square garden according to the French method
Image by Marc Vaugenot
man and boy gardening in raised beds
CDC Photo #11481 - in the public domain
Image by Cade Martin
graphic including photo of green beans and tomatoes, and text stating: Just Plant It, NY! Food Gardening for all. Boost morale & Food supply with a garden! gardening.cals.cornell.edu, Cornell Gardening, Master Gardener program

Beginning and experienced home gardeners can find useful resources here!

Cornell Vegetable Gardening Resources

Community and home food gardening are active and affordable ways to improve food security status and be an ecological steward. Vegetables and fruits can be grown in containers, raised beds, or directly into the ground. CCE staff and volunteers often are well-positioned to promote knowledge and skills gains related to growing food in these settings. It is a priority of CCE to work with vulnerable populations to educate families and influence policies that will allow youth, families, and communities to make sound nutritional decisions with constrained resources. (Adapted from the CCE Statewide Plan of Work )

Beginning Gardening Resources

  • Beginning A Vegetable Garden: This fact sheet from CCE-Orange County covers planning, prepping, planting and harvesting your own vegetables throughout the gardening season from choosing a garden site, to harvesting and more.
  • Indoor Vegetable Seed Starting Fact Sheet [PDF 2pp]: Covers recommended steps for starting plants from seed to transplant into your garden.
  • FAQs Vegetable Gardening [PDF 3pp]: Answers to questions on when to plant, whether to start seeds indoors, why seeds might not germinate, how to tell if your seeds are still viable, how to support your tomatoes, collecting rainwater and more.

  • Planning Your Garden

  • Food Gardening Fact Sheets: Find resources on growing vegetables, herbs & fruit, recommended varieties, spacing, container gardening, starting seeds, using cover crops, saving seeds and more - many in English or Spanish - from Cornell's Garden Based Learning Program.
  • Home Gardening Vegetable Growing Guides: Cornell's Garden Based Learning Program offers detailed growing guides to 58 popular vegetables, from Artichokes to Zucchini.
  • Common Crop Chart: lists common vegetables and their light and space needs
  • Last Frost Date: this map from the Northeast Regional Climate Center shows the last average frost dates for locations in the NE United States.
  • 2021 Recommended Varieties for NY State Gardeners [PDF 8pp]: A wide selection of vegetable varieties found to be well-suited to growing conditions in NY State, with ratings for specific disease tolerance or susceptibility.
  • Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners: Register free on this Cornell University website to explore available vegetable varieties and read reviews by other gardeners, or add your own review as part of this Citizen Science program!. Watch a tutorial on using the vegetable varieties database.
  • Cornell Garden-Based Learning Citizen Science (Vegetable Varieties Trial Gardens):
  • Rotating Vegetables By Family Fact Sheet: Plants in the same families may be susceptible to the same diseases. Use this list of common vegetable, herb, and cover crop families to plan the regular rotation of crops in your garden beds.

  • Healthy Soil & Caring for Your Growing Garden

  • Cover Crops for Urban Gardens: Cornell's Garden Ecology project in NYC has information on choosing, planting and managing cover crops in vegetable gardens.
  • Healthy Soils, Healthy Communities: Find information on lead and other soil contaminants and how to test for them, healthy gardening practices, composting, and other resources.
  • Soil Contaminants & Best Practices for Healthy Gardens, Cornell Waste Management institute
  • Soil Testing Fact Sheets Page: Cornell Garden-based Learning offers videos and recommendations on various types of soil tests, including how to get the most out of your soil nutrient tests for vegetable gardens, and fruit bush and tree crops, and more.
  • Rain Barrels Fact Sheet: Extension educators from CCE-Rockland County explain how to set up a rain barrel to capture roof runoff for your garden, and the advantages to using this method.
  • Resource Guide for Organic Insect & Disease Management (PDF 210pp): Includes crop-specific management practices for organic insect and disease control, photos, and fact sheets on organic materials and their application (Cornell NYSAES 2013). 
  • Insect Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University: The IDL can help identify insects and related arthropods, and provide management suggestions if needed. There is a $25 fee, for samples or photos submitted to the lab for an ID.
  • Vegetable IPM Resources: Find a resources, videos and fact sheets on vegetable IPM practices form tthe New York State Integrated Pest Management program at Cornell.
  • Vegetable Pests: Cornell Vegetable Program specialists provide current research and information on animals, diseases, insects and weeds that can harm vegetable crops.
  • Weed Control for the Home Vegetable Garden (1989-11): This Cornell Cooperative Extension bulletin helps home gardeners to identify the most common weeds with the help of full-color photographs, and to select the most suitable strategies for controlling them - whether mechanical, cultural or chemical.
  • Wildlife Damage Management Fact Sheets: Cornell's Wildlife Damage Management Program offers free PDF fact sheets on a wide variety of wildlife species including deer, moles, raccoons, squirrels, voles, woodchucks and others that can damage your garden

  • Content compiled by members of the Cornell University Horticulture Program Work Team, 2021

    Last updated April 18, 2022