Repel Insects And Pests
Certain compounds found in coffee, such caffeine and diterpenes, can be highly toxic to insects (
To use coffee grounds as an insect and pest repellent, simply set out bowls of grounds or sprinkle them around outdoor seating areas.
You can also keep pests out of your garden by scattering coffee grounds around your plants. They help create a barrier that slugs and snails do not like to crawl over.
Summary Coffee grounds contain compounds that are toxic to many insects. You can use your coffee grounds to repel mosquitos, fruit flies, beetles and other pests.
Vermicomposting Let The Worms Do The Work
One creature that absolutely loves leftover coffee bits is worms. They are a gardeners best friend and the use of worms for vermicomposting is a great way to enrich your soil and keep it full of nutrients. Earthworms turn organic waste into extremely high-quality garden soil. A family of worms is the best way to break down your compost heap and vermicomposting systems are a clean and efficient way to break down scraps and garden cuttings.
But why do worms like coffee grounds? It seems strange to think about it, but worms love the taste almost as much as humans. They tuck into kitchen scraps and vegetable waste as happily as if it was made specifically for them.
Worms need gritty food to aid their digestive system which is why the texture of grinds is perfect for them. Their internal organs are helped by the addition of organic grinds which makes them better at munching their way through your compost heap.
One of the recommended ways to attract worms to your compost heap and keep them there, is to line your compost heap with fresh coffee grounds regularly. Researchers at Cornell University discovered this can bring in the bilaterians from all over your garden.
Do Try Making Your Own Compost
Even if you have no intention of adding coffee grounds to your compost pile, you should have a compost pile nonetheless. Making your own compost is maybe not the cleanest or nicest task indoor gardeners can do, but its super satisfying.
You get to choose exactly what youre feeding your houseplants, giving you more control over their care.
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Coffee Grounds Keep Slugs And Snails Away
Coffee grounds are also good as pest control: snails and slugs hate the texture of coffee grounds. So, some gardeners like to scatter coffee grounds around crops that snails and slugs love a lot.
Especially tender leaves like lettuce, young cabbage, kale etc. are real favorites of snails and slugs.
No need for chemicals that pollute your soil if you just drink a few coffees and keep these annoying little leaf munchers away
These are all the benefits of coffee grounds added to the soil. But did you know that they are excellent for compost too?
First Of All Whats In A Coffee Ground
We dont mean this metaphorically. What are coffee grounds made of, chemically speaking? Coffee grounds are full of nitrogen, a crucial plant nutrient. Theyre also acidic and contain caffeine.
The biggest thing to consider when using coffee grounds as fertilizer is that coffee is acidic. Adding grounds to your soil can alter the pH, which is a good thing for some plants but not for others. Youll want to consider the soil youre starting with. Is it already acidic, or is it more basic? You can buy a simple pH testing kit to find out.
And what about caffeine? Though humans enjoy the effects of a caffeinated cup of joe, plants like coffee and chocolate developed caffeine to cut down on the competition. Caffeine prevents other plants from growing allowing the caffeinated plant to make use of all of the available water and nutrients in the soil. What does that mean for your garden? Adding caffeinated coffee grounds may impede the growth of your plants.
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What Makes Coffee Grounds So Great
What makes coffee grounds so great? It may sound a little strange, but when you taste it you will be happy you didnt think of it as an ingredient. In fact, its a natural product that has long been used to flavor coffee. When you drink coffee with flavor, it is almost always because the grounds were added.
The coffee ground you use has a huge impact on the flavor of your coffee. Without the additives, coffee would simply be like water. The first step in deciding how much flavor your coffee should have is deciding if you want it ground coarse or fine. If you use coarse grounds, you will probably get more flavor from them than fine. Many people prefer to use the coarse grounds for their coffee since it has a better flavor than fine grounds.
Ground coffee also is the type of coffee that goes into more fancy coffee drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos. This is because coarse grounds are already prepared for these drinks. Fine grounds need to be mixed with water to make them prepared properly. However, if you dont want your coffee to be prepared this way, you can just purchase ready ground beans instead.
Finally If You Are Growing Them In The Ground You Will Need To Prune Them In
There are special tools to help you with the task. Since you do not want to remove too much of the foliage, you should only prune at the end of the growing season.
If the plants do not survive the winter, move them to a new location. If the bulbs are left in the ground, they will wilt.
If you do not prune them, they will turn yellow and die. That is why it is important to remove them in the fall.
It is great fun to watch these flowers go through the winter. You can even get lost looking for them. These plants will bloom in a matter of days, so the entire process is very exciting.
Placing them outdoors can be fun, but it is best to do the planting when you are sure to see beautiful blossoms.
Perennials will thrive in our garden throughout the spring and summer, so when do you think they will come back?
