Composting Tools Overview

Enhance your Compost System with These Handy Composting Tools

Ever wondered how to test the temperature or moisture levels in your compost system? Are you looking for an easier way to turn your compost pile? Then you’re likely seeking composting tools—implements that will simplify your work and cut the amount of time you spend babying your compost bin. Often you can make do with tools you already have in your garden shed, but there are one or two that you may wish to purchase specifically for the purposes of working with your compost.



Keeping your compost pile oxygen-rich (aerobic, if you will) is very important to avoid odors and stimulate fast decomposition. You could use a simple shovel or pitchfork, but there are also specialized compost aeration tools on the market today taking several shapes and forms, all claiming to reduce the work and time involved in aerating your pile or bin.


Chippers and shredders

If you work with bulky organic material, it can be difficult to reduce it into manageable sized chunks for your compost heap or bin. Chippers and shredders are handy tools for making quick work of large material. There are, however, both safety and environmental considerations. Working with electric or gas-powered machines like these can be dangerous. Additionally, powering these devices with dirty fuels like diesel, gas, or electricity can reduce the environmental benefits you gain by composting.

  • Aureka Shredder/Chipper - This machine will shred and chip all of your organic material, depositing it into a shredder cart.
  • Brandello Chipper/Shredder - This 3-in-1 machine has a 3-way feed and 3-cycle shredding/mulching that produces even, uniform organic material.



Maintaining an ideal moisture content in your pile is extremely important. While you can do the squeeze test to ensure your material mimics a wrung-out sponge, a hydrometer is a much more precise method of measuring moisture content.


Testers for pH

The pH of your bin is important for good compost maintenance, so pH testers and kits can be quite handy. Some are inserted directly into your compost pile or bin while others rely on water extraction for testing.

  • Standard compost test - This kit will determine your compost pH, nutrient content, presence of heavy metals, as well as several parameters.
  • Planet Natural pH meter - This Rapitest pH meter displays the pH of your soil on a digital panel in a matter of seconds.
  • Rapitest pH Soil Tester - This simple test kit uses a color comparator to measure your soil’s pH.



You want to keep your compost within a narrow temperature range in order to get the most efficient decomposition of organic matter, so knowing how hot your pile or bin is will give you the information you need to adjust the conditions. Thermometers are therefore very useful devices to have.


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