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Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Making a plan is the first step! The next is seeing if your plan was worth while!

That is why a garden audit will help you improve your garden year after year. But what is a garden audit and why is it the key to your garden's success? I can wait to share the answer with you. Let's get growing!

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“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.” Isaiah 61:1

Let me ask you a couple very serious questions about your garden plan.

How long does it take you to develop and write down everything?

Me: I would say about a month.

Did you use it to plant your garden this spring?

Me: To be honest, I looked at it casually but got caught up in planting and mixed up a few things.

Now that it is Midsummer, have you looked at it?

Me: Yes and no, I should probably go look at it and see what I have planned for my Fall Garden!

Yes, many of us get excited in late winter to get our garden plan ready and organized. We stress over every little detail but when it comes to looking at it beyond our first planting, most of us don't. That is the way I did things until I decided to make a plan that went beyond a cute drawing to a full Market Garden plan that included a daily to-do list. My garden plan now is very detailed but I'm not going to get into that today. What I want to show you is how to make a midsummer garden plan audit, but first why?

Why should I audit my garden plan?

The main reason is if you haven't looked at your garden plans since this spring, mid-summer is going to give you a small window before harvest begins. It will help you 1) get back on track 2) know when things are going to need to be harvested 3) get ready for your fall garden (if you plan for that) and lastly 4) now is your last chance to begin to plan for Beyond The Harvest. Like I said before, I have a very detailed plan that also includes what I'm going to do with my bountiful harvest. If you haven't done that yet, you still have a little time! Let's get to how this is done but first what is an audit?

What is an audit? says “an audit is a systematic and independent examination of books, accounts, statutory records, documents, and vouchers of an individual or organization to ascertain how far the financial statement as well as non financial disclosures present a true and fair view of all concerned.

Audits are mainly focused around financial accounts and documents. But, to me, my garden is part of our finances. I have to budget for supplies and seeds to grow my garden and the produce I grow reduces our monthly grocery bill.

The 5 Basic Steps Of An Audit

An audit is the procedure of looking over a plan or goal to see if you are actively achieving said plan or goal. Audits and especially a garden audit are performed so you can identify issues before they can become problems; they can lose you money, time, or even a whole garden crop. It is also done to help you improve your plan and to track progress of your goals!

Step #1- Preparing For An Audit

Before you begin, it is important to know who will be performing the audit and what you're going to be auditing.

Step #2 Conduct The Audit

Go over all your plans, goals, procedures, and documents to help develop a baseline. You're going to be looking for weaknesses and strengths. Write all of your findings down!

Step #3 Create A Report

Consolidate all of your notes and make a summarization of all your findings. A thorough audit will include both positive and negative findings, as well as, a list of recommended actions and improvements.

Step#4 Take Action On Your Results

Take your list of changes or wins and make an action plan. Find things that can be fixed immediately and make a goal or plan to fix the other things.

Step #5 Publish Results

Share results with others. In a company this means the results are shared with all employees and those who are involved in the planning or goal setting.

What Does This Look Like for a Mid-summer Garden Audit?

I am sure all of you have a plan, hopes and dreams of what you want out of your garden and this audit is going to help you see even before the garden season is over if these dreams and goals are being met. Many of us get busy and don't take these steps until the fall, when we are putting the garden to bed and tell ourselves we will fix all these problems or reach those goals next year. But, let me tell you a little secret, next year will be a completely different year. You will have different weather/pest oriented problems and the solutions you plan to implement next year may never be needed. That is why it is important to audit your garden plan now and not wait. Let's get to the steps and see how to audit your garden plan.

Step #1 Gather Every Part Of Your Garden Plan

  • Garden plan drawing

  • List of start dates

  • List of seeds that you started with

  • List of seeds you still have

  • List of harvest dates for all your veggies you planted in the spring

  • List of all veggies currently in the ground

  • List of any perennial veggies and fruits you planted this spring

  • List of other perennials on your property

  • List of your spring crops with harvest dates and amounts

  • List of your summer crops

  • List of your fall crops

  • Soil test results

  • List of all soil amendments you have already added

  • List of future amendments you plan to add this fall

Next, who is going to perform this audit? Now you can certainly do this yourself but if it may be helpful to include your spouse and kids or another garden friend. You could do each other's audits.

