Project Goal

To establish a healthy landscape with curb appeal using New Jersey native plants, while developing a showcase for community education and access.

Site Assessment

Cedarcroft is a shore residential community bordering the northern shoreline of the Metedeconk River in Ocean County. Two areas were addressed with this project. The front yard of the clubhouse has sandy soil containing no visible soil organisms, has a slight slope towards the road, lack of vegetative cover, and receives full sun. The area around the Cedarcroft Legend sign near the entrance to the neighborhood is sloped towards the road; the soil in this area contains large aggregates and adequate organic matter. Both sites have fair to good drainage. Existing vegetation on both sites looks healthy. Installed irrigation is not available on either site.

Actions

Limestone and potassium were added to the soil, as per the soil test results and recommendations from the Rutgers Cooperatve Extension Soil Laboratory. The Jersey Friendly Yards website was used to select drought-tolerant trees, shrubs and perennials that grow well in sandy, acidic soil. A variety of species provides the biodiversity needed to attract and support wildlife. This landscape will require little to no water or fertilizer, which will help reduce non-point source pollution carried by stormwater into the Metedeconk River.

Plants Used

Shrubs: New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americanus), Sweet Pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), Sweet Fern (Comptonia peregrine), Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra), Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata), Black Chokeberry(Photinia melanocarpa), Red Chokeberry (Photinia pyrifolia), Common Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium coryumbosum), and Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)

Trees:  River Birch (Betula nigra) and Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiania)

Grasses:  American Beach Grass (Ammophila breviligulata)

Perennials:  Eastern Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), Butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Blue Wild Indigo (Baptisia australis), Yellow Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria), Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Purple Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum), Lanceleaf Tickseed (Coreopsis lanceolata), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpureum), White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricatus), Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus), False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides), Sedum (Hylotelephium telephium), Blazing Star (Liatrsi spicata), Great Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica), Sundial Lupine (Lupinus perennis), Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea), Floxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis), Seaside Goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens), and New England Aster (Symphyotrichum Novae-angliae)

Project Leaders

Becky Laboy and Eileen Miller: Ocean County Soil Conservation District
Mike Gerrity: Rutgers Environmental Steward
Robert Byrnes and Andrew Jazz: Cedarcroft Club