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I thought someone would have something posted by now. In the ranching business, some farmers look at the following. I don't have the formal form but they have one from a book. Since these guys are interested in their cattle and much different grasses, the form won't be a perfect transfer over to residential evaluation; however, it should give you some ideas if you want to make your own form in MS Word.

They look at canopy, ground cover, soil capping, living organisms (birds, lizards, insects, rabbits, livestock), plant types (forbs, grasses, brush, trees), habitat (dry, wet, middle), and erosion (soil, litter, pedestal (clumps of grass), flow, rill, gully). Then they keep track of species of plants, age, distance between plants, plant seasonality (cool or warm), and whether the plants look normal, over rested, or overgrazed.

They use their form to determine when and how many livestock to move in on a paddock. Like I said it doesn't apply directly but it should give y'all something to work with to make your own form. If I was making one for myself, I would consider the following.

Soil components (sand, rocks, loam, organic matter, clay)
Full soil test to include salt balances ($$)
Soil hardness (I would develop a standardized technique for dropping a weighted screwdriver into the soil to see if it goes in (how far) or bounces off. I would do the test wet and dry).
Grass root depth
Soil color at 1 inch
Soil temp at 1, 2, 3, and 4 inches (note date and moisture)
Soil layering at 1, 2, 3, and 4 inches. Should not be any layers of rocks or anything.
Bare spots location and size.
Soil smell at 2 inches. It should smell nice, not moldy.

Current plant species (and owner's goal)
% coverage by species (and owner's goal)
Color by species (and owner's goal)
% weeds (as defined by the owner)
Plant density and density range (some thin and dense spots?)
Any pest (weed, disease, or insect) damage noted?

Tree species and % coverage over turf
Tree location relative to sun and turf
Hours per summer day of sun on turf

Species found (pill bugs, leafhoppers, etc.)
Grub dig test results
Chinch bug test results

Last seeding date
Fertilizer used last (name and date)
Insecticides used last (name and date)
Herbicides used last (name and date)
Watering amount and frequency
Mowing schedule, height, and frequency

I would also note any apparent low or high spots and get comments from the owner as to what to do about them, if anything.

I'm sure I left out some obvious and some not so obvious. Please feel free to add or subtract from this list.
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