How to Screen Topsoil


Screening topsoil allows gardeners to remove debris that interferes with roots and nutrients in gardening areas. The quality of soil increases by combining screened topsoil with organic matter, fertilizer and mulch. This method helps plants growing in gardening areas to thrive. Any novice or advanced gardener can screen topsoil.

Step 1

Place a gardening stake at the edge of the area to be screened. Place a second gardening stake opposite the first one. Complete marking off the area by adding two more stakes into the ground to form the corners of a square or rectangle.

Step 2

Tie a piece of twine to one of the gardening stakes. Unroll the twine while walking to the next stake. Cut the twine a few inches longer than the distance you just walked. Tie the loose end of the twine to the gardening stake. Repeat this until twine outlines the work area for screening the topsoil.

Step 3

Dig dirt up to 8 inches deep and shovel out of the work area at the corner for the starting point. Place the dirt in a wheelbarrow. Repeat the shoveling until wheelbarrow is full. Work in small sections to make the task easier to complete.

Step 4

Place a topsoil screen on top of a 10-gallon bucket.

Step 5

Scoop dirt out of the wheelbarrow and place it onto the topsoil screen, covering approximately 1/4 the screen.

Step 6

Pick up the screen with your hands on both sides while holding it over the bucket. Use short, brisk motions to shake the topsoil screen side to side. Repeat until only debris is left on the screen.

Step 7

Discard of the debris from the topsoil screen in a location of your choosing.

Step 8

Repeat this process until the bucket is full. Empty the bucket of screened topsoil in a location of your choosing.

Step 9

Repeat process of filling the wheelbarrow and screening dirt until the work area's topsoil is thoroughly screened. Replace screened topsoil back into work area.

Tips and Warnings

  • Allow screened topsoil to mature for a minimum of 72 hours before planting in the area.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 gardening stakes
  • Twine
  • Scissors
  • Topsoil screen
  • Shovel
  • 10-gallon bucket
  • Wheelbarrow


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Keywords: topsoil screen, screen topsoil, cleaning topsoil

About this Author

Daniel Smith graduated from technical school in 1993 and has been writing since 2005. His has written numerous articles for the instructional website called eHow in areas including gardening, home improvement, celebrating special events and health-related topics.