Are you looking to increase your compost quality? If so, you should consider having a compost thermometer heaped within the contents of your compost. This equipment, though so little, comes in handy in understanding, turning and moderating the composting level of your pile.
First things first, before looking at some of the best products, it is of immense importance to understand what a compost thermometer is, and perhaps its functionality.
What Is A Compost Thermometer?
As the name suggests, this is typically a thermometer used to measure the temperature levels of the middle-section of any compost heap. To achieve this, its probe ought to be quite long, with the standard length being 20 inches. This enables the sensitive part of the thermometer to reach the center.
Additionally, it ought to withstand moisture as well as expected creepy crawlies in the heap. If you are new to this, temperature readings are used to indicate when to turn the pile. It also allows the operator to monitor and maintain high temperatures for a long period, enough for diseases and weeds buried in the heap to die.
With that understanding, it is of immense importance that you settle for the best compost thermometer. A good product, as mentioned, should be of appropriate length, clear and easy to read, has a wide temperature range, made of stainless steel to avoid rusts and come with a warranty.
With the plenty of products, our compost thermometer review below outlines some of the best products on the market.
Best Compost Thermometers 2018
|REOTemp Compost Thermometer|
Easy to read
|Ecocycle Compost Thermometer|
Free composting e-book
|REOTemp Heavy Duty Compost Thermometer|
Dual reading scales
|Cate’s Garden Compost Thermometer|
|Planteko Compost Thermometer|
1. REOTemp Compost Thermometer – Most Reliable Compost ThermometerThe REOTemp Compost Thermometer should be a product of choice for anyone looking for temperature monitoring reliability. It is the best way to take the guesswork out of your composting procedures.
From temperature readings and basic interpretation of the readings and temperature indications, you will be able to correctly time when to turn the pile, when to add more materials, when to add more water and when your compost is ready.
However, if you are not familiar with this, don’t worry as the REOTemp Compost Thermometer package comes with composting instructions that come in handy. Perhaps the reason why this product was our best choice for reliability is due to REOTemp’s constant and continuous production of quality compost thermometers.
You will like the thermometer’s thick – 0.25” diameter stem that decreases the chances of bending when dipped. It is also thicker than any other compost thermometer present at its price range.
Besides, the hermetically sealed dial end won’t fog up easily thus making it possible to leave the thermometer in the heap overnight. Its reinforced construction also prevents the dial from easily separating with the stem and the products sturdiness benefits from the quality bimetal coils.
The other best feature of the REOTemp Compost Thermometer is how easy to read it is. It is demarcated in three temperature zones including the steady, active and hot zones. Each temperature zone indicates the current compost activity for easy reading and understanding.
2. Ecocycle Compost Thermometer – Most Simple & Clean DesignThe Ecocycle Compost Thermometer wins the tag of a simple dial and clean designed compost thermometer. The thermometer might appear simple but has all the features of a high-quality product.
Some of the best features of the Ecocycle Compost Thermometer include:
- Long stem – you will enjoy the 20” long stainless steel stem featured in this thermometer. This is perfect for accurate readings and perhaps a great addition to any backyard compost thermometer. Temperature readings are done from the tip and takes randomly 30 seconds.
- Easy to read – the dial of this product is easy to read. Like our first product, it is color coded with various temperature zones. It also features 2 degrees temperature increments for enhanced accuracy.
- Anti-fog and waterproof lens – the only way of waterproofing and making the lens anti-fog is through the hermetically sealing the lens. This avoids fogging and moisture thus can be left in the compost even overnight.
- Long lasting – the Ecocycle Compost Thermometer offers features a thick – 6mm stem that ascertains long-term durability. With such a rigid stem, be sure it won’t break or bend.
- Free composting guide – like other manufacturers who care about their clients, Ecocycle provides a free composting e-book for clients purchasing this product. This helps beginners wade their way through the initial stages on how to create and maintain a compost pile.
3. REOTemp Heavy Duty Compost Thermometer – Heavy Duty Composting ThermometerYet another product from the REOTemp, the REOTemp Heavy Duty Compost Thermometer is an industrial grade compost thermometer. It is a perfect choice for those looking for a top-notch tool that handles heavy-duty compost tasks expertly.
The thermometer is available in various stem lengths, extending up to 36 inches. There are shorter stems for this model too. The diameter of the stem is 0.3” wide, perhaps thick enough to provide extra durability.
Like other models mentioned above, the REOTemp Heavy Duty Compost Thermometer is hermetically sealed to keep moisture out and prevent fogging. It is also important to note that it features dual temperature scales, allowing the users to read in both degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit based on preference.
Being an industrial setting compost thermometer, manufacturers provide a one-year warranty.
