Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Another make do...

We use horticultural grit on top of large pots to try and keep in the moisture. This poses a problem when emptying out said pots at the end of the season. Up until now, we have used a variety of large sieves whose holes catch some, but not all of the grit.

We have looked all over the place for a large sieve with small diameter holes (4-5mm). Other than an 8" wide sieve, designed to put a fine amount of soil/compost on top of seeds, nothing has been found.

We thought about buying some smaller mesh and putting it around existing sieves. DB even went up into the attic after I asked him for an old colander that I knew was up there. This worked but was just too small. We needed something bigger as quite a lot of grit (and gravel previously used) has found its way into our raised beds over the years.

The colander did give us both the same idea though, find something the right size, decide on the size holes required and drill them into it.

Off DB went into his garage and came out with a large, rectangular box. After a few trials, using a 3mm then a 4mm drill, we settled on 5mm. You can see on the bottom, the grid he drew to line up the holes:
This shot gives you an idea of its depth, around 4":
Size wise internally, it is about 1.75 of an A3 sheet. It sieved loads of dry soil very quickly, only letting through about 5% of grit, a great improvement all round. Well done and thank you DB.


12 comments:

  1. What a clever DB he is! It's so satisfying when you can make something useful out of things you already have, rather than having to buy it.

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  2. Brilliant make do - excellent thinking outside the box!!

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    1. It was great that we both thought of something similar but he found the red container.

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  3. I dont understand why you are using grit as a mulch - almost anything would be better...grass clippings, thick newspaper, coffee grounds, wood shavings, mushroom compost. Grit heats up in the sun and causes a lot of moisture loss and higher temperatures in the container.

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    1. We use grit as it is for pots with alpines in them. The grit is in and on the compost to stop splash back and aid drainage, but not so much that it allows all moisture through. Non of the above is really suitable for alpines. Not all pots are emptied all the time but over the years, spent compost with grit in it, finds its way into other projects and we need to get the grit out.

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  4. brilliant - wholly - and holey - appropriate repurposing/recycling here. Well done!!!

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    1. Wasn't prepared to pay nearly £10 for a little sieve which would take forever to do the job.

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  5. When we moved into a brand new house we had to sieve the back garden becsuse it had everything buried in it. We used a plastic shopping basket from a supermarket, it was ideal.

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    1. That does sound ideal, well discovered.

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  6. Ah......alpines.......gotcha !

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  7. Such a good idea. So satisfying when you can come up with an alternative solution as well as saving money. P x

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