There is something spiritual about spending a few hours on a nice day just sifting. -- Brian Chandley, ComposterI find this activity very relaxing. Sifting is the perfect activity when I want to spend time alone thinking. On the other hand, sometimes I want to sift as quickly as possible, especially if I have a large load to sift.
Use these links to view different types of sifters:
A few commercially-made sifters are available, but I have not tried any of them or even seen any of them in person. Most sifters are home made, so create one unique to your situation.
How much finished compost do you have at one time?
Are you able / willing to view sifting as a form of exercise?
How are you going to "capture" the sifted compost?
Do I really need a sifter?
Put compost from your pile onto the screen. Shake to allow finer particles of finished compost to fall through. Larger twigs, rocks, clumps, and trash will remain on top of the screen. If the remains are mainly organic, throw them into another compost pile. If not, it can be disposed of appropriately. One composter I know gets a lot of rocks when he sifts, so he uses the remains to fill holes in his drive.
No. Sifted compost is easier to handle and spread. Whether or not ease of application compensates for effort required is a decision you must make on your own behalf.
Do I have to sift material before it goes into the compost pile?
So I sift after materials are composted, but why?
Sifting removes sizable rocks, trash, and lumps of clay which may be in your pile. For those of us who dump donated bags of yard waste into our bin, sifting is important. Otherwise, undesirable material may go out onto our lawns and gardens.
If you apply compost to your lawn, I strongly recommend that you sift it so you can more easily rake and/or water it into the grass. Sifted compost is a finer substance to work with and that makes it easier to spread.
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