by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Those trays, thrown out at a daily basis by greengrocers and caterers alike, have many uses, as far as I am concerned, such as in the garden shed and elsewhere but also, as in this case, in the garden itself.
In the shed they are very useful to hold small tools, such as trowels, hand forks, etc., and they can be stacked one upon the other, to maximize space. If we can make use of them by reusing and repurposing them we can keep them out of the waste stream and the landfill, the place where most of them will, inevitably, end up, as recycling is more a myth than a reality.
When using using soils for sowing and potting you do not really want it to be too lumpy and homemade compost often does still have woody bit in it as well that you don't want in it when sowing seeds in trays or when potting on seedlings. In the beds or containers for growing when the plants are bigger it does not really matter. To remove any such lumpy material a riddle or sieve is required, as most experienced gardeners will know.
Soil riddles or soil sieves, while, when made from plastic, are not the most expensive items for the gardener, such as when ALDI sells a small riddle and a scoop for less than £3, and dare I say you could probably get one at Poundland for, well, £1. But, if we reuse such trays for the same purpose we – one – do not have to spend any money at all, however little, and – two – we keep a tray or two of those out of the waste stream, at least for some time (eventually they will break and then they will go the way all of them go).
The great thing in this reuse and repurpose operation is that you don't even have to do any work to the item to make it work but you can just put it to work right away.
So get yourself a couple of those trays as they are useful in so many ways (sorry about the rhyme) and use one for a riddle.