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How to make a soil sieve

You will need

  • 8m of 25mm x 50mm treated timber
  • Wood stain
  • Wire mesh sheet with 1cm holes
  • 12mm x 40mm wood screws
  • Tape measure
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
Do it: all year round
Takes just: 2 hours

Overview

Toby Buckland makes a soil sieve (or riddle) for sifting out large lumps from soil, leaf-mould and compost, to leave you with a fine material suitable for seed sowing and potting mixes.

You should aim to make your soil sieve slightly bigger than your wheelbarrow so you can quickly work your way through a pile of compost directly from the heap.


How to do it

1

Measure your wheelbarrow, so you can build your sieve to fit comfortably across the top.


2

Cut the timber into eight pieces and fix them together to form two equal-sized rectangles. Smooth any sharp edges with sandpaper. Use pliers to cut the wire mesh to the same size as the frame.


3

Paint the timber with wood stain to preserve it and add colour, then leave it to dry.


4

Set out the lower half of the timber frame on a flat surface and place the mesh on top.


5

Screw the upper and lower parts of the frame together, sandwiching the mesh in-between.


Our tip

Your sieve can also double as a drying tray in autumn and winter for onions, garlic, root crops and beans before you store them.




Discuss this project

Talkback: How to make a soil sieve
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BillinDetroit 24/11/2011 at 15:27

You can also make the frame of 2x4's and staple the screening directly to one face. This becomes the -bottom- face when seiving ... allowing you to seive larger quantities, roughly a bushel, at a time.

Len2 24/03/2012 at 16:36

I like the simple idea. I made something similar, but now quite so nice. However, I found it handy to put some low walls around the four sides of the sieve.