October 2021
In 2021 we celebrate the 69th year of the Ocean County Soil Conservation District. We remain committed to building and sustaining a conservation legacy by working with our partners and constituents to conserve, protect and restore our soil, water and natural resources by providing technical assistance, implementing restoration projects, and most importantly through education.
It's Seeding Season!
A Look at Seeding and Stabilization Practices
USDA Plant Hardiness Zones for New Jersey

Ocean County lies within three different plant hardiness zones - defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as: 6b, 7a and 7b. The majority of seed mixtures approved for use within the New Jersey Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards (NJ SESC Standards) have optimal planting dates from August 15th until October 30th. This is the time of year to prepare your soil and plant your grass seed for a successful healthy lawn. While a variety of seed mixtures are approved for use, the most common form of Permanent Vegetative Cover for Soil Stabilization observed by the District staff is turf grass. It is important to note: no project within Ocean County can receive a Report of Compliance until all disturbed areas of the project have been permanently stabilized, as per the NJ SESC Standards.
Why Stabilize Soil?

The Standard for Permanent Vegetative Cover for Soil Stabilization is defined as the establishment of permanent vegetative cover on exposed soils where perennial vegetation is needed for long-term protection. Permanently stabilizing the soil is vital to ensuring the conservation and protection of soil and water, ultimately leading to an enhanced environment. Stabilization ensures water quality by slowing the over-land movement of stormwater runoff, increasing infiltration, retaining soil and nutrients on site, and protecting streams or other stormwater conveyances.
Photo by Georgie Grieb, Inspector 1
Seeding 101

When planting seed for growing turf grass, several components are necessary to ensure optimal growth and permanent stabilization. The most important feature of seed bed preparation is good quality topsoil; it should be free of debris and not contain substances or chemicals that could inhibit plant growth. The New Jersey Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards require a minimum of 5 inches of unsettled topsoil to be applied just before seeding. A soil test shall be conducted to determine the quantity of lime and fertilizer type best suited for the topsoil used. The NJ SESC Standards require 11 pounds per 1000 square feet of 10-10-10 fertilizer for permanent stabilization with grass. Both lime and fertilizer need to be uniformly spread over the desired seeding area and worked into the topsoil. When applying seed, note that good seed to soil contact is essential for germination. After seed application, mulching with straw and anchoring the mulch down will increase soil moisture retention and help promote germination of the seed. All these techniques are described in detail in the NJ SESC StandardsPhoto by Georgie Grieb, Inspector 1
Tour des Farms
14th Annual Tour des Farms is a HUGE Success!
On Saturday, September 11, nearly 130 cyclists came together to celebrate the “heart” of New Jersey’s farmland and the beauty and bounty of our Garden State. The South Jersey Resource Conservation & Development Council proudly founded this annual cycling event that offers riders a chance to pedal through some of New Jersey’s most beautiful farmland while shopping for local produce. 
There are various routes available that match every rider’s experience, stamina and goals. This “Get to Know Your Farmer and Food” program supports local agriculture, encourages healthy eating and exercise habits, and highlights Burlington County farms.  This year was an exceptional year with absolutely PERFECT weather and a fantastic array of participating farmers. Cyclists were able to explore the diversity of Jersey's agricultural production, including cranberries, vegetables, orchards, nurseries and organic farms.  "A great day was had by all participants!", reflected Christine Raabe, Chairperson, South Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council, and Director of the Ocean County SCD.

The SJRC&D Council could not succeed without the help of the many volunteers and sponsors that make this event possible – especially the member organizations of the SJRC&D and Burlington County, including Ocean County Soil Conservation District, Cape Atlantic SCD, Camden SCD and Burlington SCD.
Please visit SJRC&D's website for additional details (www.sjrcd.org) and look for information as we begin planning for our 15th Annual Tour des Farms, scheduled for Saturday, September 10, 2022. Details to be announced soon. To stay informed about this event, please contact the Council directly at coordinator@sjrcd.org.
(Photos: courtesy of Mike Hill, Freehold SCD)
Jersey-Friendly Fall Webinar
Join BBP, OCSCD & RCE for our next Jersey-Friendly Yards webinar!
Join us for the next Jersey-Friendly Yards webinar! Developed by the Barnegat Bay Partnership (BBP), with funding from NJDEP, the Jersey-Friendly Yards website provides comprehensive resources and tools about landscaping for a healthy yard and healthy environment in New Jersey. The Ocean County Soil Conservation District and Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County are partnering with the BBP to offer educational programs about how you can make your yard more Jersey Friendly! Watch and enjoy our 2021 webinars!
October 12, 2021
Spiders - They Can Be Your Friends
Presented by Sabrina Turpak, Principal Laboratory Technician, Rutgers Plant Diagnostic Laboratory
Learn how spiders, the enemies of your enemies, can be your friends! What benefits do spiders provide in our gardens and in our lives? How do we welcome them to our landscapes? What are some common spiders found in New Jersey? What about all those spider myths—are they really just myths? All of this and more will be discussed in this arachnid-packed webinar. (Photo: Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia), by Becky Laboy)
In case you missed our September webinar, click to view a recording of Soil, Water, Light - Tips for a Successful Garden Design, presented by Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District. Password: Design#3  (Photo: Heliopsis helianthoides, by Becky Laboy)
In case you missed our August webinar, click to view a recording of Designing and Planting with Native Plants: Creating a Native Habitat
Presented by Elaine Silverstein, Horticulturist. Password: Design#2 (Photo: Monarda sp., Oenothera sp., Asclepius sp., by Elaine Silverstein)
In case you missed our July webinar, click to view a recording of Designing Gardens to Support the Native Web of Life, presented by Bruce Crawford, State Program Leader for Home and Public Horticulture, NJ Agricultural Experiment Station. Password: Design#1  (Photo: Helianthus angustifolium, by Bruce Crawford)
Jersey-Friendly Yards Outreach Programs

Winter Gardens for Wildlife
October 18 at 7 pm & November 4 at 6pm

Join us for this free webinar, hosted in October by the Brick MUA, and hosted in November by the Ocean County Library. Asters and Goldenrod signal the end of the growing season and remind us that it's time to prepare our Jersey-Friendly garden for winter. Learn how to maintain a winter garden that is attractive to gardeners and appealing to wildlife. Presented by Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist, OCSCD. Registration is required. To register for the October webinar, please email Shari Kondrup. To register for the November webinar, please visit the Ocean County Library Calendar of Events, and navigate to the Winter Gardens for Wildlife program listed under November 4; then click the link to register. For questions about registering for this webinar through the Ocean County Library, please contact Nadja Acevedo-Miller, (732) 349-6200 x5111.
(Photo of Winter Garden by Becky Laboy)
Schedule a Jersey-Friendly Yards Program for Your Group
Calling all Green Teams, Environmental Commissions and Garden Clubs! Is your "Green Group" interested in hosting a Jersey-Friendly Yards webinar for your constituents? Jersey-Friendly Yards partners will provide a free 1 hour webinar discussing the importance of landscaping for a healthy environment. We'll start by introducing the tools and resources on the Jersey-Friendly Yards website, explain how to get your soil tested, introduce water conservation practices, suggest appropriate native plants, and offer ways to attract and support pollinators and wildlife. Contact Karen Walzer kwalzer@ocean.edu and Becky Laboy education@soildistrict.org to schedule a program.
Visit our website: www.SoilDistrict.org
For more information about education programs, events and projects pertaining to soil, water, native gardening and natural resource conservation, please contact Becky Laboy, M.Ed., Education Outreach Specialist, Ocean County Soil Conservation District: education@soildistrict.org.