As a coffee drinker, you have plenty of organic stuff at your disposal. In addition to giving your more incredible energy for weeding and pruning, coffee grounds can improve your garden in several other ways. Don’t throw away the leftovers!
Coffee grounds are an excellent source of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other micronutrients and are free of organic matter. It’s important to note that these nutrients can vary depending on the brand and brew, but generally, well-used coffee grounds can do wonders for your plants.
There are several benefits and drawbacks to using coffee grounds in your garden, and we’ve laid them out for you here. Gardeners who enjoy coffee should keep reading to learn how to use coffee grounds in the garden.
Coffee In Compost
You can add coffee grounds to your compost pile. Brown or green materials can both be used to create a compost pile. The term “green material,” which composers use to describe nitrogen-rich materials, refers to your coffee grounds, brown in hue.
Nitrogen content in coffee grinds is roughly 1.45 percent. Magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals can also be found. Food scraps and grass clippings are among the other green compost components.
You may add coffee grinds and paper coffee filters to your compost to make it more nutrient-rich. Newspaper and dry leaf compost must be added to keep the right proportion.
A four-to-one ratio of brown compost to green compost should be used to get the optimum results. Your compost pile can smell if you overfill it with green debris. As a result, the compost pile will remain cold.
Coffee Grounds As Mulch
Mulching your garden can be beneficial, but many people find the cost of mulch prohibitive to transform into organic matter. Using straw and compost as mulch is possible, but few people have ample supplies, and composting takes months. On the other hand, coffee grounds appear to be the ideal mulch for gardeners.
However, coffee grinds can injure the roots of seedlings by limiting growth if applied too thickly. The caffeine in coffee has been shown to inhibit plant growth. Coffee grounds tend to form clumps due to their small size and tendency to stick together. Plants may be unable to absorb water and nutrients because of these clumps.
So, what’s the deal with mulching coffee grounds? Coffee grounds can be used much when mixed with other natural materials like leaf mold or compost. Instead of using fertilizer, you can rake used coffee grounds into the topsoil to keep the soil from clumping. It is essential to have soil with a range of particle sizes and mulch to encourage healthy soil structure.
Fertilize With Coffee Grounds
Adding coffee grinds to your garden soil is a simple way to improve the quality of the earth. Sprinkle the coffee grounds on top and walk away if you don’t want to disturb it. When blended with dry materials, coffee grinds might lose their nitrogen content.
There’s no need to worry about the acidity of used coffee grounds because they have a practically neutral pH of 7.4. Use only a tiny amount of coffee grounds, and don’t let them pile up. Your garden can be protected from water damage by a barrier of microscopic particles.
You can manufacture “tea” from coffee grounds if you’d like. In a 5-gallon bucket, add 2 cups of old coffee grounds. After steeping for many hours or overnight, strain the “tea.” This mixture can be a nutrient solution for garden and container plants. You can also use it as a foliar feed for your plants by spraying it directly on their leaves and stems.
Coffee Grounds As A Natural Pesticide
Spreading old coffee grounds around plants susceptible to slug damage is standard advice. If the grounds are scratchy, slugs avoid them, or if caffeine is toxic, they avoid it. There are two possible reasons for this.
On the other hand, Slugs required only seconds to decide to breach a barrier of coffee grounds in an experiment! The same researcher also wanted to see if coffee grounds would deter ants and came up with identical results: ants may not like coffee grounds but won’t flee your garden to avoid them.
Use It To Feed Worms
Once a week, sprinkle some coffee grounds into your worm bin. Worms adore coffee grounds as a source of nourishment. Adding too many at once may cause harm to your worms due to the acidity.
A worm the size of a coffee cup’s worth of grounds is perfect for weekly use. Using coffee grounds in your worm bin and mixing them into your soil as fertilizer will attract more earthworms to your garden.
Use It To Deter Bad Bugs
Are slugs and snails giving you the willies? The natural abrasiveness and sharpness of coffee grounds deter soft-bodied animals, so use them to protect plants sensitive to munching. However, this should not be your primary offensive strategy.
Coffee Grounds And Dogs
However, while coffee grounds may not affect pests, they can be toxic to pets in high enough quantities. Because the amount of caffeine in used coffee grounds varies, it’s difficult to say what would be a significant enough dose to cause poisoning.
