Why use coffee in the garden?

Wake up your garden with coffee! Do you think coffee grounds are only for acid-loving plants? Oh, no!  It can be applied to just about anywhere in the garden. Trust me, the plants and the earthworms are going to love you for it!   If used properly and in moderation, spent coffee grounds are an excellent way to wake up the plants in your garden.

At Starbucks, your home, or at the machine at work, spent coffee grounds are generated every day. They are free for you to use in your garden. It adds great benefits to the garden while reducing the amount of waste going to landfills.  And, they make the garden smell great!

Benefits of Coffee in the Garden

  • A great source of organic matter added to the soil, whether in-ground or in containers.
  • It helps to improve texture, soil structure, moisture retention capabilities, and fertility of the soil.
  • Low source of nitrogen, as well as low levels of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, and sulfur. (Carbon-Nitrogen ratio of about 20:1)
  • Combined with brown material (leaves, straw, etc.), they generate heat, which speeds up the composting process. An excellent addition to your compost pile! 
  • Overtime used grounds may help lower the soil pH. Grounds usually average around 6.2. Test the soil for proper pH levels.
  • Appears to suppress some common fungal rots and wilts in the soil. 
  • Worms love it!

Ways to use coffee grounds for your plants and soil: 

  • Add the used grounds as a soil amendment directly to your landscape, flower, and vegetable gardens and till them in. One study suggests up to 6 pounds per 100 sq. ft.
  • Sprinkle on plants and water it in. Acid-lovers like azaleas, evergreens, and hydrangeas especially appreciate a shot of coffee grounds.
  • For years, rose growers have been using grounds around their roses.
  • Don’t forget to sprinkle into mulch or over the lawn. Afterward, be sure to water.
  • Used grounds have been reported to act as a natural soil insect repellent, including slugs and ants. 
  • Some folks have also had success with coffee repelling cats from the mulch beds.
  • Great to add around the top of the soil of your indoor plants or mix with potting soil for repotting.

Even if you don’t drink coffee, take advantage of the FREE used grounds. Your soil, earthworms, and plants will thank you! 

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