2 comments on “The 20-30 Something Garden Guide Blog

  1. Dee Nash

    Hi Donna, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I was always taught that tea leaves and coffee grounds were considered brown matter because they were first dried and then reconstituted and therefore, carbon rich. However, perhaps, that information has changed. I do realize color has nothing to do with material placed in the compost pile. Anyway, even with a daily coffee or tea habit, in my opinion, there aren’t enough tea leaves or coffee grounds to unbalance the carbon/nitrogen ratio so much that a gardener won’t be successful. As for tree and shrub leaves, I am assuming the person would shred brown leaves dropped from trees, not green ones that are still living. I can’t imagine why anyone would shred green leaves to place them in compost. So, to be clear, I mean shredded brown leaves. I am glad you’re a master gardener and that you help others learn more about gardening. We’re all trying our best to give good information.

  2. Donna Jarrow

    Re your article “Organic Gardening’s Magic Bullet” in Virginia Gardener Magazine October.
    Being a Master Gardener in Virginia for many years, I can’t read enough about or teach enough about composting as a necessity to building healthy soil. I enjoyed reading your article but I am dismayed that you state that coffee grounds, tea leaves are brown matter (How to make compost the easy way, Pg. 43). While they are brown in color, they are GREEN and high in nitrogen. Color has nothing to do with whether matter is considered green or brown. You also mention shredded leaves as brown matter. They are an exception: if shredded while fresh and green, leaves are a rich nitrogen source; if leaves are dry and brown when shredded, they are carbon based. What is key is whether the matter to be composted is Nitrogen or Carbon based. Please correct this error to ensure those reading your article are successful. Whether this is an oversight or your belief, it is a serious mistake. Thank you for your attention.