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Finding the Right Topsoil Screen for the Job

Aug 31, 2008
Whether you're one person with a little garden or a large landscape company, a topsoil screen can make you more efficient. Topsoil screens come in a variety of configurations, from small, individual screens to huge motorized pieces of equipment. Some of the most common uses are the removal of rocks, sticks, and sod to leave usable soil behind. The usefulness of each topsoil screen is dependent on your goals.

A Topsoil Screen for the Home Gardener

If you are simply interested in using a topsoil screen to filter out the sticks, stones, and other junk in your yard dirt, then a small one is probably perfectly adequate for your needs. This type of device usually includes a single screen, and it may fit over a box or even your wheelbarrow. There are even some that have been designed to fit perfectly over any five gallon bucket. You simply shovel the dirt onto the screen and then either tamp it down or shake the screen. The small particles filter through the screen, while the larger debris remains on top so that you can remove it. A series of ever-finer screens can be used if you wish to separate your yard dirt into different categories.

Equipment for Businesses

valuable tool in a variety of businesses. For the professional landscaper, it can save money; as there is less need to truck in topsoil from outside sources. Nurseries and even golf courses have found that use of a topsoil screen also translates into less environmental impact due to the on-site capabilities of the machines.

A commercial-grade topsoil screen is going to be mechanized and will utilize some sort of motor to create the vibrations necessary to send dirt and other organic materials through the filter. In many cases, an operator will have the job of loading dirt onto the machine as well as removing the larger debris that has been filtered out. Some machines, however, have an integrated conveyor that carries the debris away.

Because so much more is expected of a commercial-grade topsoil screen, they are much larger and sturdier than the ones that would be used by the home gardener. Some actually utilize other large equipment to load the dirt and are therefore able to sift several hundred cubic yards in a day. This might include the ability to use a Bobcat or a backhoe. These commercial-grade machines might also come with a towing hitch in order to more easily take the machine from site to site.

More about Topsoil Screens

While it's common to think about using woven wire for a topsoil screen, there are several other options available. One topsoil screen may utilize piano wire while another uses a punched plate, for example. The material used to build the screen will help determine how fine of a mesh is created. The size of the openings allows for a variety of uses.

Although we've only looked at how to use a screen in order to make good topsoil, there are other uses for this type of product. Simple changes to the design mean that you can use a similar device to separate various sized rocks and gravel, to sift compost, and much more. They are even used regularly in the recycling industry. A qualified dealer can help you determine what type of topsoil screen is going to be the best for your needs.
About the Author
Andy West is a writer for EZ-Screen, which offers many varieties of vibrating screens and topsoil screen equipment.
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