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Compost Forks

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Compost Forks

Post  rabbithutch on Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:54 pm

I have a pile of browns from yard debris.  It is old enough that some of it has decomposed, but I really need to turn it more often.  I also bought a pail for collecting acceptable kitchen wastes.  I'm also tracking down sources for sheep manure, chicken manure and rabbit manure.  The first will go in the compost pile and the latter directly into the beds.

I don't have a good fork for turning the compost.  I have an old spading fork that doesn't work too well.  Does anyone have suggestions for what works well for them or what to avoid?  I found a fiberglass handle 5 prong manure/compost fork on Amazon prime for $31 plus change delivered.  The brand name is Truper Tru Pro.  It has a 50" handle (no D-handle).  Anyone ever used it or seen one?  This is something I do not want to have to buy twice, but the budget is always a consideration for retired folks.

TIA

 

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  camprn on Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:07 pm

@rabbithutch wrote:I have a pile of browns from yard debris.  It is old enough that some of it has decomposed, but I really need to turn it more often.  I also bought a pail for collecting acceptable kitchen wastes.  I'm also tracking down sources for sheep manure, chicken manure and rabbit manure.  The first will go in the compost pile and the latter directly into the beds.

I don't have a good fork for turning the compost.  I have an old spading fork that doesn't work too well.  Does anyone have suggestions for what works well for them or what to avoid?  I found a fiberglass handle 5 prong manure/compost fork on Amazon prime for $31 plus change delivered.  The brand name is Truper Tru Pro.  It has a 50" handle (no D-handle).  Anyone ever used it or seen one?  This is something I do not want to have to buy twice, but the budget is always a consideration for retired folks.

TIA

 
I have to say that a good quality garden fork will last years. A good quality garden fork with a nice wooden handle is a good investment.

The best garden fork I ever had was from a company in England, hand forged with a T ashwood handle. I used it all the time for everything. Sadly it was stolen out of the back of the truck about a decade ago.  

http://www.gardentoolcompany.com/
http://blog.gardentoolcompany.com/2010/11/01/do-you-miss-smith-hawkens-quality-garden-tools/

Go for quality over inexpensive. Go to the store and try holding the tools, moving them back and forth hand to hand. Is it light or heavy enough? Does it have good balance? Is it your size?

Look for a garden or an edging fork, not a pitch or manure fork.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_fork


I also find indispensable when turning the compost is a flat shovel.

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  rabbithutch on Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:52 pm

Thank you, camprn!

I do have a heavy duty spade fork for digging.  I've had it for close to 50 years and it still serves me well.  What I'm looking for advice on is a composting or manure fork, one not meant for heavy digging  but for leaving larger portions of lighter weight material such as that found in horse stalls and compost beds.

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  yolos on Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:00 pm

My favorite is a long handled pitchfork.  The handle is long enough to provided leverage.  I do not need a T handle on the end because I just don't use a T handle on the end for a long implement like a pitch fork.  If the compost is moist, a pitchfork works good.  I also have a garden fork.  The tines are a little wider.  I use it for finished dry compost that usually slides right thru the pitchfork tines.  But the garden fork is too short and I end up bending over too much.  Get a long handled implement.  A flat headed shovel is also nice to have.  But if I could only get one, I would get the long handled pitchfork.

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  sanderson on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:46 pm

I keep on learning on the Forum  thanks 

I was going to use my husband's short, heavy duty, 4-prong fork thingy to turn my future, finely chopped, Berkeley compost pile. Now I will look into something my bad back (compression fractures) will handle. Because the material will be rather fine going in, I think a many-prong, lighter horse manure fork may be better for me.

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  camprn on Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:28 am

Yes, I think many prongs is key to having the manure fork work for compost turning.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books


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Re: Compost Forks

Post  donnainzone10 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:12 pm

Camp,

I have a similar question.

Now that I'm doing an actual compost bin (in addition to tumblers), my thoughts have turned to obtaining a suitable tool for turning said compost.

I just checked HD, Lowes, and Amazon websites, but I remain somewhat confused.

It seems to this inexperienced composter with a bad back that a longer-handled, multi-tined (4+) angled tool would be optimal.

What are your thoughts?

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  sanderson on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:49 pm

@camprn wrote:Yes, I think many prongs is key to having the manure fork work for compost turning.

Try an ag hardware or large animal feed store? I'm going to be looking for one. The Berkeley hot method requires frequent turning for a couple+ weeks. I might as well stock up on ice packs and movies during that period!  Very Happy  Actually, I told DH that he would have to help me during that period. Or do all the cooking and cleaning!

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  camprn on Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:12 pm

Sanderson, you need a bobcat Wink 

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  sanderson on Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:57 pm

Where do I find this cat named Bob?  Very Happy 

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  camprn on Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:03 am

@sanderson wrote:Where do I find this cat named Bob?   Very Happy 
http://www.bigvalleytractor.com/m_default.asp?pg=fresno

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books


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Re: Compost Forks

Post  yolos on Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:38 am

@camprn wrote:
@sanderson wrote:Where do I find this cat named Bob?   Very Happy 
http://www.bigvalleytractor.com/m_default.asp?pg=fresno

       rofl  rofl

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  jimmy cee on Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:00 am

I am using an old pitch fork my father-in-law brought with him from the Ozarks back in the 40s.
It does me well, however I also use an aerator from time to time in my opinion.
Best I have found is to completely empty the pile and replace it.
That takes time and work, however it's the best

I's sure love to know the history of this pitch fork.

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  bnoles on Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:29 am

I got me one of these and it took all the work and backache out of the process. Weighs only 20 lbs and is a Tasmanian Devil.



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Re: Compost Forks

Post  rabbithutch on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:01 pm

I ordered this one Compost Fork

from Amazon on Tuesday and it was delivered yesterday.  It is exactly what I expected.  I am pleased.  It has turned my small pile once already.

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Re: Compost Forks

Post  sanderson on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:39 pm

@bnoles wrote:I got me one of these and it took all the work and backache out of the process.  Weighs only 20 lbs and is a Tasmanian Devil.  



and it looks like a Tasmanian Devil!

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