Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Gardening Question

Can all you fabulous gardeners out there help me out please?

I just edged a bit of the driveway and cleared out a trench in front of the garage that had filled with dirt and grass and weeds. I have a fairly large pile of yard waste now that would normally go into the yard waste bin to be carted off by the city.

But my yard waste pile is at least 50% to 75% good black dirt. I'd really like to keep the dirt. Can anyone fill me in on the proper or most efficient way to separate the lovely black dirt from all the weeds, grass, roots, leaves and other random scraps that are in this pile? There has to be a good way to get the dirt out of the other stuff right? There's a lot of good dirt in there I can't stand the thought of pitching it (which I have done in years past) and then buying dirt later for my tomatoes.


  1. Let it dry out really well and then shake the large pieces over the bed most of the dirt will fly out.

  2. The only way I can think of is to shake it on some kind of screen or grate. The dirt will fall through, weeds stay above. Or I beat the weeds against something to shake off the dirt.

  3. I would just try to shake it out. Can you add it to your compost pile?

  4. Thanks everyone. I think I've devised a plan. mhart I had thought a screen or grate would be the best plan because it isn't just dirt locked into roots, it's a mess; leaves, loose grass clippings, a mess! But I don't have a screen or grate. I've got a plan in my mind though. I have an apple basket of sorts and I bet it would trap most of the non-dirt. I have to wait until tomorrow and I'm glad you all mentioned letting the dirt dry out, that is great advice.

    I didn't want to put it into a compost pile because there's some great dirt in there that I'd like put in the tomato bed sooner than later.

  5. I recognize this problem! What I do is just try to, with my hands, separate as much of the good dirt as possible, BUT I would always use this "left over" dirt for bottoms of flower pots and "non-important" pots, and get fresh dirt for tomatoes and "important" flowers. Since my dirt is all in pots, I think (don't know if it's true) that the plants from last year take all the nutrition out of the dirt. I do see a big difference with fresh dirt every year.
    Either way, happy you're gardening! :))

    1. I was going through it with my hands but it was taking forever and I felt like I was going to end up losing so much. I'm so so so happy to be outside though. We've done yard work three days in a row and I'm positively giddy. My back hurts a bit, BUT yard work (being outside) is like a drug for me. I LOVE it!!!!!!!