Here are links to online information specific to gardening in upstate New York State, though most New Yorkers will find help here.
- Average Last Spring Frost Dates for New York
A map which shows the average date of the last frost in spring. Use it to help plan when you will transplant plants that are not frost-tolerant.
- Central New York Naturalist
"This web site is a survey of the natural area within a 25 mile radius around Cortland, New York, USA. Every species you see on this site has been found within the 25 mile limit shown here. It is bounded by Syracuse to the north, Ithaca to the west and Binghamton to the south. My intention in creating this site was to reveal the abundance and diversity of life, the hidden beauty that exists in such a relatively small geographic area."
- Digital Librarian: Central New York
The Digital Librarian's collection of links for Central NY, "with an emphasis on Cortland and the surrounding area." This link takes you to the section on gardens, but the DL's collection ranges over a wide variety of topics.
- Environmental Resources from SUNY-ESF
Disease-Resistant American Elms, Making Maple Syrup, Soil pH, Tent Caterpillars, Use Native Plants and Explore Your Watershed are some of the informative topics available from this site.
- Gardener's Weather, Cornell University
A lot of handy information in one spot: state hardiness zone map (showing counties), average last spring frost date, average first fall frost date, etc.
- Gardening Resources, Cornell University
Your portal to gardening information at Cornell. This is the place to go for garden information specific to NY state. All sorts of fact sheets, pest information, master gardener program, invasive plants--too much to list.
- Hardiness Zone Map for New York State
This is the USDA Hardiness Zone map, enlarged to show detail.
- Home Landscapes for Environmental Sensitivity: SUNY-ESF E-Center
" landscapes are often environmentally insensitive in a variety of different ways. They generally require more maintenance, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and supplemental irrigation to achieve the desired aesthetic effect. These practices can contribute to a number of current environmental problems, from air and water pollution to consumption of fossil fuels. . . . By utilizing local plant species and arranging them in ways which imitate local ecological communities, natural landscapes usually require less maintenance and are substantially more environmentally sensitive." This webpage gives an introduction to creating a more environmentally sensitive landscape.
- Louisiana Iris Growing Tips for the North
Culture information provided below is the result of trial and error and best guess practices derived from assimilating the mass of instructions geared toward Southern growing, and applying years of practical Northern gardening experience.
- New York Natural Heritage Program
"The NY Natural Heritage Program enables and enhances conservation of the state's biodiversity by delivering high-quality information from field inventories, expert interpretation, and the most comprehensive database on New York's distinctive biodiversity. The following conservation guides are designed to help land managers, decision-makers, planners, scientists, consultants, and the interested public better understand the rare species and natural communities that characterize New York." They have plant, animal, and community guides.
- Pollinator Partnership
Invite pollinators to your neighborhood by planting a pollinator friendly habitat in your garden, farm, school, park or just about anywhere! Our ecoregional planting guides are tailored to specific areas of the U.S.
You can find out which ecoregion you live in by entering your zip code
These guides were funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the C.S. Fund, the Plant Conservation Alliance, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management with oversight by the Pollinator Partnership, in support of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign.
- Rochester Gardening
A whole site devoted to upstate NY gardening, with Rochester as the center of its universe.
- Site Assessment and Landscape Design: Gardening Resources, Cornell University
Site Assessment for Gardeners, Recommended Urban Trees, and Enhancement of Wildlife Habitat on Private Lands are some of the topics offered on this web page. Most are available as .pdf files.
- Syracuse Rose Society
Syracuse Rose Society meets the second Thursday of every month (except December and February) at the Reformed Church on Teall Avenue two blocks south of James St. The well-lighted parking lot is entered from Melrose Avenue. The public is always welcome, and meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. (Founders’ Day Dinner in January begins an hour early.) There is also good information about rose culture in upstate NY on the website.
- Terry L. Ettinger Horticulture Consulting Services
Syracuse-based horticulturalist and landscape designer Terry Ettinger offers information on a variety of topics: lawn care, pernicious weeds, lilacs, overgrown evergreens and more. His home page focuses on a featured plant and a question of the week.
No garden is a natural thing, of course, and people who garden as a way of getting in touch with Nature are actually only getting in touch with fantasy. Gardens are, by definition, contrived.