can save substantial amounts of money by purchasing them at the grocery or farmers' markets. We can provide resources and advice to help you start small, and gradually move up to producing more of your family's food. Visit our pages in this section for more information on the first and last dates for planting vegetables in our area, setting up a rotation for your vegetable beds, and much more.

Soil Testing for Community Gardens

The 2024 New York State Community Gardens Soil Testing Program has officially rolled out! This includes no-cost soil testing, including nutrients and heavy metals, for community gardens! This program is available to food-producing community gardens, including schools and other organizations.

The community garden is responsible for taking the soil sample and shipping costs, but there is no charge for the testing, and once your application has been approved, there is an approximately 6-week turnaround time for results from the Cornell Soil Health Lab. The URL below has a fillable PDF application that can be submitted by email and a recording of a webinar where more details are explained at the bottom of the webpage.

Apply here: https://agriculture.ny.gov/rfa-0324-new-york-state-community-gardens-soil-testing-program

Harvest NY specialists across the state will be copied in on results based on region, and will be available if community garden stakeholders need assistance with result interpretation or ideas for next steps.

For-profit farms, strictly ornamental and flower gardens, and individual gardens (like backyard gardens) are not eligible.

Community Garden Locations

If you are interested in growing your own food but don't have space for a garden, then how about renting a plot in a community garden near you? Visit the following link for a list of community gardens in Tompkins County and contact information for each:


Cornell Resources

Cornell's home gardening website has links to excellent resources, including Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners, Vegetable MD Online, Vegetable Disease Factsheets, and -to growing guides for more than 50 different vegetables. Visit: http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/homegardening/index.html

Seed Saving

This Cornell University Library Guide on "Seed Saving" compiled by Jeff Piestrak includes links to relevant Cornell University initiatives, Conservation & Biodiversity Groups, Grower Resources/Directories/Support, Industry/Trade Groups & Resources, Seed Libraries, Seed Sovereignty, Other Seed Saving Organizations/Networks/Events, and General Learning Materials on saving seeds.

Last updated March 22, 2024