The screener is designed to sit atop a wheelbarrow or garden cart; the screened compost ends up in the wheelbarrow so it can be transported to wherever it is needed. Materials needed are 2-by-4 untreated framing lumber, galvanized hardware cloth with 1/2-inch square mesh, 2 1/2-inch galvanized deck screws, and 3/4-inch galvanized staples.
Begin by measuring the wheelbarrow. The dimensions of the wheelbarrow tray will determine the lengths of the 2-by-4s. Cut two boards about 16 inches longer than the width of the top edges of the tray, allowing them to overhang the edges 8 inches on each side. Cut two shorter boards about 8 inches less than the cross dimension. (The screener can be built so the overhanging boards extend to the sides of the wheelbarrow, or to the front and back. A rectangular shape is easiest to construct, although it’s also possible to match the tapered shape of some wheelbarrow trays.)
With a handsaw or jigsaw, cut long notches at each end of the longer boards. The cuts can be angled or curved with a jigsaw, if desired, to make the screener fit more snugly atop the wheelbarrow. Check to make sure the notched boards fit the wheelbarrow tray. Assemble the four boards with 2 1/2-inch deck screws.
Cut a rectangle of hardware cloth to fit the underside of the screener. Attach it with a staple gun, fastening about every 6 inches.
Using Screened Compost
Three good uses for screened compost:
Lawn fertilizer. Spread about 1/4 inch of screened compost on the lawn in early fall. Use a leaf rake to distribute it evenly.
Mulch. Blanket the soil in planting beds with an inch or more of screened compost. As mulch, compost offers slow-release nutrients and a tidy appearance.
Potting soil. Fortify houseplant or seed-starting mixes with compost, adding one part of screened compost for every three parts of commercial potting soil.