Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recycled Compost Sifter

Readers of my blog know I'm crazy about composting.  It's the ultimate trash to treasure, taking browns and greens and turning it into black gold.  I'm always making compost and eagerly look forward to the finished product.  When the contents of the bin have decomposed to 1/3 of it's original size, and I can no longer identify the materials I added, it's time to sift my compost.
There are some wonderful compost sifters out there.  Most garden catalogs carry them and I've seen homemade ones that look like they work very well.  I have an easier way to sift my compost.  Nursery garden flats! The flats are lightweight, have different sized holes to choose from, and can still be used to tote your nursery packs from spot to spot when not used as a sifter.
Stack 3 or 4 flats together, placing the smallest desired hole size on top.  I sift over buckets, an empty trash can, or a wheel barrow.  Don't forget to use an old shower curtain under everything to make clean up easier.

The finished compost can be used as a growing medium, soil amendment, or fertilizer.

I resift the left over (larger) pieces using flats with larger holes.

I use this as mulch around fruit trees and other plants.
The largest pieces go into the current compost bin, topping off recently added kitchen scraps and adding worms and decomposing microbes to the pile. 
 Be well and happy gardening!

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