As the snow and ice of the winter months slowly melt away this week, many of us will focus on the newly exposed lawn and landscape, inspecting it for winter damage or worse, and hoping to rectify any losses with spring seeding or replanting. But how many of us will actually “dig deeper” to learn more about the soil that supports everything we depend on for food and our environment?… Most people probably notice the different plants and trees found in a certain area before they would notice the soils, but for obvious reasons the two are interconnected. Did you know that there are about 85 named soils (series) throughout New Jersey? Have you tested your soils recently to see if your healthy soil is adding to your healthy environment? No, you say?… For those perhaps less tech savvy or who just may want the more local and personal touch, the Rutgers NJAES Soil Testing Laboratory is located on the G. H. Cook Campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Soil Testing Laboratory is a service unit that offers chemical and mechanical analyses of soils for the residents of New Jersey and for Rutgers University researchers. Their mission is to provide accurate and timely soil and water test reports to meet the unique agricultural and environmental needs of our state.
You can give Mother Nature a valentine this year and show how much you care about birds in your neighborhood by simply counting them for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC… This year’s 18th annual count is taking place Friday, Feb. 13, through Monday, Feb. 16… The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual event that engages people of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are… In Middlesex County, The Rutgers Master Gardeners invite you to take part in their free “Great Backyard Bird Count” on Saturday at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, located at 42 Riva Ave. in South Brunswick. Rain date Sunday.
Entries for the third “New Jersey School Garden of the Year” contest, presented by Edible Jersey Magazine and the New Jersey Farm to School Network, are being accepted now through March 31… Entries will be judged by a committee of representatives from the following organizations: Edible Jersey, New Jersey Farm to School Network, New Jersey Department of Agriculture, N.J. Nursery and Landscape Association, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners, and the N.J. Alliance for Environmental Education.