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So Are Coffee Grounds Useful For Making Great Compost
Nearly as popular as using coffee to acidify your soil, is the use of coffee grounds to compost.
One study compared three different composting methods to measure the effect of adding coffee grounds to your compost. In all three methods they found an increase in the death-rate of earthworms.
Eeesh, poor little guys!
Apparently as the coffee grounds break down, they release organiccompounds and chemicals which kill the worms.
It would appear that coffee grounds are not so great forearthworms after all.
And as if murdering innocent earthworms wasnt bad enough, it appears that coffee has antibacterial properties, too.
So, instead of helping the thriving microbiota of your compost, tossing those coffee grounds in could actually kill off helpful microbes.
If you do decide to add coffee to your compost, do so sparingly. Despite its color, coffee is considered to be a green addition, so it needs to be mixed in with plenty of brown, like dried leaves.
Are Coffee Grounds Good Fertilizer
To use coffee grounds as fertilizer, simply sprinkle them onto the soil surrounding your plants. Summary Coffee grounds make great fertilizer because they contain several key nutrients required for plant growth. They can also help attract worms and decrease the concentrations of heavy metals in the soil.
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Plants That Like Coffee Groundsand Plants That Don’t
Because using coffee grounds to help plants grow is so hit or miss and has such a wide range of success, Marino is hesitant to deem some plants as “the” ones that it works for and some that it doesn’t. “The evidence out there is really inconclusive,” she says. “Instead I would encourage people to slowly test for themselves.”
However, she does offer up this tip on how used coffee grounds affect moisture: “Adding coffee grounds to fertilizer makes the soil hold and retain water better, which is going to be beneficial for some plants, but not for others,” she says.
With moisture as a key factor in mind, use the below lists as a loose guide for what plants to experiment with, and which ones to avoid using coffee grounds with:
Add Coffee Grounds To Compost
Good compost contains a mixture of brown and green ingredients. Brown materials such as dried leaves, sawdust and newspaper bring carbon to the mix. Green materials such as tea leaves and grass clippings offer nitrogen and protein.
Compost is a great way to make use of something that would have ended up in landfill. Coffee grounds, paper filter included, fall into the green category which means they are rich in nitrogen at approximately 1.45%.
They also contain magnesium, potassium and other trace minerals.
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Type Of Coffee To Use
Coffee is coffee, isnt it? Not if you ask a coffee connoisseur and not if you want to use coffee grounds on your houseplants.
Different coffees contain different levels of the basic ingredients, so the grounds of one type of coffee may work with your plants, while another may not.
What also matters is in what state the grounds are when you use them. The answer is simple: only use used coffee grounds on your plants.
Fresh coffee contains a lot of acid and will actually harm most plants, even those that prefer acidic soil.
The Best Way: Composting
If you want to get the most out of your coffee grounds you should compost them. For those of you who are not too familiar with composting, it may seem like an intimidating and complicated project.
But it is much easier than it appears! In reality, composting is pretty simple. Although some gardeners have turned it into an almost art form.
In general, composting uses greens and browns. Greens are things that are high in nitrogen, such as coffee grounds and eggshells. While browns are materials that are high in carbon such as paper and dried leaves. These are used with a roughly 3:1 ratio of browns to greens.You throw your materials into a bin or a pile and give it time to breakdown. As long as you maintain around a 3:1 ratio you can use other materials, that would have otherwise been thrown into a landfill, for the compost.
It is not uncommon to find small composts in some gardeners kitchens so that they can easily throw food scraps into the compost.
The result is a wonderfully nutrient dense growing material for your plants. This can be mixed into your regular potting soil or mixed into the top layer of already potted plants when it seems time for their soils nutrients to be replenished.
Since the coffee filter is paper it is considered a brown and can also be thrown into the compost!
This method extracts all of the rich nutrients of coffee grounds and serves them to your houseplants in the best possible way.
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Are Coffee Grounds Good For Tomato Plants
Tomatoes and coffee, they do seem to have a good thing to do together. Growing them together can be both fun and exciting.
You get to harvest fresh fruit from your tomatoes each year, then you also get to add some interesting flavors to those fresh fruits. One of the great things about growing these two together is that they make a great combination with ground coffee.
What exactly is coffee ground? Coffee grounds are basically mineral-rich coffee left after brewing a pot of coffee. You probably just know it by another name: gourmet coffee.
Coffee grounds add a lot of flavor and body to coffee. They are used mostly in gourmet coffee shops to bring out the richness of the bean.
Do they work well in growing tomatoes? Gourmet coffee grounds have lots of antioxidants, which can help tomatoes thrive.
The more antioxidants per pound of tomato, the better. This is one reason why whole-wheat coffee beans are often mixed with tomato pulp to make up for the lack of antioxidant-richness in most grocery store-ground beans.
