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Turning compost

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Turning compost

Post  squaredeal on 6/12/2011, 11:06 pm

I have a compost mound in my treeline at the edge of the property. I turned it today using a multi-tined fork. Am I using the proper tool? I spent half my time "unspearing" the stuff from my tines. And within minutes my back was unhappy. My reward was some compost at the bottom of the pile; although not perfect, certainly good enough for my flower gardens. Any suggestions?
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Re: Turning compost

Post  westx on 6/13/2011, 8:39 pm

I to use a long tine pitch fork until most of the stuff is broke down good then switch to a square shovel. Yes using a pitch fork can be a pain in the "back" as you found out but in the end you will be rewarded with some wonderful finsihed compost. One this to save on the back is take smaller bites out of the pile also you may want to invest in a back brace that can be purchased at most home stores. I have a very bad back and they work quite well. Always remember to use you legs when lifting heavy fork fulls and move you feet when turn and not just twist at the waist.

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Re: Turning compost

Post  busygirl on 6/13/2011, 9:26 pm

Your post didn't specify, but I vote for a spading fork (wider tines, less spearing) vs regular pitch fork or manure fork.
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Re: Turning compost

Post  camprn on 6/13/2011, 9:53 pm

I use a garden fork and square end shovel.
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Re: Turning compost

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/13/2011, 10:09 pm

squaredeal wrote: Any suggestions?

Have your kids do it, provided they are old enough and still live at home. Add it to the chore list, because it is a chore, or have them go out and turn compost as a deterrent to breaking house rules.

Not the most popular opinion, but my kids don't live in my house for free. They don't get to ride the gravy train. They earn some money, but they also receive punishments. Punishments are usually something that isn't "fun" but HAS to be done to keep the home running. I don't like doing it, mom doesn't like doing it, kids don't like doing it, but it has to be done. IMO, kids need to learn responsibility and that work comes first. We play hard when the day's work is done.....and we get paid/rewarded for our efforts.

Physical exercise is lacking in our society, too, especially in our kids. To me, it's a win/win. But, to put my disclaimer on it....the kids have to be old enough for this. I would never send my 9 year old out to turn compost as punishment or a "chore." But, when he's in high school, he will be doing the turning, mixing, and some of the grunt work.

Kids that have been taught to work hard may rebel and soften with their kids someday. But, even in the backslide, these former kids will still outwork the man next to them. And, that is to their advantage.
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Re: Turning compost

Post  TN_GARDENER on 7/11/2011, 8:26 pm

Shovels work fairly well. So do a nice pair of work gloves.


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