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Compost Moisture Meter


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Thirsty Light Garden Moisture Meters











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Moisture Meter Guide

The complete moisture meter website

Compost is the result of organic matter decomposing. Such organic matter includes amongst other things, garden waste, manure, leaves, kitchen scraps and grass clippings. Composting is the term applied to making compost and there are quite a few methods of composting. But no matter which method is used, all organic matter will decompose eventually, whether it requires assistance from us or not.

Compost is a soil conditioner and should not be confused as a fertilizer. Unlike fertilizers, compost is not high in essential nutrients for the soil. But organic matter is a very valuable soil amendment addative because it will improve the structure of soil, helps with any necessary





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The Stihl moisture meter can be used to detect and give a moisture reading level in firewood. This is important if you have a log burning fire or stove. It is essential that you only burn well seasoned wood. As well as being able to detect the moisture levels in firewood the Stihl moisture meter can be used on both paper and cardboard as well.

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Hydroponic Moisture Meter







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microbial activity, will attract such insects and earthworms that add benefit to soil and will assist in supressing diseases that are soil born.

As said earlier, there are many methods for making compost and one cant really say if one or another is the best method. Compost is compost and all organic matter will decompose. What can be confidently said is that you can never add too much compost to your soil.


Rapitest Compost Moisture Meter

It is important when making good compost to insure that your compost has adequate moisture content. You cannot test for moisture content levels properly by sight and touch, so this rapitest moisture meter is an ideal addition to your gardening tool portfoilio. Not expensive to buy and very easy to operate, this compost moisture meter will give you almost instant results once the elongated probe is inserted in to your compost. With a scale of 1 - 4 with 1 being the driest and 4 being the wettiset, interpreting the results of the condition of your compost could not be any simpler.

To use this Rapitest compost moisture meter insert the elongated stem in to your compost pile. As you do this you will notice the needle on the display becoming very active and jumping all over the place. Leave the probe of the meter in your compost until the needle settles down and comes to rest. The final resting place will be the moisture condition of your compost.

As well as measuring moisture content levels you should also measure the temperature within your compost pile. You can do this with a garden thermometer which pretty much takes on the same appearance as this moisture meter. Temperature also plays an important role in the production of good compost. Decomposition is more effective and quicker with temperatures between 110 F and 160 F.

A properly constructed compost pile will reach these temperatures within 2 weeks and your compost pile will begin to settle down. This will indicate to you that all is going well on the decomposing front and you have a successful pile. You can now use this pile and distribute it to your soil or decide to keep it as the nucleus of your compost pile and simply add more organic matter to give you a continual pile throughout the growing season. If you do add more organic matter you must turn your pile and add more water as you do so. The more you add to the pile the more frequently you must turn and water whilst also monitoring the temperature.


Within compositing piles there are different types of bacteria that work depending upon the temperature of the pile.

Psychrophilic bacteria work in the lowest temperature range and are most active at 55 F. When working they give off a little heat compared to other bacterias, but this heat is still enough to help build your pile temperature up and attract mesophilic bacteria.

Mesophilic bacteria can decompose organic matter rapidly and produce carbon dioxide, acids and heat. They work best between 70 - 100 F and then die at temperatures over 100 F or move to the outer part of the pile. They are then replaced by thermophilic bacteria which loves heat.

Thermophilic bacteria thrive in the temperature range 113 - 160 F where they continue with the decomposing process until the pile stabilizes. If no new matter is added the temperature will stabilize and then begin to drop as thermophilic bacteria use up the degradeable materials to survive. If thermophilic bacteria die then the pile will cool and the mesophilic bacteria will take over again.


How To Make Compost

A compost heap can be built by yourself or chosen from a vast range of specially designed and manufactured purpose bins to suit all sizes of gardens. If making your own compost bin you can simply hammer 4 posts in to the ground forming an enclosed area of about 1 square metre. Flatten the soil within the area of the posts with the back of a spade to consolidate it. Then tack some wire netting to the posts to form the bin. Make sure you leave the front side open so you can easily get in and out of the compost bin. If you do not want to use wire netting to form the structure of the bin you can nail planks to the posts instead.

To make the actual compost in your compost bin there are a couple of rules you need to follow. The best time to start a compost bin is in the springtime and to get the best possible compost you want to be looking at having a combination of soft, green nitrogen rich materials and dry carbon rich materials in a 50/50 combunation. One thing you do not want to do is let one particular material have dominance within the bin.

Woody materials should be placed at the bottom of you bin because they will help with air circulation and you want layers of different materials that are approximately 30 cm deep. For those larger items you add to your bin, it will help greatly with the decomposing if you shred them firat before adding. If any waster you add to the bin is very dry you should moisten the pile by spraying a little water on to it without over soaking it. You can check the moisture content levels of the pile using your garden moisture meter.

Once you have made your initial pile you should keep adding to it in regular intervals until the bin is reasonably full. Once full the compost will begin to heat up as decomposition takes place and the bacterias begin to work. A couple of weeks later the compost will begin to cool down and this is the time you should turn it over with a fork and mix everything up again and add water if necessary. Repeating this process at regular intervals will result in you having ready compost after about 2-4 months.

A compost heap that is not attended to and contains large items which are not shredded can take over a year to decompose properly and will have halved in size with a compost that has an earthy smell to it. If you want compost quickly you can create a hot compost heap by introducing nitrogen and moisture to it, whilst turning it over regularly to introduce air circulation.


What To Compost

What Not To Compost

diseased plants

meat and fish

dairy cooked food

coal ash

cat and dog litter

disposable nappies

perennial weeds


Green, nitrogen rich material

grass cuttings

soft prunings

annual plant and weed remains before they have set seed

fruit and vegetable scraps

old cut flowers

tea bags and coffee grounds


Brown, carbon-rich material

cardboard (torn up)


paper bags and scrunched up paper