A compost thermometer is a necessary piece of equipment for hot composting in a home garden setting and for commercial operators. It gives you an indication of the microbial activity, telling you when it needs to get turned and indicates if your carbon and nitrogen ratio of your compost materials were adequate. The higher the heat, the faster your materials will break down. But you don’t want it too hot to loose nitrogen and other nutrients and you also don't want your pile to go anaerobic. With measuring the temperature you will see if you have added too much green material (gone too hot) or not enough (too cold) and if your moisture level was adequate (not enough moisture, no microbial activity). This will help you make a better compost the next time and will make you a better gardener. Without a thermometer you are merely guessing and you cannot improve this valuable skill as a home or commercial gardener.
Please note: We suggest to store indoors or in a garden shed for a longer lasting product. Do not leave it in the compost pile overnight to avoid fogging and moisture inside the dial.
Measuring and monitor the center temperature of a thermal compost heap or windrow with our KoruKai thermometers. Take 2-3 readings per m2 heap and 3-6 readings for a windrow.
LOW (30-40 °C): 24-48 hours after the construction of a compost pile MEDIUM (40-55 °C): 2-3 days after construction of a compost pile HOT (55-68°C): CONGRATULATIONS your pile is now officially a thermal compost. We aim to get to 55 °C within about 3 days. TURN (68-74 °C): - If you reach 68 °C within 3/4 days, you very likely need to turn your pile now as it will go higher than that. - However if you have reached 68 °C on day 6 it could be your peak temperature. So monitor closely and decide if you need to turn or open up the center to reduce the temperature. - A pile at 74°C needs to be turned asap. Higher than 75 °C: A pile higher than 75 °C needs to be turned with utmost care because alcohols have been created, your pile is likely to be anaerobic and it can burst into flames.
Below a video how to measure the temperature of a compost pile.
It can also be used to measure the temperature of soil in spring which helps you decide on the time to plant out your first crops/seedlings.
Temperature is read from the tip and takes about 30 seconds. Take a few measurements per pile to get a more accurate reading.
This is why we make hot/thermal compost at KoruKai Herb Farm:
Kills weed seeds and other seeds from plants we don't want everywhere
Kills pathogens found in manure and plant matter
Kills plant diseases
Perfect ratio of carbon and nitrogen material to feed the soil food web and grow healthy plants
Improves soil structure: aggregates formation, stick soil particles together to make soil crumbly and easier to work with
Supplies nutrients ready for plants to take up, it is also charged so that nutrients and water can be held in the soil and don’t get washed out
Better drainage in heavy soils
More water storage in sandy soils
Increases aeration and the oxygen availability for the roots
Increases activity and the number of soil microorganisms
Makes soil darker and so it warms up earlier in spring
Produces healthy plants that are more resistant to disease and pests
Available once a year in June/July once they are dormant. Sign up below to be the first to find out once they are available.
Easy care multiplying spring onions/giant chives.
With this starter clump you will have spring onions/giant chives to pick from September until May. No more successive sowing, no more pricking out. Simply plant and cut off as much as you need for 9 months of the year.
This plant is very valuable in a food forest and organic garden system. The roots and leaves have many medicinal uses. It contains high levels of allantoin, making it a powerful cell proliferant internally and externally. It is used to knit wounds and damaged tissue.
Order is for 1 plant. It will be a healthy, dormant root with a growing tip. Simply plant into your garden over winter and watch it emerge in spring. Growing tips are below.
This plant have been grown organically at KoruKai Herb Farm, Banks Peninsula. Free from synthetic fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides.
Horseradish is a powerful and pungent plant. It has the ability to aid in weight loss, lower blood pressure, alleviate respiratory conditions, build strong bones, improve the immune system, stimulate healthy digestion and to promote heart health.
More info on how to prepare the fresh root can be found here. It acts as a substitute for Wasabi.