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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do you Sift your Compost?

What does this photo have to do with today's topic of sifting compost? Absolutely nothing but I figured I needed to start off with something cute since the rest of the photos are blah.

This is my compost area. This is a nice photo of my compost area. Trust me...and yes, that is a toilet in my compost, oh the shame.

This photo was taken last year, this year the compost has spread to the left and to the right and there's hardly any place left to even walk. That's ok, I'm working on making some serious compost!

My husband Don made this sifter for our garden at our first house. Back then we were on a quarter acre lot and didn't have a compost pile.

Two weeks ago Don replaced the screen for me. See how nice he made it so that it fits perfectly on top of the wheelbarrow?

I have to wonder though, do I need to go through the extra step of sifting my compost? I know that when you get composted delivered, you pay extra for the kind that's "triple screened". But what about at home?

Do you sift your compost?


Blue Fox said...

I only sift compost if I'm using it for smallish pots as I'm too impatient to wait until it's all broken down. If it's for a large planter or on the garden I don't bother. I'm lazy!

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

How cute.

I could have taken the same picture of compost sifter and wheelbarrow at my house today. I love the look, feel, and smell of sifted compost.

tina said...

I have never sifted mine. Who has time? It rots just as well and still does its job with the chunky stuff. I love the toliet, I have one and a bathtub too! Cute bunny, I thought you'd talk about their "compost". Love the stuff from my two. Sometimes is goes straight in the garden...

garden girl said...

I'm basically a lazy gardener, and don't sift. (I never sift flour when I bake either.)

Adorable bunny!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Cute bunny!

I never sifted mine. I'm having compost envy seeing yours. I saw the toilet and wondered if you were from Alabama! LOL.

easygardener said...

It's too backbreaking to sift compost. I just pick out any really chunky bits and throw them back in the heap.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Ok ............... what the heck is the toilet doing there melanie ? dare I ask ??? LOL
PS .. I haven't sifted my compost .. now you have me wondering .. but alas .. too darn tired by that time ! LOL

chey said...

Good question. I don't sift, but my pile is much smaller than yours. I just smooch with my gloved hands to break up the chunks.

Meems said...

Melanie, I'm not a sifter-- I use my compost when I can 'tell' it is ready. I think there might be as many differences in compost useage as there are in gardeners. So what do you do with your compost? A layer goes into every new bed I make and I use it almost like mulch in the winter to give any extra layer of protection to my perennials since they don't go dormant.

I have started making compost tea with it to water my potted plants... that's fun.
meems @Hoe&Shovel

Anna said...

That is some serious composting. I've never had a pile that big. I'll report back next year on my progress. I'm going to collect all the neighbors leaves.

Frances, said...

Cute bunny photo, not cute in the garden though. Maybe compost sifting is for those who add big cow patties to their compost, now those would need sifting. Like everyone else who has commented so far, I just pick out the big stuff, throw it back on the pile, and use the smaller stuff. No time, strength or inclination to do more than that.

Frances at Faire Garden

Nichole said...

What a perfect place for a toilet!! I always wanted a bathroom in my garden. I never thought of sifting my compost, I usually break up big chunks with my hands or throw it back in the pile. I think I might be building a screen

Melanie said...

Hi all, I'm so late for school but I MUST explain the toilet in my compost heap. I feel my reputation going down the ....well you know :-)

I like to take photos of the crazy things people have in their gardens. One garden had a planted toilet and I show it in many of my lectures. We were doing our bathroom over and my husband decided to save this toilet because "they don't build them like they used to". His plan was that we would finally put that bathroom in our basement and use the old toilet. It sat outside next to my garage for half a year.

We were having 600 people come tour the garden...I couldn't leave that toilet out there! I asked online if I should plant it and put it in the garden but most replies felt it didn't fit in with my cottage garden style. So, I hauled it to the back to my compost area. It is not a working toilet unless I decide to load it with some compost :-)

Now on another note, I do have a working toilet in the garden and it's a wonderful thing to have! You can see it in one of my last year's posts entitled 'The Necessary Room'. Yup a toilet in the garden sure does come in handy, can't wait until it's warm enough to turn the water on out there.

AAACCCKK I'm super late, will comment more later!

Carol said...

I do sift my compost, generally in the fall when I get the "big harvest" from the piles. However, I'm trying out a compost tumbler for the first time, and I am going to see how that does at breaking stuff down, and if i feel like I have to sift that compost.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens