Our Top Picks For Garden Riddle Sieves To Filter & Separate Soil

December, 2023
Darren Spalding

A garden riddle sieve can be very useful for separating stones and debris from the soil.

Garden soil typically contains various types of debris. Old coins, screws, nails and glass are just a few examples of the items that can end up in garden soil. Newly planted flowers, plants, and crops need to have a clear path for them to get through. Debris on the surface will create an impediment and prevent them from getting out of the ground.

A garden sieve can be useful for a variety of tasks around your garden, including washing gravel or a hydroponic/aquaponic medium and washing homegrown produce to take off the dirt before taking it indoors. Smaller mesh sieves are also helpful for separating seeds from the chaff when you want to use them in cooking next year or sow them.

When shopping for a garden sieve, there are many things to consider. Perhaps the most important thing is whether you're considering specific tasks more than others: if so, consider investing in an old wooden frame and discarded fencing mesh or other material for making your own.

So we know that it is important to get rid of foreign objects on our soil, but how can you achieve this? One way would be by using a garden sieve, also known as a soil sieve, soil sifter or garden sift.

Simpaoutdoor Steel Garden Riddle Sieve

Sizes are available in 1/2 inch, 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch mesh. Prices are £12.99 for single orders or you can save money by purchasing a pack of three; they’re all priced at £12.99 each.

This product is very similar to the Apollo sieves we reviewed in this guide. It has the same metal frame and green paint that helps combat rust, just like our other selection. The mesh holes are also about the same size as what we saw for our other pick--1/4-inch diameter slits spaced 1/2 inch apart.

However, I found that the mesh on this garden sieve was a bit sturdier than it was with my Apollo. It would flex if you pushed the soil down with your hand on top of it but thankfully would return to its original shape right away.

Spear and Jackson RIDDLE Steel Frame Garden Riddle

This sturdy stainless steel sieve is great for sifting soil or compost and removing rocks and other large pieces of un-composted material. The chrome-plated steel is durable, so you can put it through its paces without fear that it won't last.

Following the British Growing Award in 2018, this item was a winner for its 330mm diameter with square holes across the base that are each adjacent to one square centimetre. Unlike most plastic products, this should be durable enough to compensate for its environmental impact. If you are looking to compost more effectively and reduce food waste, as well as aim to reduce the number of products imported from overseas by growing your own produce, this product may be one worth considering.

Apollo Gardening 1/4-inch 6mm Metal Garden Riddle/Sieve

This steel sieve is powder-coated, meaning it will last a long time. The mesh size is also larger at 6mm so it can screen out smaller stones and debris better than the option above.

This product is suitable for anything you might need it to do- from creating smooth soil and compost to performing heavy duty gardening projects. Although the price point is low, this option exceeds expectations.

UPP Garden Sieve 2-in-1 Adjustable Mesh

Overall I love this product. Unlike many other plastic sieves, UPP’s product feels very sturdy and like it will not break after only a few uses. It is made of polypropylene which makes it more durable than metal ones (and means no rust issues). The UPP garden sieve includes two interchangeable types of mesh - a 4mm mesh and a 10mm one. These meshes can be used together or independently, depending on your needs at the time (clearing pond water vs removing weeds from the soil).

One advantage of using plastic for this garden sieve is that it keeps the total weight down. It is very light at only 380 grams, which isn’t bad for something with dimensions 37 x 27 x 7cm. If it were metal instead, the weight would be a fair bit heavier. The only drawback to the UPP Adjustable Garden Sieve is that it's selling at a price I feel is a little high. Then again, the plastic seems very durable because it doesn't rust and should last a long time.

Clarke Rotary Soil Sieve CRS400

If you have a lot of soil or compost to sift, then a smaller tray like one of those mentioned above may not be the easiest way to proceed. You could consider getting more serious with a 560 x 400 rotary soil sieve with a crank handle to turn to get the material through. The depth of the drum is 150mm. 

We find this option to be made from durable mild steel construction It is a sturdy product weighing 5.8 kg, and sits on four legs. If you have ever shaken a sieve for an extended period of time, you may have noticed how much wear it takes on your arms and back. Every now and then you might appreciate this solution because it comes with a crank that can help you to sift materials easier. Although it is quite an expensive product, Clarke does make good quality products.

The only main downside seems to be the size of this rotary soil and compost sieve because you will need more space to store it in when not in use. However, if you have a massive garden, or are looking to start composting on a larger scale, then this may be the best option for you.

This product has holes from 4mm to 1cm in size, so if you want this product for sifting soil or compost more finely, you will need a mesh with smaller holes. However, the large-sized holes work great for many garden jobs.

Clarke Rotary Soil Sieve CRS400
  • Proven reliable Clarke technology
  • Lightweight construction at just 6.4 Kgs

Tierra Garden GP55 Fine Galvanised Mesh Garden Sieve

The Tierra garden sieve is made of recycled materials and polypropylene, so you don’t have to feel too bad about using it. The frame on this model looks like the UPP garden sieve, which means that it will be equally as robust for any task at hand!

The galvanized wire mesh is extremely strong, weather-resistant and can hold a lot of dirt at once. This makes it perfect for those who like to plant large gardens with lots of plants!

One hole in this mesh type of soil sieve is a one-quarter inch wide. Not too big, not too small. This means that it will be able to catch any debris and remove them from the dirt without sacrificing some of your smaller stones or other materials you might want for a garden bed as well!

The clever design of this tool chest makes it a great choice for forgetful construction workers. The plastic parts are easy to clean and the galvanised net offers some protection from rain, snow, or hail while you're on-site before coming back in at night.

Garland 2 in 1 Sieve, with interchangeable Screens

With a mix of UPP and Tiera Garden products, this product is more winning than them in every way. However, there are a few little things that let it down: the frame made from recycled polypropylene with practical dimensions (35 cm long x 35 cm wide x 12.5cm deep), two mesh screens made out of woven galvanized wire to make sure you never have rusty ponds again!

The polypropylene material used for the sieve is a little on the thin side and when trying to shake or squeeze it, there's often too much strain placed onto its mesh screens. This can cause them to warp during use which only leads to more frustration and annoyance in dealing with these pieces of equipment that are so prone to falling out regularly while also being difficult enough as they are just by themselves if not made from this poor quality fabric.

The Tiera Gardens sieve is so worth the investment. Detaching it from its frame, you'll find that the mesh screens and weather-proof build will keep your plants happy for years to come. The clear packaging box with this product also has some good design features - such as a secure zip closure tab and convenient carrying handles on both ends of the package!

How to choose the right garden sieve for you?

When selecting the best garden sieve for your needs, it is beneficial to consider how large of a mesh size you require in order to complete different tasks. A compost or soil screen will be able to handle finer particles and more delicate ingredients like seeds than say an overall metal frame with larger holes that might clog easier due to simply being open air but not necessarily made out of steel wire as are most screens available on the market today.

The decision between these two items can depend largely on what task you plan on using them for whether through compaction or just filtering material such as moss from water tanks.

When considering whether to use a finer or coarser mesh, consider the composition of your soil. If your soil is light and friable with little stone or root particles that you want to remove, a fine mesh should work well. If, however, you have loamy or clay-type soil that typically forms clumps with few stones or roots poking out, a coarse mesh will be able to manage the material better.

When picking out new screens for your garden sieve, you want to make sure that you are getting quality products that deserve their price tag and pay off in years of use rather than disappointments over sub-par materials or construction techniques. Consider the following characteristics when making your purchase:

The frame: Look for metal frames with solid connecting points and durable powder coat paint for maximum longevity. Ensure that the handles for moving it around are strong enough as well and that they can be folded up into a box or other container if needed in order to store it easily when not being used. The screen: If using an overall frame with no real way to keep the screen in place, think about stretching netting over the top of it while using pipe clamps or zip ties to hold it in place. This can keep you from having to worry so much about the screen falling out as often, especially if you don't have a lot of time on your hands to be constantly fixing this problem. It also will reduce the chances that small soil particles and dirt stick into the mesh holes and cause pitting or uneven wear due to constant collisions with these elements which tend to happen regardless of what kind of sieve is being used at any given time.

Some tips on using a garden sieve

  • Be sure to shake and dump out the sieve of debris regularly so that it doesn't have a chance to clog up!
  • When you're sifting wet soil or compost, be sure to let it dry first. The ground will become more efficient when the process is made easier as a result of drying instead of being damp and hard to work with.
  • Make sure you are in a comfortable position before sieving to avoid putting too much strain on your hands and back.

Garden sieves are an important tool for gardeners and farmers alike. They allow you to filter particles of soil, compost or other materials so that the finer pieces can be used in different ways while removing anything unwanted from your plants. We hope this article has helped you learn more about what features to look for when buying a new garden riddle as well as how to use it safely and efficiently every time! If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at any time so we can help answer them.

Last update on 2023-12-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

SpaldingBulb is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
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