fresh compost

Composting.  It's one of the most wonderful and mysterious processes in God's creation.  A sign of our mortality and yet a giver of life.  The deep thoughts could continue for a while, but you want to know about power tools, right?

So if you've ever used the traditional method of turning compost with a garden fork, you were one of the fastest to click through on this post, because you know what difficult, back-breaking work it is, and how ineffective it can be (unless your pile is rather shallow).  I've got good news!  Save the fork for turning soil in the garden.

Garden auger AKA Yard Butler

Enter… the Garden Auger!  This simple attachment (AKA the "Yard Butler") is a 2-3 foot long rod with an auger screw on the end that fits most 3/8" or larger electric drills.  While it is ostensibly designed for digging holes for planting bulbs or spot tilling around plants, I think that it's most powerful application is for turning compost.

Garden auger on drill

Rather than using your arms for leverage to lift heavy wet organic material, let the beauty of a strong cordless drill with a garden auger attached do a better job of mixing your compost with much less work.  Not only will it be easier, but it will mix between layers of compost in a way probably unattainable by any other method.

Garden auger compost turning

Important to note: the resistance of the compost material will create a high-torque rotation that you will have to counter, so I highly recommend using a drill with a second handle attachment to gain the leverage needed to keep the beast in line.

If you're not already convinced about the supremacy of this Tantalizing Tool of Torque for Turning your compost, consider this: I was able to mix two compost bins in about 10-15 minutes total.  Turning by hand with a garden fork would take at least twice and long and wouldn't do half the job in terms of quality.

So what are you waiting for? Order your garden auger today!  While you're at it, order an extra one or two to give as gifts – it's some of the best money you can spend in garden tools.

Have other great tool recommendations for gardening and farming? Let us know in the comments so we can share!


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