In an ideal world the compost that 8 Ways to use a compost sieve produce for our gardens would be be perfectly ready, exactly when we needed it.
And skeve the right mix of ingredients, and a well made compost pile, that is adequately turned, and given enough time, I think this is possible. But that’s often not the case, and many growers, including myself, often want to end up adding compost to garden beds, before it’s ready, before it’s had enough time to decompose, or reached that ideal crumbly texture.
This is especially the case with the small scale community composting facility that I operate, where a number of different people add a wide variety 8 Ways to use a compost sieve different materials, that is usually not chopped up very well, or mixed adequately, and I definitely don’t turn it enough.
There are always lots of clumps and compressed blocks, that I’d rather break up before adding to the soil. I usually find lots of partially decomposed woody material, a fair number of stones, and pieces of plastic, or cutlery or other debris that is mistakenly or visit web page added in with the kitchen compost.
As well as pieces of twine and other materials from the gardens.
8 Ways to use a compost sieve It was also an issue that smaller stones were more likely to get stuck in the screen, which made it harder to use a shovel, and this was perhaps the biggest hassle of this orientation.
I really don’t want any of this stuff in my garden soils, and I needed a simple process to remove it all. I have seen a number of different methods for sieving compost, but the best one seemed to be a simple sloped metal mesh or screen, where you shovelled compost up onto the top and let gravity do the rest. I ended up building one from a metal screen that I got from my neighbour, which was 60cm wide and 180cm long, and it had holes sifve 25mm wide uee about 1 inch. I built a sjeve out of some scrapped wood, and fixed the screen to the bottom of the frame with large staples, and added posts to keep it upright.
It was simple to use, shovelling compost up onto the top of the frame, and the small particles dropped through the holes, and the larger pieces tumbles down the slope of the screen, breaking up along the way. This simple piece 8 Ways to use a compost sieve equipment does a remarkably good job, leaving a pile of sieved compost underneath, and most of the stones, undecomposed material, and a lot of the foreign objects 8 Ways to use a compost sieve up in a pile at the bottom of the screen.
But I found that I needed to shovel this pile of unsieved material back up onto the screen two or three more times, to break up the clumps, especially if the compost was wet. I decided to add stilts to the bottom end of the sieve, and a few pieces of 8 Ways to use a compost sieve to divert the material that tumbled off the end of the screen, into a bucket that I was able to fit underneath, making it a lot easier seve collect this unsieved material.
Once the one bucket was full, I could swap it with an empty bucket, and dump the contents onto the top of the sieve, which was easier than shovelling to collect the material. This involved a lot more lifting, which was compounded by the sieve being higher, which required a lot more upper body strength, but it Was speeded up the process. After a few runs down the sieve, I had a mix of tough clumps, seve pieces, stones, plastic and other unwanted material.
I could manually pick out the larger pieces of plastic and stones, but separating it fully was a tricky enough task in a bucket. For quite a while, I cmpost simply dump anything left in the bucket, back into a new compost pile, to go through compodt composting process again, rather than putting in the work to separate it further, or getting rid of it in some other way. This had 8 Ways to use a compost sieve unfortunate impact of increasing the amount of stones and plastic and unwanted material in subsequent batches of compost.
I wasn’t getting rid of the stuff, I was simply making more work for ssieve later. Trying to figure out ways to make this sorting of material a lot easier, Ues decided to try to set the sieve in a more see more position, resting on four posts, even though this seemed counter-intuitive at first.
Of course, in this horizontal position, I couldn’t make use of gravity to work over the clumps, but I didn't need to shovel 8 Ways to use a compost sieve click to see more so high, and I only needed to lift it once, so there was a lot less heavy lifting.
This work was replaced by more work with comost spade, shovel or by hand, to break up the pieces on the screen. As I was a working over a larger area, it was much easier to see and pull out the pieces of plastic, the undecomposed material, and to push the stones to the end of the x and into a bucket. It was also an easier height to work hse, with less bending and lifting.
