omarismyhero
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where to find materials for no-dig garden bed??

hi i am interested in building a no dig garden bed. i i have built the enclosure and have made compost, but the problem i have is that i do not know where to find lucerne hay and straw, also i don't think that the amount of compost i have made is enough for the garden, is there any place where i can find these items either online or nearby? i live in southern california. thanks

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farmerlon
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If you can't find the Lucerne (Alfalfa) hay, an option would be to purchase Alfalfa pellets or Alfalfa meal at a Co-Op or other farm supply store.
Also, you could substitute grass clippings from your own yard (if applicable), as long as the lawn is not chemically treated.

garden5
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Welcome to the Helpful Gardener.

If you have any local farms in your area, I'm sure some of them would be willing to sell you a few bales of hay or straw.

For the compost, you can look in your phone book under "Landscape Supply" or "Mulch Supply." Some of the places that sell bark for flower beds also sell compost. Just make sure that they don't put chemically treated refuse in it. Some farms also sell composted manure.
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Sage Hermit
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Everything you need is either being thrown away somewhere or just hasn't been thrown away yet.
You can solve all your problems in a garden/laboratory.

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soil
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what he said ^^^
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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rainbowgardener
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There's no set recipe, you just want to be sure your raised bed is filled with lots of good organic materials. Some of it can be regular topsoil. Compost is good, mushroom compost, worm castings, fall leaves (if any, I know they aren't so common in southern calif), grass clippings, you could mix in a little bit of commercial potting soil with perlite or vermiculite to lighten it up a bit.
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The Helpful Gardener
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The paper at your office. The leaves they raked next store. The vegetable trash in your kitchen. The wood shavings from the carpenter (no pressure treated). Leftover cardboard at the supermarket (or where ever). the waste at the bakery/brewery/food co-op/restaurant...

Look about you. This is America, land of the waste stream. Soil is all about you, just waiting to be made...

HG
Scott Reil

garden5
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:
Soil is all about you, just waiting to be made...

HG
I like that.

Another option is you can go a Starbucks, or probably any coffee shop, for that matter, and ask them to save coffee grounds for you. You will get A TON of them :).
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Runningtrails
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Location: Barrie, Ontario,Canada

I pick up bags of shredded computer paper from the commerical area nearby on their recycle pick up day. It's just sitting at the roadside.

It makes great chicken litter too ;-)

It looks a little odd on the garden as it's so white and people ask me what that is when they see it. It makes good, light mulch. Paper is a wood product, however, so will use up nitrogen in the soil as it decomposes so make sure you put some manure in there too.

You can usually get free manure by the truckload from horse farms, etc. Just make sure it's old and composted.

I pick up yard waste bags from the curbs in the fall. They are usually full of leaves. i have a lot of my own leaves to use too but these are already raked for me :-)

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rainbowgardener
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This time of year, lots of stores and stuff have straw bales out as part of their Halloween/fall decorations. Check with them what they are planning to do with them, when it is time to change decorations. I imagine they would be glad to give them away.


Check out this thread from last year:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=101053&highlight=fall+leaves#101053

re kleptomania var. folium "stealing" people's bagged up leaves they put out at the curb for pickup. Last year I scored 8 bags....
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