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How To Use The Soil Sifter
Here's how easy it is to use the Original Soil Sifter to filter garden soil:
1. Lay the Soil Sifter on top of your wheelbarrow (or Gorilla Cart or garden cart or storage bin or 5-gallon bucket, etc.). The Original is held in place by several adjustable metal brackets arranged so that it will fit snugly on a wheelbarrow measuring anywhere from 41" to 36" in length, and 33" to 26" in width. You can adjust or remove the brackets if your wheelbarrow is a different size, of course. But our design should work as-is in almost all cases. You'll need a screwdriver and measuring tape.
2. Carefully shovel in the soil or compost you want to filter, taking care not to overload the screen or make it difficult to move around with your hands. The raised sides keep things from falling off on the ground, and the adhesive appliques in the corners, made from simple shelf paper, are designed to fit a wheelbarrow's non-square shape, again to prevent leakage around the edges. (You may still want to spread a tarp under the wheelbarrow to minimize cleanup.)
3. Gently mix the soil around with your gloved hands, allowing only the rich soil itself to fall through the 1/4" screen. Pull out any large rocks, roots and twigs while you're mixing. Recycle the garden waste separately from the rocks and pebbles. You can even use the rocks or gravel in your landscape design. IMPORTANT: The Soil Sifters are pretty sturdy, but will not hold up if you use a shovel or other metal implement to mix the soil. Use your hands or a brush only.
4. Pick up the screen and dump the contents (small pebbles, glass or metal junk, twigs, etc.) into a box or other container for disposal or later sorting. If you think you might have trouble lifting the standard Soil Sifter, see our main page for several other lighter weight and less expensive alternatives, each designed for different applications. IMPORTANT: Do not overfill the Soil Sifter (higher than the top of the box) because the screen is not designed for that much weight, and you may have trouble emptying the debris. And remember, no need to worry about jagged, uncut screen edges.
5. When the wheelbarrow is full, dump it on a tarp near the bed you're preparing, or directly into the area where you want to use it, or fill bags or other containers for future use. You can also mix in any soil amendments you want at this time. This kind of filtered soil is like gold dust to gardeners!
6. Repeat until the soil or compost has been completely filtered. Remember that, because it is aerated, filtered soil takes up more space than compacted soil, even with the debris removed, so you might end up with some extra!
To see how this works, without all the verbiage, here's a very brief video one of my customers posted on YouTube!