Thursday, December 18, 2008

Client Questionnaire

I am starting to work up design plans for a few friends who want to grow some food in their yards. To that end, I am putting together an initial set of questions to help focus our direction and activities. I would really appreciate some of you looking over the questions I have come up with so far and then adding, critiquing and otherwise giving me your input.
Maybe, together, we could put together a nice questionnaire for all to share.
Here's what I have come up with so far. Of course, the answers would lead to discussion but at least this could be a way for the homeowner to start bringing their thoughts together.
You can email me with your thoughts.

Home Owner Questionnaire

Your Mental Picture:
What is your overall goal for your yard?
How do you see your yard looking in 3 years?
On a scale from 1-5 (5 being A LOT), how much do you care what your neighbors think of your yard?
Choose one (or add your own) description of how you envision your yard: 1. Neat grass, defined walkways, trimmed bushes. 2. Small amount of grass, large mulched areas with fruit trees. 3. No grass, fruit trees with ground cover planted around them and raised vegetable beds in between with an herb garden by the back door. 4. A food forest surrounding the house (and maybe growing up the walls).
Do you want to grow annual vegetables?
How important is your front lawn or your back yard?
What would you MOST like to grow?
What else would you like to grow?
Are there certain plants you really do or don’t want/like?
Do you want to grow fruits? Bushes or trees?
Would you rather wait and spend less or have fruit sooner and spend more?
Are you interested in community gardening (shared gardening space)?

Your Input:
Do you want to garden? How many hours per week?
Would you rather hire someone to do the gardening? Or to do the bigger, infrequent tasks (mulching, pruning)?
Any physical limitations or allergies?
What equipment do you have? Shovels, hoes, rakes, mower, weed eater, roto-tiller?
How much gardening experience do you have?
Do you plan on canning, drying or storing excess produce?

Design considerations:
What are the restrictions you or your neighborhood places on your front or back yard?
Where are annual vegetable beds acceptable?
Where are fruit trees acceptable?
Where is fencing acceptable?
Can you apply mulch easily (hills or other obstacles)?
Are pots of plants or vegetables on the porch/deck allowed?
What is the water/irrigation system?
Do you or can you catch rain water from your roof?
Any animals digging or children playing in the yard?
Can existing trees be removed to increase sun exposure?
Have chemicals been applied to the lawn?
Does the house have exterior lead paint?
How large is the deer/rabbit/raccoon/groundhog population around your house?
Are there any resources to which you have easy access (cardboard, leaves, mulch, compost, plants)?