Get the most from your garden effort
“The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow".
- Chinese proverb
Your constant presence in the garden is the best way to ensure success, or at least to make sure your failures yield future success. But we don’t all have tons of free time to spend casting shadows on our gardens! A coaching consult will leave you with the tools and knowledge you need to succeed in your garden, yielding the least effort, and the most enjoyment. Here’s what’s included in a consult.
Sun exposure analysis
First thing’s first, plants need sun! The Solar Pathfinder is a tool developed for the solar energy industry. We use it to make a detailed assessment of sun exposure. Sun exposure often varies throughout the year, and even experienced gardeners are wildly inaccurate when it comes to estimating sun exposure!
Analysis includes recommendations for planting priorities where sun exposure is limited or variable.
If you’re going to DIY, we can work together on a design that works. Key considerations include size, spacing, plant supports, serviceability, critter protection, and irrigation.
Insect & Disease Assessment
There’s a reason you’ll never hear me blame bad luck for the failure of a particular crop. “I just can’t grow X” is not a valid statement! There’s a reason (or reasons) for every failure, and often bugs and disease are behind it. I’ll help you identify the issue, recommend cultural changes to address them (spacing, fertilizer, watering), and when necessary, recommend organic treatments to combat the issue. You’ll receive these recommendations in a follow-up email as well.
Soil Fertility Analysis
Gardening without at least one soil analysis is a great way to do everything right, and still fail! A soil sample will be taken from multiple locations, combined, and sent to Penn State for analysis. This test includes pH, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and cation exchange capacity (CEC).
Our seed & plant starting spreadsheet contains the plant types & varieties we grow for our clients, with season, crop timing, square foot spacing, days to harvest, and links to our supplier’s page.
Watering is one of the most fundamental, and yet most confusing topics to gardeners. Let my extensive experience in underwatering and overwatering, and finally, watering correctly, guide you to success with water in your garden.
You will receive a detailed email based on notes from our visit, including links to specific products and resources, names of particular varieties, and any items that require additional research to answer.
What’s not included
Detailed planting plans and detailed DIY construction plans are available at additional cost.
“Sales Consult” versus “Coaching Consult”
The $150 "coaching consult" is like the $55 "sales consult," but also includes a soil fertility analysis, a email follow-up with notes from our consult, answers to questions that required additional research, links to specific products or resources mentioned, and our plant and seed starting spreadsheet that you can use to plan your own garden.
If you're not interested in those additional items for the additional price, then the sales consult is right for you.
Sales consult fees are waived if you decide to engage us in installation or maintenance work. Coaching consult fees are not waived.