Composting Gardening tools Soil

A Handy Dandy Soil Sifter/Plant Lugger

Here’s handy recycled garden tool: a plastic bakery tray, also called a bread tray, with a grid bottom. 

You can use it as a sifter to:

  • Remove undecomposed items from finished compost;
  • Remove stones from garden soil;
  • Sift out invasive rhizomes and roots;
  • Harvest new potatoes;
  • And dozens of other things, I’m sure.
Sifting potatoes. Photo: tonythegardener.blogspot.com

Just shovel in the soil or compost and shake: smaller particles go right through; larger bits stay put. Couldn’t be easier!

Carry Plants Too

I keep mine in my car trunk when I go plant shopping. I call it my “plant lugger” and I fill it with pots of plants I can then easily carry all at once rather than just two or three at a time.

I’m sure you could find one of these cheaply at a flea market.

Milk crate used as a sifter. Ill.: 20190509B H&G Ideas

Can’t find one? Try a milk crate. It also makes a great sifter and plant lugger! 

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

1 comment on “A Handy Dandy Soil Sifter/Plant Lugger

  1. It is amusing how useful some common items can be in the garden. One of my favorite tools for plugging zonal geraniums and iceplant is a common tire iron. (It is not just any tire iron though. It is from a 1976 Electra!)

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