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Shall I start my compost now? (Zone 6)

Plainfield, NJ

We recently bought a "ComposTumbler" and in anticipation, I've been saving veggie scraps, peanut shells, etc. for several weeks. But by the time we got it assembled (it wasn't hard to put together, but we were busy with other things)... well, it's now Oct. 2. I'm in Central New Jersey - Zone 6.
Should I get a head start for next year and begin making compost now? It would be nice to have compost ready in say, May. Or, should I just throw away my bucket of scraps and wait until next spring to start?
Thanks for any advice.

Mid-Cape, MA(Zone 7a)

Hi Jasperj!
No! don't throw away those lovely, valuable scraps (only a composter says things like that! LOL)
As long as you fill up your ComposTumbler with the appropriate mixture and proportions of greens and browns and moisture, it should heat up and get started. I've heard of well-made compost piles steaming gently even in winter. It all depends on keeping the temperature going by creating a good mixture and then turning it to aerate it.
Having said all that, I haven't ever used a tumbler--my experience is with compost bins and piles. Maybe a seasoned ComposTumbler user will chime in.

Northeast, IL(Zone 5b)

Well, the "worst" that could happen is that it won't do anything over the winter. But very likely whatever you put into a bin now will continue to break down over the winter. I keep a compost tumbler reasonably close to the house so I can dash out and throw coffee grounds, veggie and fruit trimmings, moldy bread etc. into it all winter long.

There's no reason to waste good compost materials just because winter's coming!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

totally agree- enough warm days in NJ that things can work on and off- That bucket of scraps should be pretty rotten by now anyway

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