Erin and I found ourselves in need of a soil screen on the spot when we decided at the spur of the moment to mock up both a section of possible rammed earth garden wall and a section of gabion garden wall; see the blurb about enclosing the garden. This is a Tuesday evening after our full day of work, baby chasing, and schooling yet we were excited to see some progress on our latest Soggy Hollow House Project.
Well, we didn't get both mock-ups complete before dark but we did end up with a beautiful little rammed earth mock-up wall and a decent little much needed soil screen that took all of about 7 minutes for 2 people to build as a team; one team member cuts, screws, and assembles and one team member marks, snips, and Facebooks. Below is a list of materials we used for our screen and the steps it took to get our first batch of beautiful screened soil.
We were lucky, we had all the materials right under foot, literally. This is what the pile of soil screen building materials should look like.
Building the screen
Cut the wood to make up 2 equal sides and 2 other equal sides (4 sides total) and attach them at the corners to make a rectangular frame, it would probably work as a square too, you're call. It would be best if the soil screen was at least 6 inches wider than your wheelbarrow or whatever vessel you will be using to catch your screened soul, I mean soil. Our soil screen is roughly 24 inches wide by 14 long.
Lay the frame down on something solid and use as a template to cut your screening material, in our case the 1/2" square galvanized hardware cloth already mentioned.
Now staple the hardware cloth to the frame around the entire perimeter. I used lots of staples, probably one every inch and a half to two inches.
Turn frame and hardware cloth (now officially a soil screen) back over and lay across your wheelbarrow or vessel of choice.
Shovel some soil into the screen.
Shake the heck out of the screen by pulling and pushing back and forth not up and down but not to hard or the soil will jump over the sides rather than slipping through the screen.
Dump the stuff that didn't go through the screen somewhere other than in your vessel of screened soil.
And you now have some screened soil.
I have no idea what happened to the yellow Lego block.