Backyard, Vegetables

Using Coffee Grounds In The Garden

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Coffee grounds  in the garden help enrich the soil with nutrients that your plants need.  Coffee grounds are an excellent source of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N, P and K). Additional minerals in coffee ground include magnesium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc and iron.  

There are few ways to use coffee grounds. We are going to talk about two of them: composting coffee grounds and coffee grounds as fertilizer.

Composting coffee grounds

One of the simplest ways to use leftover grounds is to add them to the rest of your compost pile. In addition to providing extra organic matter, coffee grounds are able to speed up the decomposing process in compost. Coffee grounds make excellent  green matter as they are rich in nitrogen. Also, beneficial worms may be attracted to your compost with the addition of old coffee grounds. If you add a lot of coffee grounds to your compost, balance it out by adding some brown matter like dry leaves, twigs, newspaper, straw, corn husks or sawdust.

coffee grounds in the garden

Some people talk about coffee grounds can be acidic, but when you have used coffee grounds, the acidity in coffee it’s water soluble. By first making coffee with them the acidity is going in the cup instead of in our compost pile or in our garden. Used coffee grounds have an acidity of about 6.5 -6.8 which is a neutral PH.  

Coffee grounds as fertilizer

Sprinkle used coffee grounds  throughout your garden and all around your plants to  create a barrier and protect them against ants, slugs and snails. The benefit of using coffee grounds as fertilizer is that it adds organic material to the soil, which makes better the drainage, water retention and aeration of the soil. The thing to keep in mind here is the fact that nitrogen dosen’t break down in the soil for a while, so it’s not immediately available to the plants.

!!! Do not use too much coffee grounds, we recommend that you keep a 1 to 3 ratio, which means one hand of coffee at 3 of soil.

Here’s another extra use of the coffee grounds: put used coffee grounds with some other green or brown material such as twigs, sugar cane mulch, dry leaves, in a tub, filling the tub just half way. Place a small covered seed tray that contains planted seeds on top of the pile. Place a lid on the tub or cover it with something. The heat of decaying coffee grounds will keep the seed tray warm and the seeds will germinate, even in a cold winter.

If you are not a coffee drinker or if you need more coffee grounds than you can produce at home you can go to some local coffee shop and ask them to kick up their coffee grounds. Starbucks does that 🙂

Photos via Pinterest.

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