Ever visit your favorite espresso stand or coffee shop and ponder on what they are doing with all of their used grounds? Odds are, they are donating them to other loyal customers just like you, who are using them as fertilizer in their own gardens at home. What about those grounds that you're going to throw in the trash after making your next pot of home brew? Save them. Save them all! Ask neighbors too. Most households brew a pot a day and would be more than happy to save them in a large container or baggie for you to pick up. With all of the coffee being consumed on a daily basis, it should be encouraging to hear that there are so many ways people are able to reuse these grounds after brewing.
For best results, use organic coffee. In case you didn't know, approximately 60% of the worlds coffee beans are sprayed with potentially harmful pesticides.
So let's talk about how they can be used in your garden at home!
As a Mulching Agent:
The dark, rich color can be used as a lovely border for your flower bed or green herbs. For optimal results, go ahead and mix it with forms of other organic mulch. When used by itself, sometimes it can turn into a thick sludge preventing necessary air and water to enter.
Coffee Grounds as a Compost Addition
Toss your used coffee grounds into your compost bin or worm bin. This will add a lot of nitrogen and people actually believe that worms fed with coffee will flourish. Coffee also helps to regulate the correct temperatures that are ideal for composting. In doing so, it will allow your compost to steer clear from harmful bacteria or pathogens that can affect your young delicate seedlings later on.
Coffee as a Fertilizer
The great thing about coffee grounds is that they are acidic and full of nitrogen which aids in vegetable and plant growth. Try using your grounds on tomato plants. They will love it and thrive on the nitrogen they are receiving. What happens is the grounds create an acidic form of bacteria that boosts the growth of many plants. Adding coffee to soil not only increases the nutritional value, but also betters the texture and fertility of the soil and aids in attracting earthworms.
Coffee as a Pesticide
Coffee-ground mulch has the added benefit of deterring veggie and flower-munching slugs and snails!
Don’t use coffee grounds that have fermented or rotted. Use fresh organic grounds. Drip grounds tend to work better than boiled grounds, as they are higher in nitrogen content. You can also sprinkle some of the used grounds around flowers and vegetables before watering them for a slow-release of nitrogen. Try buying compostable non bleached coffee filters, as this makes it easy to just throw both grinds and filters into your compost box.
For a quick fertilizing spray, dilute the grounds in purified water and spray directly on plants. Experts recommend using a half-pound of wet grounds to five-gallons of water. You can also directly sprinkle grounds into houseplant soil or in your outdoor vegetable boxes.