Measuring Large Compost Pile Temperature

Asked January 17, 2017, 1:39 PM EST

How deep into a compost pile does the tip of the thermometer need to go for an accurate temperature reading?

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1 Response

The goal is for the tip of the thermometer to reach into the core or center of the compost pile. A composting thermometer made for this purpose is 36 to 48 inches long.

A compost pile can generate temperatures of 130-170 degrees, so a typical household (medical) thermometer will not be useful. Here is HGIC's fact sheet on composting: