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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  rabbithutch 2/15/2014, 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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Post  camprn 2/15/2014, 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

 Compost Forks 3170584802
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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Post  rabbithutch 2/15/2014, 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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Post  yolos 2/15/2014, 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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Post  sanderson 2/15/2014, 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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Post  camprn 2/16/2014, 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

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Post  donnainzone5 2/27/2014, 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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Post  sanderson 2/27/2014, 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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Post  camprn 2/27/2014, 9:12 pm

Sanderson, you need a bobcat Wink 

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Post  sanderson 2/27/2014, 11:57 pm

Where do I find this cat named Bob?  Very Happy 
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Post  camprn 2/28/2014, 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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Post  yolos 2/28/2014, 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

 Compost Forks 931411784  Compost Forks 931411784    rofl  rofl
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Post  jimmy cee 2/28/2014, 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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Post  bnoles 2/28/2014, 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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Post  rabbithutch 2/28/2014, 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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Post  sanderson 2/28/2014, 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.  


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and it looks like a Tasmanian Devil!
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Post  H_TX_2 2/28/2014, 12:48 pm

What is it? I am unable to see any pictures while logged in at work.
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Post  sanderson 2/28/2014, 12:50 pm

Rabbit, Perfect!! Just what I wanted. My only decision is whether I want the shorter one with a D-handle or your longer version without the D-handle.

Just made up my mind. I'll get the long plain handle. I can always shorten and add a D-handle.

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Post  sanderson 2/28/2014, 12:51 pm

H TX, a small rototiller with wicked looking tines!! Looks like it could chew through concrete!  Very Happy 
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Post  donnainzone5 2/28/2014, 2:26 pm

Rabbit,

I think I'll follow your example.
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Post  southern gardener 2/28/2014, 4:04 pm

@rabbithutch wrote: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.

That's the same one we have. We also have and OLD one with about 4 SHARP tines that I really like too. It's not too heavy and easier for me to handle. I think my least favorite is the flat tined one with the "D" handle. Too short and heavy for me Smile
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Post  jimmy cee 2/28/2014, 5:48 pm

@rabbithutch wrote: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.
Some great reviews on this one.
I may need to add it to my collection
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Post  webbee 2/28/2014, 8:01 pm

I prefer the 4 tine long handle fork like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Tines-Forged-Manure-Pitch-Fork-With-Fiberglass-Handle-by-Forgecraft-USA-/291062846716?pt=US_Garden_Tools&hash=item43c4b294fc

This one may be cheaper and easier to find:

http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/groundworkreg%3B-fork-manure-6-tine-forged

I used to use a garden fork but the 4 tine is much easier to work the compost with.

These are examples and I don't necessarily endorse the merchants I have posted.
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Post  Kelejan 3/1/2014, 9:10 pm

@rabbithutch wrote: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.

I am amazed that there are so many different kinds of forks. I do remember that my mom had a ladies' fork when she worked on the weeds. I only remember Dad having the usual fork. But then Dad did not work with horses or gardens, only in his home garden and allotment.
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Post  sanderson 3/1/2014, 10:43 pm

kelejan, How heavy does it feel? Is it good for someone with a bad back?
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