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Nov 13 2008

Posted By: Paul 07/05/2009 19:22:00

This is the time when the preparation in the garden will be most important. During the rest of the year you will be too busy to do many jobs thoroughly, and late Autumn and early Winter is the time to do them.

I have a small area of the allotment which has not been turned over for at least 5 years, and it is full of couch grass and flints. So when the soil dry's up, I will turn the ground over and sieve the soil. It's and awful job but at the same time very satisfying. I have found by building a wooden frame 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide and attaching a metal mesh to it, I stand the frame up at 45 degrees, against a step ladder and then heave soil at the top of the mesh. As gravity takes over and the soil drops through the mesh leaving stones, roots and other debris to roll down the mesh and form a pile at the bottom.

The mesh I use is made up of 1cm grid, similar to the stuff used for outdoor Budgie cages and the soil must be dry and crumbly or sandy. You may also need to adjust the angle of the frame to maximize the 'drop though'. I have seen a this type of Sieve being used on Time Team, but their version is horizontal and suspended from an old garden swing, which allows for a manual shaking motion to hurry the soil on it's way.

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