IF YOU have holidays and are spending time tidying up the garden, why not consider starting a compost bin?
It's a great way to recycle garden waste (at least anything small) and it reduces our environmental footprint to recycle green waste back into use.
There are many types of compost systems on the market.
Another alternative is to make your own.
This can be as simple as four large stakes with chicken wire around them in a large circle and just alternate your layers of compost into this.
Or if you have the space and a larger property, make up several bins with high walls made out of timber, or recycled corrugated iron, to at least a metre square and fill each bin sequentially, turning the contents as necessary.
The important part with compost, whichever way you do it, is to alternate wet (green) and dry materials (brown).
Dry materials are generally straw, dry leaves, sawdust, old prunings and newspaper.
Wet materials include lawn clippings, vegie scraps, and animal manures.
Mixing two parts green material to two parts dry material, with about half as much animal manure, is generally a fairly good ratio that leads to the right amount of bacterial activity to create heat and get the composting working.
Try to mix these ingredients together in these portions and then add them to the compost.
The finer you chop things, the quicker they are going to break down and make a good compost.
Keep the compost heap moist, but not wet, and you'll find that the heat will build up if you have everything in the right ratio.
After a while the temperature will drop off, an indication that the food for the bacteria and fungi is diminishing.
This is when you need to turn the compost to mix the ingredients and get the heat build up going again.