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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coffee Grounds in the Garden

Buffie left me a question the other day:
" Ok, here' my question...are coffee grounds really good for plants and if so how do I use it? "

Every day , millions of pots of coffee and tea are brewed, and the millions of pounds of wet grounds, filters and bags thrown in the trash. This seems wasteful doesn't it? Well fear not....Tootsie has come up with some tips for us to use these coffee "by-products"!

1.Sprinkle used grounds around plants before rain or watering, for a slow-release nitrogen.
2.Add to compost piles to increase nitrogen balance. Coffee filters and tea bags break down rapidly in a compost bin or pile.
3.Dilute with water for a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer. Use about a half-pound can of wet grounds in a five-gallon bucket of water; let sit outdoors to achieve ambient temperature.
4.Mix into soil for houseplants
5.You can add egg shells (crushed of course) to the coffee grounds and sprinkle around the base of your plants to ward off pests. I have just learned that slugs do not like coffee...and will run for the nearest caffeine free flower bed!

While it sounds fantastic and ever so environmentally responsible to use these little daily waste items in the garden....be careful. Coffee grounds can change the PH of the soil to acidic...some plants do not appreciate this and may burn. I would suggest using sparingly.

I am not now nor have I ever been a coffee drinker. I love the smell, but that is where the love affair ends for me. However...I am tempted to start brewing it daily to rid my garden of slugs and the like! I do hope that this post has you as inspired to re-use some grounds as it has me!

If you have any other tips for using coffee grounds....feel free to add them to the comments on this post...any tip is welcome!

Happy gardening!