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Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

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Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  has55 on 9/11/2018, 9:10 am

I saw this video to assist in aerating the compost pile without having to manually turn it, but some of the reviews said the auger is only spot welded to the shaft and comes off. Do you guys have a suggestion of a good auger that will fit on my cordless drill, so I can avoid the school of hard knocks?


and I don't want to do the strongman style, everyone knows I'm a lazy gardener.
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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  OhioGardener on 9/11/2018, 10:35 am

@has55 wrote: Do you guys have a suggestion of a good auger that will fit on my cordless drill, so I can avoid the school of hard knocks?

and I don't want to do the strongman style, everyone knows I'm a lazy gardener.

Therein lies the problem - want something small enough that it will fit in a cordless drill, but strong enough to last a long time and easily perform the task.  You can find a large selection of durable, fully welded augers from companies such as A M Leonard, but all of them have a shaft size of 5/8" or larger - which will not fit in a cordless drill, and the cordless drill could not power it. And, you can find a select of "consumer" augers at the big box stores that will fit in a cordless drill, but will self-destruct the first time it hits anything stressful.  So, this engineer does not have any good suggestions.

But then, that is why I like the compost tumblers......they are easy to turn and they make quick, rodent proof compost.
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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  has55 on 9/11/2018, 6:59 pm

I'm going to look into the power drills for the 5/8 shaft. I think I have 2 here in the shed. I have electricity near the compost bins and may extend it right up to the bins if this work. Thank you.
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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  sanderson on 9/12/2018, 4:34 am

I bought an auger for the hand drill back in 2013 or 2014.  I think is was 1/4" bit.  I had two problems.  One, I almost broke my arm when the auger froze and the hand drill kept going.   It did not have a screw setting.  Second, I couldn't pull the auger out.  Ergo, Ken built a 3'x3'x3' cage with removable front slats and I bought a manure fork.  

 
First movie made the auger look deceptively easy.  At least it was short.

The second movie was too long.  If everything can't be shown in 1-2 minutes, it needs to be cropped.  The design of the cages made it a strong man compost method, not appropriate for 50% to 80% of gardeners.

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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  trolleydriver on 9/12/2018, 10:11 am

Some people just push a length of reinforcing rod into the pile and stir it in a circular motion. Then keep moving the rod to new locations in the pile and repeat. I have concluded that the options for me are:

1. Man up and turn the pile frequently by hand. That is hard work for me.
2. Just let the pile sit and do its thing. That takes a long time.
3. Use a tumbler composter. Needs to be a good one. Mine is rubish. 
4. I had success creating a new raised bed last Fall by layering compostable materials about three feet high on top of cardboard. In the Spring I added an SFG grid and planted potatoes, collards and squash which grew really well. I consider this to be an old style SFG bed.

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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  No_Such_Reality on 9/12/2018, 12:51 pm

I have one these.
 

One of these.



and one of these.  



I primarily use the fork and just dump my bin on a tarp, remix and scoop back in.  The others seem to be more messy, less effective and more work.
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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  sanderson on 9/12/2018, 2:39 pm

One of the bonuses of SFG is less work, an easier way to garden even for those with limited mobility. Composting can be hard work and each person has to find the easiest way to do it.

Until last year, I used the large bin with removable front slats, a blue tarp and a horse manure fork. Now it's the double-walled, large chambered Lifetime tumbler with surprisingly good results.

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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  has55 on 9/15/2018, 1:48 pm

great ideas. Thanks, TD, NSR. Sanderson, I forgot the name of your composter.
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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  trolleydriver on 9/25/2018, 4:43 pm

A NOTE 
From Sanderson and Trolleydriver your friendly moderators  Very Happy

The posts concerning compost tumblers that appeared in this thread have been moved to "Tips for Compost Tumbler".   

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t20782-tips-for-compost-

The title for this thread is "Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills".

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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  sanderson on 9/25/2018, 5:03 pm

TD, Thank you for moving selected replies to an appropriate, existing thread. thanks

Sometimes, good information gets buried in a topic when things go off topic.

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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  trolleydriver on 9/25/2018, 5:54 pm

@sanderson wrote:TD,  Thank you for moving selected replies to an appropriate, existing thread.  thanks

Sometimes, good information gets buried in a topic when things go off topic.
Couldn't have done it without your help.  Very Happy

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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  plantoid on 9/27/2018, 8:20 pm

Now my disabilities are making a meal of me I've finally settled on the good old 1/2 " ( 13 mm ) smooth steel rod with a four sided point ground on one end as a heap stabber . A Trolly said " roist " it around in a little circle every time you stab the hole,  till it gets  down to the bottom of the compost . 
Add some water down the finished hole if you feel like it or sprinkle in a teaspoon of compost activator before winter comes if you feel things haven't got fully composted . 

 I'm so glad I took the trouble to move over to the full Mel's Mix as my  ANSFG bed fillers, I'm almost totally weed free in the veg beds .  The front garden's flower beds however are a disaster
For I used neat stable cleanings where the horses had been fed natural grass hay whilst in the stables ……  I used it as a 18 inch deep bottom of the flower bed fillers on my 36 high raised brick built beds. The stable muck turned out to be full of viable weed seeds .

Consequently all these beds have been give two serious doses of Roundup weed killer over the last three weeks as the couch grass & several other pernicious weeds were growing & multiplying  faster than I could pull them up.
 We'll be clearing the dead stuff out in a few days time , replanting everything  . nearly 2000 bulbs corms & tubers for starters that's going to deplete my stock of five year old homemade compost I can tell you.
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Easy manual compost aeration

Post  kimekstrom on 10/19/2018, 8:18 pm

My bins are far from the house and I didn't want to hook up a drill to an aerator and take it out, but using a pitchfork was too much work, so I never did it.  I bought this crank about a year ago.  I just leave it by the bins and give each of my bins a few quick turns when I walk by.  I am pretty lazy, and this is not hard at all.  Works pretty much exactly as shown on the video on the company's website.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JHRH7EE/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A39GZFU3WCJ4GM&psc=1
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Re: Help for aerating the compost pile - auger drills

Post  Roseinarosecity on 10/20/2018, 10:04 pm

Welcome to the forum, kimekstrom!

I use the manual crank and I love it -- no need to charge the battery or use electricity. 

It took me awhile to learn to use it when the pile is very high but I figured it out:  start high on the pile, twist and lift, then go slightly deeper, twist and lift, and if you need to go deeper, repeat; circle around the pile to turn all of the compost.  It works well with my Geo-Bin.  I gave up on my pallet compost because this crank and the Geo-Bin has made it easy for me to compost.  In fact, I can now make twice as much compost very fast and I don't have to wait for my hubby to turn over the compost.  I store mine in the garage because I want it to last a long time and I only turn over once a week.
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