Can you grow ground coffee in your garden? Yes, you can! They dont need an intense amount of sun to thrive. Tomatoes will grow just fine in small amounts of sunlight provided the ground is well-drained.
Are coffee grounds good for tomato plants? You bet they are! Just remember though, that ground coffee isnt the only thing you need to keep your tomatoes healthy. Water, sunlight, and nutrients are also essential for growing healthy tomatoes.
Reasons Why You Shouldnt Be Using Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds may inhibit plant growth
Putting coffee grounds directly into the garden can lead to an excess of caffeine and inhibit plant growth and the germination of seeds.
Some plants prefer more alkaline soil
Not all plants prefer the same growing conditions, read up on what your plants prefer before adding grounds to your garden. If you dont do the proper research, your gardening efforts might prove pointless.
Coffee grounds compact to fast to be a great mulch
It is true that grounds compact quite quickly. If you want to use it as a mulch, make sure the layer is thin and mix it with other brown compost material.
A lot of acidity is lost when brewing coffee grounds making them ineffective to change soil pH
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Using Them As Fertilizer
Using coffee grounds as fertilizer is a cheap and eco-friendly way to give your garden soil a boost of nutrients. Now it might sound as if you need a Ph.D. in soil management to create your own fertilizer but this couldnt be further from the truth. In fact, you can add them directly to your garden soil.
But how do you do this and what is the best way to add them as a fertilizer?
Firstly, you want to get a large bag of coffee grounds and a bag of topsoil.
You can mix equal parts grounds and topsoil to create a potting mixture or, if you are adding to flower beds, you can just sprinkle it straight on top. Take a handful and spread them onto the top of your soil. Make sure you dont layer it thicker than half an inch or the remains could fuse together and create a solid crust which prevents water from getting through. Use a small fork or a rake to spread the coffee evenly in the garden soil and mix it in with the top layer of your flowerbed.
You can mix topsoil with the java remnants and then spread that in the same way. You could mix it in a large wheelbarrow and then walk it around your backyard, shoveling it out as you go.
If you are adding grounds directly, start with a small amount to test how individual plants react. Start by adding a level tablespoon of grounds once a week and then observe how your plants change or grow. Tweak the amount, or frequency you add them, to suit your plants.
Plants That Like Coffee Compost
Coffee compost is made from green materials and brown materials. The green materials, rich in nitrogen, refer to the coffee grounds. They take about 15% to 20% of the total compost volume.
These materials are mostly plant-based animal manures, fruit peels, or fresh grass.
Meanwhile, the brown materials, high in carbon, refer to newspapers, straws, or old dried leaves. This carbonic addition lowers the high acidic pitch and makes the compost suitable for many plants that dont accept high acidity levels.
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You Can Use Coffee Grounds As A Mulch
Mulching is beneficial to plants. Coffee grounds make an excellent mulch for plants. But, it would help if you handled coffee grounds with care. To avoid causing detrimental effects to the plants. Also, adding coffee grounds straight into the soil can lead to stunted growth. Nitrogen inhibits germination and even suppress the plants growth. So, always mix coffee grounds with other materials to achieve a beneficial mulch.
Also, coffee grounds particles are prone to locking like clay soil. Locking inhibits enough water penetration, leading to water deprivation and the plants death. Therefore, sprinkle coffee grounds on the topsoil layer to avoid locking of particles.
Use Grounds In Compost
Composting coffee grounds before adding them to the soil lets them age enough to release their nitrogen into the compost. Here are some tips for composting with the grounds:
Let the grounds cool before adding them to your bin.
* Use a ratio of about 1/3 coffee grounds, 1/3 green material, such as grass clippings and flower stems, and 1/3 dried leaves for compost.
* Let the compost age for about three months before spreading it on the soil.
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Coffee Grounds: What To Understand
Because coffee grounds contain two percent nitrogen in volume, this can improve the soil fertility for the right plants. Coffee grounds also contain 0.6 percent potassium and 0.06 percent phosphorous.
All of this combined fosters a better soil environment for the right type of plants. What are those plants? Were going to cover that.
For the right plants like blueberries and azaleas, coffee grounds can boost plant growth. It adds organic material to the soil, improves water retention and drainage.
However, remain aware of how if the soil already contains high levels of nitrogen, the extra from the coffee grounds will stunt the growth of many plants. When you apply coffee grounds as a fertilizer, do it sparingly except with certain plants.
You can spot too much nitrogen in the soil if the plants look luscious and green, but they dont exhibit much growth.
While coffee grounds can boost the growth of certain types of plants, dont over-rely on them either. You can easily overdo it.
Expert Tip: Some people mistakenly think that you can use coffee grounds for all plants. We advise against this because of the high acidic content in coffee grounds. Not all plants can handle the high levels of acid found.