Do you HAVE to screen?

jrzmacMay 31, 2008

My compost pile has just cooled and looks ready to use, I think, but it is not anywhere near looking like top soil, so I built a screen out of 2x2's and 1/4" hardware cloth. Once I screened it, it was like cake flour, nice and light. I did half. There's no way I'm doing this for the whole pile. What i PITA. Is it possible to use the compost as it is and just lay it down and rake it in? It's kind of clumpy and I don't want to smother my lawn. What should I do?

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If you screen it, a 1/4" hardware cloth will get really fine compost. 1/2" is probably plenty fine.

But there's no reason you can't use it unscreened unless you're using it in a place where aesthetics are a very high priority. I screen mine to use it on the front lawn, but I use it unscreened (or even the stuff that didn't make it through the screen) on the garden all the time.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2008 at 9:40PM
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i screened about half the pile. i figured i would use the screened
stuff on the front lawn and the rest in the back, then whatever was
left on the flowers and plants. someone told me to mix in some sand
too. it seemed to fall down onto the soil real easy. i have pretty a
thick lawn also. i did rake it in lightly just to make sure it got
down in there. i used to shovel and spread method and that went
pretty good. the pita is screening it. i should mention this is my
first time doing this and it's all still new to me. though i'm hooked
i have 2 HUGE sickamore(sp?) trees. one in the front and one in the
back that produce a sick amount of leaves. my town has a conservation
center that you have to bring them to. you can't bag them and leave
them out for the garbagemen to take. they only pick up leaves 3
weekends a year from the street. all other times have to be brought
there. pita. although you get all the free compost and mulch you
want, if you dont have a pick up truck, it's pretty much a pain. so i
built a pallet style bin system lined with chicken wire behind the
garage and put the last batch of leaves that fell in there. this
spring i've been turning the pile like everyday. so it's ready to go
right now. i also want to brew some compost tea also but thats
another forum.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 11:46AM
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