Materials and Services

Looking for someone to till, deliver hay, provide wood chips or compost? Check out the list of service and material providers below. Please note that the private entities listed have not been vetted and verified by the Gardens Network, and are offered here for informational purposes only.

Garden-Related Materials and Services

Soil Testing

The UW Soil Department’s Analysis Lab is now located in Marshfield, WI. For established gardens interested in soil nutrient levels, pH, organic matter and recommendations, visit the UW Soil Lab website. A standard soil analysis costs $15 per sample.

Wood Chips (for City of Madison Community Gardens)

Wood chips will be provided and delivered for free by the City of Madison for gardens within the City, based on material availability. The City will no longer provide leaves to community gardens. To place wood chip orders, garden leaders must completely fill out the Madison Materials Request Form, reading the descriptions and filling in the relevant information, and send your order request document as an email attachment to the appropriate contacts listed on the form.
1. Identify if your garden is “east” or “west,” roughly east and west of Park St.

a. Streets East and West are divided by John Nolen or Park Street (depending on where the area is): Badger FOL, Leopold Park, and Burr Oaks are west; Moorland and Quann are east.

Free wood chips are also being offered by several tree services. Please go to to request for drop offs. You will have to sign up or login to make requests. Evan Slocum (one of the tree service) can be contacted directly at


Note: As of May 7, 2016 the county compost offer has ended. Please do not submit additional requests to the City of Madison Streets Department.

Dane County Compost sites closed in 2014 due to budget restraints. We encourage all gardeners to practice composting in their plots and to participate in community composting at their garden. Finished compost can be purchased from local companies at a reduced rate for community gardens:

Purchase from Circle B: The City of Madison now contracts with Circle B, a private company in DeForest, to recycle home & yard waste. They offer compost to community & school gardens at a reduced rate; $30/cubic yard. Delivery rates vary from $35.00-40.00 depending on location. They can deliver 2-10 yards of finished compost. To place an order, call (608) 846-9200 and tell them you are from a community garden. You can also visit their website to make purchasing arrangements.

Purchase from Purple Cow Organic Compost: Purple Cow Organics offers bulk organic compost (35 cubic yards minimum) to community gardens at a reduced rate. Please contact Steve Stumbras for detailed information: (608) 332-7047. Smaller quantities at retail pricing can be delivered by Pat Ferrell: (608) 576-7364. Local landscaping companies may have additional options.

In-plot Composting: Gardens may want to look at how they can increase in-garden composting initiatives to help build necessary soil nutrients. Dane County UW Extension Horticulture staff or their trained Master Gardener Volunteers may be available for workshops on composting to hold at your garden. Learn more and contact them at

For routine water issues about an existing hydrant or hookup issues (e.g. minor leaks, end of season request for removal of hookup) call: Amy Jones, Water Utility Operations Clerk, at 608 -266-4647 or email For major large leaks and problems, call the Water Utility’s 24/7 emergency number (608) 266-4661. If your garden is in a City of Madison park, please call Eric Knepp at 608-266-4701 to arrange to have the water turned on.

Hay and Straw
Jim Yelk, 837-9535, delivers marsh hay for $4.25/bale. He can deliver full loads of 69 bales (using pickup truck bed) up to several hundred bales (using truck and trailer). The cost of the delivery is included in the price. Half loads (25-30 bales) can be delivered, but Jim prefers if gardens would pair up to allow him to deliver a full load. Please give Jim about 2 days’ notice to deliver; he can deliver to the gardens during the evenings or on weekends.

Dennis Chadwick, marsh hay: contact for prices and delivery information at 608-220-1831.

Native Plants
You can order native plants through Plant Dane. Visit for more information on placing order. There are 50+ native species; most plants are $2.00 each and all species must be ordered in multiples of four. Order deadline for this year is March 31st, 2017. Plants will be available for pick up on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017 at Dane County Land and Water Resources Building – 5201 Fen Oak Dr., Madison, WI 53719.

Lake Weeds
Any community garden can request a free delivery of lake weeds to use as a soil amendment through the Dane County Public Works – Lake Management Division. Call 246-3897 a few days in advance during late May until late August to request a load. Weeds are delivered by the truckload (6-8 cubic yards) and the trucks must be able to access the garden to deliver. Occasionally, less than full loads are available for delivery. NOTE: To avoid anaerobic decomposition (and complaints from neighbors), it is imperative to spread weeds right away.

Gardens can call the following people to come to their garden and till plots or the entire garden. You will have to pay them directly. Usually they have a minimum charge (typically about two hours) so it pays to organize this among your fellow gardeners if only some plots need to be tilled, but not the entire garden.

– Alex Butz | (608) 886-3077 | Available for tilling large and small gardens. Can also plow and disc large gardens. Does some mechanical repairs as well. Contact for a price quote.

– Art Maerz | (608) 235-4389 | | Art is available for tilling throughout Dane County and operates a small tractor that can till individual garden plots or larger garden spaces.

– Jerry Tollefson | (608) 212-5959 | | Please call for a price quote. I have an 11.7 HP two-wheel tractor called a Grillo. Plow and tiller attachments can be used, allowing me to do both established and new gardens, large and small.

– Tim Lawhern | (608) 577-0888 | | Please call for price quote. I have 3 sizes of tilling equipment: Troybilt rear time tiller; John Deer 18 horse diesel tractor with tiller (about the width of a riding lawn mower) and a 50 HP Kubota with tiller.  I have done as much as 2 acres and as little as a flower bed.

The Garden Fund

In 2016, the Gardens Network will launch a micro-grant program for garden enhancements, expansions and new garden development. Stay tuned!

Please continue donating 10% of your plot fees to the Garden Fund held at Community GroundWorks. Note the name of your garden on the memo line and make your check out to Community GroundWorks:

Community GroundWorks
3601 Memorial Drive, Suite 4
Madison, WI 53704

Translation Services
Contact the City Clerk’s office (266-4601) or utilize the Community Garden Leadership Forum for recommendations.