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IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  boffer on 6/30/2015, 11:39 am

If easy is a priority, it doesn't get any easier than this.  It could be made out of wood too.

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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  Zmoore on 6/30/2015, 12:00 pm

YEAH!!!  There we go Boffer!  That's awesome.  As I was testing out my "prototype" by about the 6th scoop full I was thinking "there's got to be a better way".  Mine is very "fundamental" and rough, but at least I'm seeing what the end product could be.  If it continues to look as good as it does and produces good results in the garden then an "upgrade" will be in order.
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  donnainzone5 on 6/30/2015, 12:13 pm

Boffer,

I love the idea!  However, its intricacy and cost are prohibitive.

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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  CapeCoddess on 6/30/2015, 12:20 pm

Ooohhhh... I like that, Boffer!   How to do it for free....hmm....

I suppose I could use a lidded milk crate (1/2" holes) with a stick going thru the sides, on a stand.  The lidded side would open to add the compost.  Close, spin.  Rotate 1 side of stick over to dump the larger compost, then put the stick back on the stand, add, spin, dump, repeat.  Use the sifted pile that builds underneath.

Did that even make sense to anyone?
thinking
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Last edited by CapeCoddess on 6/30/2015, 12:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  boffer on 6/30/2015, 12:26 pm

Zmoore, I'm with you: I really enjoy the texture of sifted compost.  

But I put sifted compost in the category of something that a gardener does for their own benefit and pleasure, rather than for the benefit of their plants.  With the exception of a couple root crops like carrots, it probably doesn't help a whit.

I screen everything to ½ inch except carrots.  I screen that compost to ¼ inch.

Donna, acquiring the various materials took longer than making it.  

There's plenty of ideas on the net whose foundation is the basic box with screen on the bottom, that can be 'automated'.  Not necessarily with a motor, but a crank, or sliding mechanism that is manually powered, that will bounce or shake the box.  I really dislike hand sifting, especially when the compost is more than damp.
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  yolos on 6/30/2015, 12:45 pm

Here is another idea.  I use generally the same type set up but I do not have rollers on my sifter.  Makes it real easy to sift over a wheel barrow.


http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t18517-built-a-compost-strainer-labor-day-weekend-2014#205898
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  sanderson on 6/30/2015, 4:27 pm

I merged with an older screening compost topic.

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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  sanderson on 6/30/2015, 4:52 pm

Boffer,  Only you would make an "easy screener" for compost.  What a gem!  Very Happy
@boffer wrote:If easy is a priority, it doesn't get any easier than this.  It could be made out of wood too.


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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  boffer on 6/30/2015, 5:23 pm

@sanderson wrote:Boffer,  Only you would make an "easy screener" for compost.  What a gem!...

You do remember that I'm a lazy gardener, right?  Wink

Here's a manual sifter made from an old well pressure tank.  I don't use it as much-too much work!   Razz




Tip to dump the rocks and sticks.



I built it intending to put a motor on it at another time, but lost interest.
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/30/2015, 6:51 pm

I have never screened my compost, mostly because I have never done the new SFG method...my fist SFG was in the mid-late 80s, using real dirt and low down beds.  Composted and got organic at my subsequent location, but regular gardening method. Using Rodale's original All New Enclyclopedia of Organic Gardening.  Never screened compost in that setting.  

Hmmmm, I really like the feel of the fine fine compost, will have to figure out what to do, will need to top my boxes off this fall.  Decomposing leaves under my top 6" of MM and mix volume is deflating....good and bad!
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My Primitive compost operation

Post  Zmoore on 7/2/2015, 8:13 am


I know, one of the legs is crooked.  Screw heads stripped out on me while I was trying to adjust.  On my list of things to fix.


"Table" top with screen.


Compost loaded.

\
Working compost up and down on screen.


Fine stuff under table, course stuff off end of table.


Front of table with finished product underneath.


Finished product.

I don't think the finished product photo really does it justice.  I'm pleased with results.  Took me about 45 minutes to process that pile under the table and I was sweating when done or perhaps I was done because I was sweating.  Anyway, per discussion, not required I think the stuff I had in the pile would work just fine.  This process just allows you to separate out big "stuff" and unfinished bits like banana peels, coffee filters, leaves and straw that could use a little more time to break down further.  They could just finish breaking down in your garden though.
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  yolos on 7/2/2015, 11:23 am

Are you all using 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch screen.  I have a sifter with 1/4 inch screen and the compost is real fine.  That may be my problem.  There does not seem to be enough substance to my MM.  Maybe if I used 1/2 inch I would get something a little better able to retain water and feel more like a forest floor instead of such a finely sifted MM.
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  boffer on 7/2/2015, 11:45 am

¼ inch for my carrot box.
½ inch for everything else.  

I used to screen all my compost to ¼ inch, but I didn't see a difference when I tried ½ inch.
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  Zmoore on 7/2/2015, 1:09 pm

My "Primitive" pictures above are 1/2" screen.
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/2/2015, 1:40 pm

My milk crate compost sifter:
I put 2 boards across the wheelbarrow, set this atop the boards so the center of the basket is open to the wheelbarrow, shovel in the compost and shake, then dump out the big stuff into the new pile and start again.  It's also my harvest basket and veggie rinsing basket.  In this photo it's being used as a shade cover.

Shaking is starting to hurt my back so I'm thinking about running a dowel thru it, add a lid & some legs somehow and see if I can set it up to spin/sift.

Any ideas on an easy way to set this up?  For free?

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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  boffer on 7/2/2015, 3:14 pm

@capecoddess wrote:Shaking is starting to hurt my back so I'm thinking about running a dowel thru it, add a lid & some legs somehow and see if I can set it up to spin/sift.
That's a clever idea.

I've experimented with several types of flat screeners; I even motorized one.  But none of them are easier to use than a trommel type like in my pic above.  

Here's an idea that I think you can make if you're interested.



You can find instructions here.

Another option is to find an old compost tumbler and drill holes in it.


Last edited by boffer on 7/2/2015, 3:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: IS STRAINING COMPOST REALLY NECESSARY FOR SFG-ING?

Post  Turan on 7/2/2015, 3:16 pm

The only time I bother is for the mixture to make soil blocks for seed starting.

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