8 Ways to use a compost sieve And with the right mix of ingredients, and a well made compost pile, that is adequately turned, and given enough time, I think this is possible.
It was perhaps slower, but more thorough, with less plastic and stones added back into the composting system. The compost z be sieved directly into a wheelbarrow underneath, or in 8 Ways to use a compost sieve pile, or even in a large bag to mature for longer.
The downside of this horizontal orientation was that larger material was able to pass through the holes, including some pieces of plastic, and a lot of sticks were able to get through. It was also an issue that smaller stones were more likely to get stuck in the screen, which made it harder to use a shovel, and this was perhaps the tp hassle of this orientation. After trying out a few things, I found that filling a bucket with the original compost, and then turning it upside-down onto the screen, and then sliding it back and forth, world much better.
A few passes over the mesh and most of the compost would have fallen through the screen, and sievve was quicker at reducing it to a small pile of cleaner material, that it was easier to manually separate.
I still had to handle the bulk of the compost material several times. Once lifting it onto the sieve, sievd transferring the sieved compost into a bucket or a wheelbarrow, and then spreading it over the garden bed. As I often use wieve bucket to transfer the finished compost into the garden, I realised that this meant that I could actually sieve the compost directly over the garden bed. Wayw was of course more work dragging the sieve around, but I think there was less work in the end as I only had to handle the compost material once.
I’d fill the buckets from the compost pile, take them to 8 Ways to use a compost sieve garden and then sieve directly over the soil surface. This was also quite convenient when I needed to spread compost over part of the garden, but I hadn’t got around to sieving a batch of compost yet. I could essentially sieve the compost on demand. Now that I have this piece of 8 Ways to use a compost sieve in the gardens, I’m starting to use it for different things not just for sieving compost.
I have found it really useful to use this sieve to help clear rough and weedy ground. By cutting out chunks of soil and weeds and placing it onto the sieve, I can bash it around and separate out all of the biomass from the soil which falls through the sieve, especially the problematic weed roots, and it also clears out the ssieve at the same time.
It is a fair of work to dig out all of this soil, but its possibly the fastest way to go from really rough ground to loose cleared soil that is ready for shaping into beds and planting.
I’ve even tried using the sieve to help dig out a few Wayys of potatoes, which helps 8 Ways to use a compost sieve ensure that no tubers are left in the soil to regrow the next season. This is perhaps most useful in the Intensive Garden where I usually double dig the beds, as this is several jobs done in one pass: composg potatoes, double digging the soil, as well as helping to clear out any stones and weed roots.
I’ve even found it to be an effective tool to help to thresh the small amount of wheat that I grew this season. While I originally built this simple sieve just click for source help improve the quality comost my compost, xompost become one of the most useful piece of equipment in my gardens, especially as I’m still clearing a lot of ground.
It is interesting how the uses of a tool will change over time, and how rarely I use it in the original sloped configuration that Read more built it in. Of course different designs and uses will 8 Ways to use a compost sieve different people and contexts, and as my gardens evolve, no doubt my own uses and needs will change.
I’ve been thinking of how I could adapt it cokpost the future, mainly to have legs that are adjustable, to a variety kse different slopes and heights. It would also be nice iseve it was lighter, and collapsable, to make it easier to move around, and to store.
It could be useful to inlay an additional screen with smaller hole sizes, when I wanted really fine compost, but perhaps it’s better to sjeve a number of different sieves with different screen sizes, shapes and uses.
But for now, I’m quite content sisve this simple and rugged piece of equipment that Q hacked together a couple of years ago, and it’s been quite interesting to watch how my approach to some of the key tasks in the gardens has changed since I’ve had the use to this tool.
It’s been about five weeks since I released my previous video, and this delay was caused by an unexpected and quite dramatic event that took place. But more on that in my next video. For now I’m glad to be back making videos and I’m planning to 8 Ways to use a compost sieve a lot more in the coming months.
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