Compost is the end product of the decomposition of organic matter. When used in your garden, compost can improve soil structure, aid in necessary microbial activity in the soil, attract beneficial insects such as earthworms, suppress soil-born diseases,and provide nutrients throughout the growing season. 

There are many different types of compost bins available, including tumblers, bins, and kitchen composters which suit numerous different situations. Take stock of the space and materials you have available in order to choose the bin that best suits your needs.

Fencing can be used to define the border of you garden, create raised beds, and keep critters away from your crops.  

Clearing a plot of land and building garden infrastructure will often require some heavy equipment. Renting this equipment for one-time or very occasional use is a cost-effective approach.

Materials and Supplies 

 

So you want to start a garden? Great! Below is a list of materials and garden infrastructure that you may need. Click on each item to learn more about why it may be useful in your garden, how it can be used, and where you can find it in the Springfield area. 

Mulches come in various forms and are used to retain soil moisture, block weeds, and reduce erosion.  Different mulches can be used for different parts of the garden, and are relatively cheap or free.

Often times, the biggest purchase decision for a beginning garden is that of a shed or storage building. There are many options to consider before making a purchase, including tool lockers, pre-made storage sheds, and custom DIY storage sheds. 

Many community gardens have a place to gather. A comfortable, possibly shaded, seating area provides space for meetings, classes, shared meals, and casual conversation. Creating such a space in your garden is beneficial for cultivating community and can be done with recycled and repurposed items. 

For a large garden, pathways are necessary to get from one area to another. To prevent well-travelled areas from becoming muddy and discouraging gardeners, invest in simple ways to create pathways that will not only allow for ease of travel but may also add beauty to your garden area as well.

Well-aged horse or cow manure is an excellent fertilizer and can be used similar to compost. There are a few guidelines to keep in mind however in order to insure the safety of you and your plants when using manure. 

Soil testing is a critical component for successful gardening and farming.  It is easy to do and the benefits are long-term. Test results include pH, organic matter, essential nutrients for plants, as well as suggestions for fertilization applications.

Water is crucial when it comes to gardening.  Installing a rain barrel will cut down on water usage at your home or business, thus reducing your bill.  Installing an irrigation system will ensure effective and easy watering of a garden. 

Once you have identified your garden spot(s) and made all the preperations, the next step is to plant!

Spring and Summer are the go-to months for gardening, but did you know that you can enjoy fresh food throughout the Fall and into the Winter months as well? 

Take on a DIY project or hire a professional to give your garden defintion with the use of signs.