Here at OCSCD we know stabilization is a key conservation practice. Soil health is dependent on the protection of soil even during the nongrowing season. A bare condition leaves the soil vulnerable to nutrient loss, erosion by wind and water, and is destructive to soil microbes. This time of year, when the ground is bare and not yet prime for new seeding work, the New Jersey Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards have a solution. Temporary stabilization is a great way to cover bare or disturbed areas subject to erosion in non-seeding months. The best way to temporarily stabilize areas is with straw mulch, tack and a temporary seed mix, such as annual ryegrass or spring oats. (See the NJ Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards for Temporary Vegetative Cover for Soil Stabilization.) If permanent seeding is a priority in March, there are several seed mixtures approved in the NJ Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards for Permanent Vegetative Cover for Soil Stabilization that have optimal planting dates between March 1st and April 30th for Ocean County’s hardiness zones, see Table 4-3.