If you take coffee daily, a great source of organics is right at your fingertips. Therefore the next time you finish your cup of coffee, do not dump the grounds.
Coffee grounds are of great help in your garden. They may not offer a lot of oxygen, but they do add some organics to the soil, compost piles and are utilized in various ways.
They have 2% of Nitrogen, which cannot be beneficial to plants until it decomposes. When they break down the nitrogen levels in them acts as a fertilizer.
Coffee grounds are nutritious. They offer small doses of essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. Besides, they also provide calcium, zinc, manganese, and iron –available in very low levels, which rarely have an impact on the growth of plants.
In addition, they improve the health of your plants without purchasing expensive commercial soil amendments.
Ways Of Putting Coffee Grounds In Your Garden
You can sprinkle them in your compost pile as they are a great source of nitrogen.
Sprinkle them directly into your garden soil or add them into the top layer of the soil.
Put coffee grounds in your worm bin. Worms are fond of them so you can put some in your worm bin weekly.
REMEMBER: Do not put too much as the level of acidity can harm your worms. For small bins, a cup of grounds weekly is enough.
Build a snail or slug barrier. Since coffee leftovers are acidic and abrasive, using them to create a barrier close to slug-prone plants is a good idea to save your plants from pests.
You can also use them to make “tea.” For a five-gallon bucket of water use two cups of used coffee grounds and allow the mixture to steep for some hours or overnight. Use this solution as liquid fertilizer for your garden and container plants. It is a magical foliar feed.
Mulching: This method of mulching is popular among gardeners because it eliminates pests, aerate the soil and prevent the growth of weeds.
However, before you use the grounds for mulching, keep in mind that they have a very fine texture and can act as a mulch only when combined with rough organic mulches.
DO NOT use them alone and in a thick layer as they dries the soil and locks the moisture out instead of in, thus harming your plants.
When mulching put a thin layer together with organic materials such as twigs, leaves, and barks to form the best mulch for your plants.
Benefits Of Coffee Grounds In Your Garden.
1. Lowers The Soil PH
You can either put used coffee grounds in the compost pile or add them directly into the garden soil. They help to lower the soil PH by either balancing the alkaline soil or boosting acidity for crops that need a lower PH such as the hydrangeas.
2. Fertilize Plants
Using coffee grounds as fertilizer helps to provide nutrients such as nitrogen, magnesium, and potassium to the soil. Use them in supplementing the soil to improve the growth of plants that prefer acidic soils.
3. Discourages Pests
Since caffeine is poisonous to some pests like snails and slugs, they avoid areas with the leftover grounds, thus keeping the plants safe from such pests. What’s more, they help to deter fire ants.
4. Feed The Worms
Contrast to slugs and snails, earthworms like coffee grounds. Using them in the garden or in worm bins helps to aerate the soil, increases worms productivity and improves drainage.
When adding used grounds to the compost bin, limit it to the range between 20-25%, higher levels, reduce the benefits, so do not exceed the given levels.
Can I use fresh coffee grounds?
This is a question that many of us ask. Even if it is not totally recommended, it is possible to use fresh grounds in some situations:
You can add the fresh coffee in the soil of the plants that require acid to thrive, such as blueberries, hydrangeas, and lilies. Several types of vegetables prefer acidic soils, however, tomatoes do not thrive well in such soils.
Root crops like carrots and radishes do well in acidic soils, particularly if you introduce the coffee leftovers to the soil during planting.
Sprinkling the grounds on the soil can lower the growth of weeds. Nevertheless, it can have an adverse effect on crops like tomatoes hence you should be very careful when using it in your garden.
Just like the leftover grounds, fresh grounds can also deter pests. Although they do not get rid of them completely, they help to keep off rabbits, cats, slugs, and snails.
As fresh coffee grounds can have adverse effects on some plants, use it in low quantities.
Even if you do not take coffee you can get the leftovers from coffee shops and use them for your gardening. Using coffee grounds for gardening is an inexpensive way to supplement nutrients into the soil. Whether it is for compost bins or for the yard, the coffee grounds will provide great benefits to your garden.