Toolshed Tips: Garden Assessment

Your September Tip: September is a great time to begin to gather information from gardeners, volunteers, and others about their experience with this season’s garden before the cool weather starts to push garden thoughts out of focus. Here are a few tips to learn more about how you’re garden is doing and what you’ll want to continue or improve for next season:

2013 Garden Harvest Party Potluck

  • Celebrations: End-of-season potlucks or gatherings are a great way to bring people together and to share favorite memories, accomplishments, laughter, and ideas for next year. The comfortable environment also allows people to open up about what could be improved about your garden.
  • Surveys: Anonymous surveys invite open and honest feedback about the season. They are also a great tool for gathering information about your gardeners!
  • Interactive Evaluations: ·   Come up with your own fun and creative ways to get feedback from visitors along with those involved in your garden. One idea from the Data Collection Toolkit is the “Beauty of the Garden Activity” where people write down their favorite thing about the garden on a tag and place it in the garden itself. These types of activities make the garden even more beautiful and fun, while also providing you and your growers with positive feedback.

For next year, consider working assessment into your season’s plan in order to see how your garden’s doing in the beginning, throughout, and again at the end of the season. Giving the option to give feedback while the ideas come up will ensure that you receive a greater amount of in-depth information on what works or doesn’t work around your garden.  Whenever and however you’re collecting this valuable information, don’t forget to celebrate the season, your gardeners, and all of the great things you’ve accomplished this year!

The Toolshed is a monthly set of tips for garden leaders by VCGN Program Manager Libby Weiland

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