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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!

16 comments:

Nancy Jane said...

I'm a first class coffee drinker and I'd completely forgotten about using the grounds in the garden. Good reminder! I have my first GARDEN POST up! Please come read, oh my muse! Nancy

artis1111 said...

A friend has the most beautiful Iris and she said she used coffee grounds. Star Bucks give away the grounds so check them out. I use when I remember to. Kathy

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Tootsie,
I brew 2 pots of coffee a day! So I am going to try to remember to put the grounds to better use.

I've always wanted to start a compost pile!
Have a great day,
Diane

Rue said...

Good morning Tootsie :)

I always wondered how to use coffee grounds in the garden and this lesson really helped!

I'm sure Artie won't be mad. How could anyone be mad at you??

Hugs,
rue

Buffie said...

Oh thanks so much for answering the burning coffee question! I'm going to try it in this one garden by my pond that ALWAYS gets those gross slugs!!!!

gloria said...

Toots I have done this since before you were born darling!! with all my house plants..but did't know about the slug thing.. do you know we don't have slugs in the mountain?? I could't beleive it when I moved here as I fought that battle all the time in my other home.. thanks for a great post today.. And how could any one be mad at you?? good lord woman get a grip!!! love ya toots. Hugs and smiles

SchmeckyGirl said...

Wait! So which plants can't you use grinds on? Oh nevermind... I don't plan to use them anyway... lol.

Shelia said...

Hi Tootsie! Now, girl, if you love Kady's picture, scroll on down my blog about a week ago and see a whole parade of Bathroom Beauty Snaapping Divas! Now you can join, too, Ms. Greenness!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

mrsben said...

Tootsie, you are definitely the Guru of Gardening. (Printed off your Fiscus hints for my D/Dtr. Thank You!)

I do have a question for you, do you think the Coffee Grinds wud work for Earwigs? Those da*n little bug....gers are back in full force again this year. (Don't care to plant Marigolds to ward them off.)

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Tootsie, I loved this post!!

Allgrins said...

Tootsie,
I am so glad you are back.
I just started drinking Coffee a few months ago. I will have to try this.
I have been checking your blog daily and missed you when you were gone.
Jamie

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Tootsie, thanks for the reminder about coffee grounds. I have always had a compost but since moving to this house I am trying to find a spot to do this.
I was wanting to leave my favorite annual flower but am not sure where to leave it so I will share it here. My favorite is Bells of Ireland- my dad is full blooded Irish so maybe that is why these are special to me- plus they are beautiful in arrangements-such a lovely shade of green-

Picket said...

Hey Toots...coffee grounds huh? Well I know Mrs Headley had a worm bed outside her back door and she threw her coffee grounds on it every day! She had some of the biggest earth worms you ever saw! lol lol I have heard that slugs can't stand crushed egg shells cause they cut into them when they crawl over them...eeewwwww! Take care sweetie!

Julie said...

Well, the only other use I could think of for coffee grounds would be use in a facial scrub!!! LOL. This is great info! Thanks!

The Cozy Parsonage said...

Thank you sooo much for this idea! We love coffee here so now the coffee grounds go to the flower beds-maybe they will help my hydrangeas bloom next year-they did last year but notta this year-it was disappointing. This afternoon I informed hubby o this idea so he will do the same-the Cozy Parsonage will have the best aroma of coffee coming from teh flower beds from now on!
Thanks again,
tress

Anonymous said...

I pick grounds up at Starbucks each time I buy a Mocha Frappacchino (basically a chocolate milkshake with a hint of coffee flavor)- I can't bare to drink coffee either, but it's an excuse to go for the treat! They will usually give me as many as I want! I'm sure any coffee shop would do the same if you just ask them to!