However, if you have a dog who will eat anything that smells remotely appealing, you should avoid dumping coffee grounds directly into the garden. Instead, bury them in your compost heap.
Which Plants Like Coffee Grounds?
When Lewis talks about soil health, he says, “Coffee grounds have different critical nutrients in each batch, but they all contain nitrogen, potassium, and phosphate alongside micronutrients.
‘Plants such as carrots, azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, and roses would greatly benefit coffee grounds. However, tomatoes do not appreciate the ground.’
According to Patch Plants’ plant doctor, coffee compost is suitable for all plants if the ratio is correct (4:1). It is not just placed on top of the soil, which would stiffen and restrict water from entering the earth.
Are Coffee Grounds Good For Hydrangeas?
Recycled coffee grounds will give your hydrangeas a bloom boost.
James Gray says: ‘Coffee makes the soil more acidic and filled with nitrogen, which hydrangeas go wild over, making blooms vivid and colorful.
Think of how many nutrients the soil gets from things like dropped apples and berries since this works similarly. Coffee is, in essence, a fruit.
Are Coffee Grounds Good For Grass?
If you incorporate used coffee grounds into your lawn soil, you may notice that the grass grows more slowly and has a deeper green color.
According to the advice of James Gray, “Try mixing them with the soil in your indoor plants, or if you collect a bigger lot, sprinkle them in grassy areas for a small growth boost.”
Are Coffee Grounds Good For Roses?
Used coffee grounds are an excellent growing companion for roses because of their high nitrogen content, which helps to shift the pH from neutral to acidic – learn how to evaluate soil pH in our tutorial.
Some experts recommend sprinkling your coffee grounds in the soil adjacent to the plant, while others caution against doing so because the high nitrogen content could burn – and kill – them. For each shrub, use a little more than a cup.
Alternatively, mix one cup of ground with one gallon of water per bush and water the plants with this mixture to keep your roses looking bright and lovely. If you have any leftover coffee compost, you may also utilize it.
Do Coffee Grounds Deter Slugs?
Slugs and snails hate coffee grounds, so use them to keep them away. Scatter the grounds around sensitive plants to create an insect barrier.
‘Research suggests that applying caffeine to foliage or the growing media of plants repels slugs and snails,’ says Lewis Spencer. This is due to coffee’s naturally abrasive properties: gentle creatures abhor hard surfaces.’
Uses Of Coffee Grounds In Gardens
Your garden may benefit from the use of coffee grounds and other services.
- Used coffee grounds are famous among gardeners as a mulching material for their plants.
- Coffee grinds can deter slugs and snails from plants. Caffeine in coffee grounds supposedly repels bugs. They avoid coffee-soiled soil.
- Some believe burying coffee grounds in the soil will prevent cats from utilizing your flower and vegetable beds as litter boxes.
- Using a worm bin for vermicomposting, you can use coffee grounds as worm feeding. Coffee grounds are a favorite food for worms.
Using Fresh Coffee Grounds
Fresh coffee grounds are frequently asked about in the garden. While it isn’t a good idea, it shouldn’t be a problem in some circumstances.
- Coffee grounds are perfect for acid-loving plants such as roses and hydrangeas. You can also use them on blueberries and lilies. Tomatoes don’t like coffee grounds since they like relatively acidic soil. Root crops like radishes and carrots respond well, especially when planted.
- Fresh coffee grounds should reduce weeds, as they have specific allelopathic characteristics that harm tomato plants. Another reason to be cautious when using it. Some fungal pathogens, however, may be inhibited as well.
- It’s possible that spreading dry, fresh grounds around plants (and even on top of soil) will discourage certain pests. It doesn’t eliminate them but keeps cats, rabbits, and snails away, decreasing plant damage. As previously stated, this is assumed to be due to caffeine concentration.
- Instead of fresh, unbrewed coffee grounds, which might harm plants, use decaffeinated coffee or apply new lands sparingly.
As a byproduct of your daily brew or a donation from a coffee shop, coffee grinds are an excellent source of free organic matter. They are valuable to your compost heap and soil if used with caution and common sense.
Have you tried gardening with coffee grounds? How did it go for you? Leave a comment below to tell us about it!