If you’re like most people, you probably enjoy a fresh cup of coffee each and every day.
But what are you doing with the spent grounds? If you’re throwing them in the trash can after your coffee is prepped, you’re wasting your money. There are plenty of ways you can reuse your coffee grounds around the house and in your garden.
How to Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden: 6 Different Ways to Get You Inspired!
Make slow-release fertiliser
Coffee grounds make a great fertiliser as they contain several key nutrients required for plant growth. Carrots, azaleas and roses all benefit from the grounds, so simply sprinkle some directly onto your soil and lightly rake it in.
Lewis Spencer, coffee expert at Coffee Direct, advises: ‘Coffee grounds add organic material to the soil, helping water retention, aeration and drainage. Leftover diluted coffee can create a liquid plant fertiliser too. Simply mix two cups of brewed coffee grounds with five gallons of water in a bucket overnight.’
Feed the worms
Worms love coffee grounds. Since they have no teeth, coffee provides a gritty substance in their guts which helps them to grind down foods. If you practice vermicomposting, consider adding a cup of coffee grounds per week, as well as the paper filters, too. The wriggly creatures might love the stuff, but be careful to only add a small amount each day to stop them from getting unwell.
Add it to your compost
Coffee grounds are an excellent nitrogen source for composting, so be sure to add them on your heap. Moisture is an essential part of the composting process, which can come from leftover black coffee.
‘Good compost contains a mixture of “brown” and “green” ingredients. Brown materials such as dried leaves, sawdust and newspaper bring carbon to the mix,’ says Lewis. ‘Green materials such as tea leaves and grass clippings offer nitrogen and protein. (The rule of thumb is to have a 4:1 ratio of brown to green compost material). Coffee grounds, paper filter included, fall into the green category which means they are rich in nitrogen at approximately 1.45 per cent.’
You may not think of coffee grounds when you think of mulch, but the reality is that the remainder of your morning cup of JOe can really work wonders when used as a mulch. Mulch is beneficial in that it helps your plants stay moist while also preventing weeds. Coffee is lovely to look at too, providing a stark contrast against the green backdrop of your plants.
Change soil pH
If you’ve been struggling with overly alkaline soil, you may want to add some coffee grounds. Of course, you should always conduct a soil test first, to be sure, but if you know your soil is overly alkaline and needs to be acidified, just reach for the coffee grounds. You can dig them into the soil at a depth of seven to eight inches and you’ll find that your soils’ acidity naturally begins to rise.
Repel snails and slugs
Snails and slugs are common garden pests, frequently targeting plants like broccoli, lettuce, and kale in their ravenous voyages. You can keep them away from your plants by sprinkling some coffee grounds around them or around the perimeter of your garden. They will avoid areas where the coffee grounds can be found.
There is some evidence to suggest that using coffee grounds in the garden can also help keep pests like rabbits at bay. Gardeners aren’t sure why this trick works, but some people suspect that it has to do with the high caffeine content of the additive.
Why You Should Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden
Coffee grounds and gardening go together like peas and carrots – and your peas and carrots are sure to benefit from a few coffee grounds, too! The next time you make your morning cup of coffee, don’t toss the grounds and filter into the trash. Instead, consider saving them for one of these nine ways to use coffee grounds in the garden.