Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Screening Compost and Soil

A screen for soil, compost, and other materials is a very useful piece of gardening equipment.  It sifts out pine cones, roots, and other big pieces of junk, and breaks up clods so you're left with nice fine-grained soil that mixes easily with amendments.  It's good for recovering the potting mix from container plantings, leaving all the root balls behind and leaving nice clean media.  It's also good for mixing things.  I'll put a couple shovels of soil, a shovel of compost, and a shovel of pumice together with a little fertilizer and shake the screen to get a nice batch of planting soil.  I typically use mine over a wheelbarrow, shoveling stuff in and then shaking it and moving it around by hand.

Mine is made from 1/2" hardware cloth, fixed onto a frame of 1x3's.  I put some pivoting legs on one end so I can work it single-handed, and it's held up for about ten years now.