Accueil > Resources to understand and act with the compost > Materials and tools

Materials and tools

lundi 2 mai 2022, par La graine

Toutes les versions de cet article : [English] [Français]

What are the useful tools and materials ? There are various manipulations to be done to mix, turn, extract, aerate, transport or control.


You can leave tools in the composter, possibly by making a hole in the wall of a bin, to slide the handle or by putting screws for a small tool.

Below are some useful tools.

The Spade

A spade or shovel is used to handle the compost.


The spade fork

A spade fork makes it easy to handle the compost.


The gardening trowel

A gardening trowel allows you to cut pieces that are too big or remove something from the compost.


The small garden claw

The small garden claw can help spread out the inputs and incorporate the sawdust into the compost or even break up pieces that are too compact.

Compost Aerator

To aerate the compost, there are spike-shaped and helical-shape aerators.
Personally, my preference is for the helical shape.
You can find it in a garden center or buy it online.

The rake or the hoe

A rake or a hoe can be used to spread out the inputs and incorporate the sawdust into the compost or break up pieces that are too compact.

The solid tarp

A solid tarp (or carpet or linoleum, etc.) to be placed at the bottom of the composter during handling (rotation or distribution) helps to avoid making the place dirty.

The compost thermometer

Under the action of bacteria and fungi, the decomposition raises the temperature to 70°C (158℉).
The dial often displays temperature zones.
Thus, we have :

  • low bacterial activity of 20°C to 40°C (68 to 104℉) ;
  • a moderate bacterial activity of 40°C to 55°C (104 to 131℉) ;
  • strong bacterial activity of 55°C to 70°C (131 to 158℉).

A low activity can indicate that the compost lacks air for the bacteria or that they have already done their job and there is not much left to degrade. If there is a lack of air, then aerate the compost (by turning over the compost or with a compost aerator).

A strong activity certainly degrades faster, but you have to be careful that the heat does not dry out the compost. In this case, we will water with water at room temperature.

The compost thermometer can be found in a garden center or purchased online.



The bucket in which people put their bio-waste aside will preferably be made of stainless steel or food-grade plastic. Large buckets of food-grade plastic can be recovered from restaurants or pots of ink or paint (to be cleaned well if it is not natural ink or paint)...

Having a lidded bucket has at least 3 advantages :

  1. Avoid attracting small bugs ;
  2. Do not have a smell at home ;
  3. Preserve the humidity of bio-waste.

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