DIY Compost Screen/Soil Sifter

This is clever:

Some years back I realized my need for a way to sift compost. Little garden beds that need to be planted with tiny seeds don’t do as well when you dump a bunch of coarse stuff into them.

My solution was to make a frame with hardware cloth tacked to the bottom, which I then shook and shook and shook over my wheelbarrow. It’s kind of a pain… this guy’s system is cooler.

Beyond compost sifting, I also dump lots of scraps for my chickens in the same spot of the chicken yard. They tear it up and manure that area, darkening the dirt and enriching it with nutrients and microbial life. Multiple times a year, I’ll go in there with my wheelbarrow and sifter and screen out some great dirt to add to my raised beds. The plants love it. Without my screen, though, my beds would be filled with rocks, broccoli stems, avocado pits, etc. It makes sense to sift, unless you’re simply throwing rough compost or chicken dirt around your trees and perennials… in that case, don’t bother.

If you haven’t messed with it before, sifted compost is great stuff. It’s fluffy and spongy, plus it makes a great addition to potting mixes. No matter how many times you turn a pile, it’s likely impossible to get compost like that without a screen. This guy’s method is pretty solid.

About David The Good

David The Good is a naturalist, author and hard-core gardener who has grown his own food since 1984. At age five, he sprouted a bean in a Dixie cup of soil and caught the gardening bug. Soon after, his dad built an 8’ by 8’ plot for him and David hasn’t stopped growing since. David is the author of four books, writes a regular column for The Ag Mag in North Central Florida, is a Mother Earth News blogger and has also written for outlets including Backwoods Home, Survival Blog and Self-Reliance Magazine. You can find his books on Amazon here. David is a Christian, an artist, a husband, a father of seven, a cigar-smoker and an unrepentant economics junkie who now lives somewhere near the equator on a productive cocoa farm. Visit his daily gardening and survival blog here: The Survival Gardener And for lots more gardening info, click here and subscribe to his often hilarious YouTube channel.

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One Response to “DIY Compost Screen/Soil Sifter”

  1. david Says:

    What an excellent job! Enough said. This was valuable to me. Thank you.


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