Two Essential Composting Tools

It can be easy to overlook having the right tools for a job. Sometimes I will just plod along using the same tool that is just not right for the job and when I finally upgrade or replace it I am dazzled by how much more efficient the replacement is and how quickly work is done.

Some people are stoked about the speed of their new iPhone is but I was stoked when I received my new Lee Valley compost fork the other day.

1) Compost Fork (Lee Valley, Made in Canada)

2) Compost Thermometer 36" (Reotemp, Made in USA)

Once I removed all of the paper that the fork was wrapped in and picked up it up, I knew that not having this tool sooner was such a mistake. It is light and easy to hold. The handle is fashioned in a way that makes it super comfortable to hold. The tines are coated, smooth, and thin.

The real test came when it was time to turn the compost pile. The compost pile is 4’ in diameter and 4’ tall and I usually do not look forward to turning it. But, this time was different, I simply couldn’t wait to get to the compost pile and get my new tool dirty.

The Lee Valley compost fork quickly and easily maneuvered through the pile. The long handle allowed me to toss the compost quickly and easily to the next location. It’s so much lighter than my old fork that I hardly noticed any weight in my hands by comparison. A wonderful addition to the homestead’s tool arsenal!

I do not want to overlook my other composting tool in my excitement over my new compost fork. The other essential composting tool is a compost thermometer. After much debate and research, I selected a 36” Reotemp compost thermometer with probe handle. This thermometer is quite an investment but priceless to ensure properly created compost for your garden.

Reotemp is located in San Diego, California so I was able to place a will call order and pick up my thermometer in person. I am sure that the sales representative at Reotemp thought that I was quite mad given my level of excitement as he handed it to me. This is no inexpensive toss it in the corner tool—this is a precision measuring instrument that should be protected from the elements. Care should be taken to protect the dial and the shaft from damage—don’t use the shaft as a stake and don’t use the dial as a handle. The 36” model allows you to measure the temperature in the center of a large compost pile unlike the 12” thermometers sold in hardware stores or garden centers.

A compost fork and a compost thermometer are indispensable composting tools; measuring compost temperature and turning can ensure a fabulous organic product to add to the garden.