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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Solving the riddle ..

.. of how to rid my raised veggie bed of the two zillion stones in it without killing myself. Any normally constituted human being would either do it over time with a hand riddle or get a passing idiot to do it for readies.


However one has a wrecked shoulder joint and a congenital aversion to shelling out. So I made me a motorised soil riddler, or sifter if you will. We actually grew stuff in this last year, a bit of a miracle in itself. The soil was a free gift from someone I thought liked me.


So I dug the whole lot out and popped in a new anti weed and tree root membrane. This cost money and tears were shed.


The riddling machine consists of a sieve tray running on old furniture castors, shaken about by the headstock off a wood turning lathe I pinched from the council skip. The sieve itself is some old mesh from dog run and chicken coop projects in the past. All the timber was already to hand or destined for the woodburner next winter.


I made an eccentric cam out of marine ply (well greased) which runs against an ally plate on the tray. The recoil mechanism is two bungees mounted underneath; they are the white stringy thinigies in the pic above.


And it works! If you look at the soil underneath it, it's really clean and fine sifted. When the tray is very full and quite heavy the whole shooting match thrashes about and the motor switch contactor jumps off, stopping things, but that's the only fault. I'm just going to loop out the volt / no volt switch with a plain one.

I had to buy the bungees and some M8 aero nuts (groan) but overall I'm right pleased. When I'm done, the wooden chassis is going to be converted into a raised herb bed for an elderly friend. I don't like waste.

I want the job squared away by next weekend; we have a relaunch of the dog training group to get rolling this month with a very high profile guest trainer in view. Should make some good pics even if only of the pub lunch!

Eug
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ken posted
looks like your set to go find arrowheads
That's astonishing, to me at least. I put the pics up on a UK site devoted to country matters, gardening, self sufficiency and small scale farming. A correspondent from the US made just exactly the same observation you did. It must be a uniquely North American occupation, but I'd never heard of same.

Eug
 

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Here in New England, a very Large concentration of Native Peoples were hunting and farming for hundreds of thousands of years before the nosy Vikings sailed over.
A few inches below ground is a wealth of artifacts like arrowheads. When farmers plow the fields in the spring a popular pastime is arrowhead hunting. Many folks have very large collections. When you construct a new road or public works project the site will be examined by the local University using shake boxes much like you constructed to sift out artifacts from the soil. Most are hand shaken, I have only seen one motorized one before. And that one was built by a stone mason who was also an arrowhead hunter and he used it for his work to get perfect fine sand for his mortar/cement for his stone mason job.
 
 
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Looks like you're set.

Only thing is once you get all the stones out your bed looks like it'll only be 25% full...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Only thing is once you get all the stones out your bed looks like it'll only be 25% full...
I fear you are correct. The only wear and tear on my shoulder joint is coming from trundling barrowloads of b***** stones to the spoil heap.

Eug
 

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Eugene,

Any particular reason ya'll don't just plant your veggies in the ground?
 

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MLP,
raised beds rock! (pun intended)
soil warms up sooner, control of type of soil, less bending, easy weeding, and they look cool! Eug, are you going to add a wheelbarrel load of those white pellets that hold water and another wheelbarrel of old cow poo? That will make up for the rock you take out.


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Eug
Can you not purchase fresh Top Soil, Manure and Compost that has No bloody rocks in it and start over with that bed? If that's your only bed it wouldn't take much.
Seems to me you aught to dispose of the sodding mess you have and start over.
???
 

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Ken ,

Just not used to seeing this very much here in the south. I'm used to seeing large gardens where people grow enough for themselves and usually end up giving alot away to there friends and neighbors.
 

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skinny raised beds set in rows are also good for disabled folks in wheel chairs who want to garden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Breck asked
Can you not purchase fresh Top Soil, Manure and Compost that has No bloody rocks in it and start over with that bed? If that's your only bed it wouldn't take much. Seems to me you aught to dispose of the sodding mess you have and start over.
Well, you're a least partly right. But ..... getting good quality topsoil isn't as easy as you (or I) might think round here. Local raspberry farm who buy in top quality compost; $300 ish. Nursery where we buy our fruit and ornamental trees; $200 for soil with no provenance. Quarrying / gravel man; has something resembling mouse droppings.

The stuff I've got is disease free (been sterilised) right pH, high humus, (chicken poop!) and actually produced some good stuff. If I was going to dig it out anyway, I might just as well get rid of the pebbles, shovel the bugger back in and top with compost.

mlp asked
Any particular reason ya'll don't just plant your veggies in the ground?
Apart from the advantages Ken pointed out, carrot root fly and onion fly dont infect raised beds; they fly just 6" or so over the ground, so anything a foot tall is relatively safe. For some odd reason I don't fathom, rabbits seem to leave them alone too; we have a plague of the wee s**s right now. Our garden isn't very big and currently is devoted to dog kennels, prettyfications (aka the gin and tonic area) and fruit trees as below. Putting the box the other side of the access track on a bit of ground otherwise doing nothing much, seemed a good wheeze.


At bottom I just love DIY and problem solving; you can see the start of my tool room / gun room being nailed onto the side of the garage. It's finished now and I've got my Myford lathe, saw bench, grinder, carpentry tools and welding kit in there.

Ken asked
Eug, are you going to add a wheelbarrel load of those white pellets that hold water and another wheelbarrel of old cow poo? That will make up for the rock you take out.
Ken, this is the Welsh hills; retaining water isn't a problem, Himself sends us an ample sufficiency! We've got access to chicken poop from our own fowl, and a ruck of 'oss muck from the neighbouring farm.

Perhaps we should start a DIY and self sufficiency corner?

Eug
 

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I like the old saying, "People who say something is as cheap as dirt, never bought any."
 

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looks like your set to go find arrowheads ;-)

Er, Eug, sorry old man - looks like what's been thrown in front of whatever goal Villa's been "attacking" of late.

To paraphrase Mr. Maguire (or was it Neville Chamberlain or maybe Pippa Greenwood?): "Okra."

Upper and upper the Albion regards,

MG
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Breck posted
skinny raised beds set in rows are also good for disabled folks in wheel chairs who want to garden.
Spot on. I'm into (about) my sixth raised bed made for folks who aren't as spry as they once were. I knock them up (free) out of scrap wooden pallets, line them with PVC membrane, set them on a treated timber base, and apply a coat of preservative paint in the colour required. These guys find a waist height most convenient so I fill the first couple of feet with old house bricks.

Eug
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mike posted
Upper and upper the Albion regards,
Never heard of them.;)

I used to think it would take McLeish two seasons to get us relegated, but I fear I'm wrong, though not for the right reasons! Nice to see yer man DiMatteo doing well; I always thought he was a class act.

Eug
 
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