Step #2 Conduct Your Audit

Now that you have all of your paperwork gathered, go over everything and see if it all matches. Fix any issues that don't align with your plan or goals for your garden. Here is an example for each of the above documents.

Garden drawing: is everything on your garden plan drawing correct? When you built your beds this spring, are they where you plan to put them? Are the things you plan to plant in each bed currently growing there or have you pulled them and replace them? If you replaced them make a note about what is currently growing there and does it match your plan?

List of seeds you planted this spring: did you plant all of these seed packets or do you have some left over? If you planted a seed type, how did it grow? Were there any problems with germination? Did the harvest taste good? How much did you get from your harvest in pounds? Was this variety worth growing again?

List of current seeds: does this match what you have in your seed storage? Are any of these included on your spring, summer, or fall list? Can any be added to your summer, and fall list?

List of harvest dates: did you harvest close to these estimated dates? If you didn't,estimate these dates, do you have an accurate date when you harvested your veggies?

List of current veggies in the ground: here is when you assess how your veggies are currently growing. Are they handling heat like their seed packets stated? Are you getting any pest problems? (I am dealing with lots of Cabbage Moths) Are your veggies the size they should be at their current growing stage? This may help with future soil amendments.

List of new perennials you planted this spring: Are they growing well? Did you remember that you planted them and watered them regularly? (My asparagus patch and I have a long relationship of neglect) Is the variety you picked living up to its claim to fame?

List of other perennials: How are they dealing with the heat? Did they enjoy that added fertilizer you gave them in the spring? Are they ready to harvest? Did they get frosted back? (My apple trees did this year)

List of spring crops with harvest amounts: Your spring veggies like peas, potatoes, or carrots are probably done and you harvested them last week. Now is the time to write down the results of your harvest. How much did the variety give you? Did it taste good? Did it can or freeze well? Are you going to grow it again next year, or maybe this fall?

List of summer crops: This is what I call my direct seeded veggies like lettuce, cucumbers, zucchini, and the like. Things my seed packets said they need to be started after the last frost and not transplanted. How are they doing? Are they close to harvest? Has my lettuce bolted and can I plant some more?

List of fall crops: This is a list of seeds I plan to start Midsummer to harvest later in the fall, like a second batch of peas, kale, broccoli or spinach. Now is the time to see if the veggies you plan to replace them with was the right choice. Also, to reassess if you'll even need more peas, maybe you got plenty from your spring harvest.

List of amendments you added this spring: Are the amendments you added fixing the problem they said they would? Have you replenished your soil after pulling your spring crops? For example, if your soil test said you were low in nitrogen and you just pulled a heavy nitrogen feeding plant like broccoli, you may need to add more nitrogen. Especially, if your broccoli crop looks like it was lacking.

List of soil amendments you have on hand: You're going to need to add more amendments during the summer and fall so if you have a list of what you have you can buy only more of what you need.

List of soil amendments you're going to need: This will help you get your amendments now, when they are usually on sale before the stores get cleans out this fall by everyone else!

I hope this gives you an idea of just a few things this audit is going to help you fix and so much more!

Stop #3 Create A Report

Now is the time to take all of your notes and make a beautiful summarization of what needs fixed or even better a list of your wins! It feels good when you are battling the summer heat to have a list of successes that can help push you across the finish line this fall.

Step #4 Go Over Your Results and Take Action

This step is self-explanatory. But I want to remind you, no matter what the results you get you still have time to fix any issues before they become a problem. Don't be hard on yourself, like I always say pray, just plant! When it comes to growing a garden the only thing we can control is our prayers to God and planting. After that, all we can do is care for and fix any issues as quickly as we can. A plant can't grow and come to harvest if you never sow the seed!

Step #5 Publish Results

Growing a garden is a family affair. Share your results with all involved even if all they do is eat your harvest. This is going to show them how much work that delicious healthy food takes to put on their plates this next February!

I truly hope that you audit your garden now when you still have time to address any issues you might find. However, I am definitely not telling you to not do a fall audit. I feel both are important! One can not improve if they don't know what went wrong in the first place. Till next time,

Pray, Just Plant!

Time Stamps

Intro 00:45

Why Should I 02:39

What Is It 03:50

5 Steps 05:41

Weekly Tips and Tricks 06:57

What Does It Look Like 08:41

Step 1 09:48

Step 2 11:35

Growing With God 19:18

Step 3 24:35

Step 4 26:52

Step 5 29:07

Recap 30:53

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