4. Cate’s Garden Compost Thermometer – Best Compost Thermometer for Accurate ReadingsIf you are in the market for the easiest and accurate way of making temperature readings from your compost pile, consider the Cate’s Garden Compost Thermometer. The thermometer comes with great features, perhaps the best being its accuracy level.
Among the intriguing features of this thermometer include:
- Utmost accuracy – the thermometer features 2-inch wide dial lens with color-coded temperature ranges. Color-coding and the small temperature increments make it easy for users to note even the slightest temperature changes.
- High-quality lens – the Cate’s Garden Compost Thermometer comes with high quality and lightweight PC coated lens that is hermetically sealed. This enables them to avoid fogging as well as moisture accumulation that may hinder visibility. The lens also has an IP55 water resistant rating.
- Rugged construction – for durability purposes, this compost thermometer features a tough and reinforced welded bolt that joins the dial and the stem. This ascertains long-lasting operations under any condition.
- Long stem – it features a 20-inch stem that is 0.2” wide. This provides for accurate readings, especially from the tip. It is a great choice for large backyard compost piles and takes approximately 30 seconds to make the readings.
5. Planteko Compost Thermometer – Best for any GardenerThe Planteko Compost Thermometer is a perfect way of alleviating worries of having your compost too dry or extra hot. This specifically designed compost thermometer always keeps an eye on the compost temperatures, providing insights as for when to do what.
Among the best features of this product include:
- Easy to read dial – it is of no need purchasing a thermometer that will make it hard to read out temperature changes. This is why the Planteko Compost Thermometer features an easy to read dial that can be read even with one glance.
- Extra thick stem – this product’s 20-inch thick stem is an assurance of a long-lasting product. The stem is also long enough to ensure that it gets accurate readings from any compost heap size without breakages.
- Premium quality lens – unlike conventional lenses used in basic thermometers that fog easily when left outside, the Planteko Compost Thermometer lens features a special coating that prevents moisture and fog.
- Free composting manual – you will benefit from the free guide on how to compost provided by the product manufacturers. This will help you achieve an effective compost.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Compost Thermometer
Compost thermometers can be the hardest gardening tools to search for. This is perhaps due to the limited knowledge on how to use them, and the features characterizing the best product.
That said, what should you really consider when searching for a compost thermometer? Here are the four main features to look for.
The standard temperature readings vary from different regions or continents. Whereas other counties use degrees Celsius as their standard, others prefer their readings in Fahrenheit.
A good example being that those living in America will like their readings in Fahrenheit while those in the UK will want a thermometer measuring in degrees Celsius. Different thermometers provide varying readings. However, it is prudent to consider a dual scale thermometer, offering readings in both measurements.
Compost temperatures are usually taken from the center of the compost heap/pile. Therefore, you would want a thermometer that reaches the center of the heap, without breakage or kinking.
Therefore, consider a thermometer with a long and thick probe. This will ascertain that you make accurate measurements, whilst ensuring that the stem doesn’t break easily when being used.
Compost piles never lack moisture. Besides, you could be leaving your thermometer in the compost pile for quite a long period. Therefore, it is of immense importance that you get a rust-resistant thermometer. It should also be sealed tightly to prevent water leaking to the dial.
Nearly all high-end compost thermometers come with three classifications of temperature range, i.e., the steady, active and hot zones. This makes it easier to monitor the temperature levels of your compost heap. Additionally, small temperature increments, of up to 2 degrees Celsius makes it easy to detect even the slightest changes in temperature.
When and how often should you turn?
Many gardeners prefer turning the heap after each burst of heat. Others prefer turning based on the number of days. However, this isn’t a scientific approach to making a good quality compost heap.
So to say, compost should be turned when the temperatures reach between 140 degrees to 150 degrees. It should be left until it achieves this temperature again, probably after 5 to 7 days.
What makes the pile heat up?
Perhaps this is the most interesting question of the day. The contents of your compost heap heat up due to the actions of Microbes. The heat generated through the microbe’s metabolic activities such as eating, excreting and multiplying is responsible for such heat.
Bacteria is the common microbe responsible for this, but fungi and large soil organisms can also be found. The increasing intensity of microbe activity is the reason behind increasing temperature levels with different stages.
Our Final Say
To ensure that your compost pile matures effectively, you must consider using a compost thermometer. However, not any thermometer can ascertain this, but the best can.
As mentioned, readings obtained from this instrument guides on the various changes and additions made to the heap.
Among the changes includes when to turn, when to open up, when to add water and when the heap is ready. Note that proper monitoring of this is a receipt for a high-quality compost heap result.
As mentioned the best thermometer ought to be made from the strongest material, have appropriate probe length and favorable measuring units. This will make it easy to read and monitor temperature changes in your heap.
From our compost thermometer review above, which is your favorite product? Share with us in the comments section below!