Monday, June 20, 2016

Coffee grounds benefit your garden

What's better than sitting in the garden with good friends and neighbors, enjoying a cup of coffee?
The question often comes up about the benefits of using coffee grounds in the garden. The simple answer is coffee grounds are a great addition to your garden and to the compost pile. Coffee grounds can help improve your garden soil by adding micro-nutrients, improving soil structure and by encouraging earthworm and microbial activity. The common thought is that coffee grounds will help acidify your soil. Coffee grounds tend to be pH neutral, around 7 on the pH scale. The acid in coffee is water-soluble, so the acid is mainly in your coffee cup, not in the coffee grounds.  It's still worth while to add coffee grounds to your soil because  doing so will help move your soil towards neutral pH, which is good for most plants. Coffee grounds can also improve soil structure and drainage.
A good rule of thumb is 5 pounds of coffee grounds per 100 square feet of garden. Scatter the coffee grounds around each plant and carefully dig them in. As coffee grounds decompose, they release some nitrogen, calcium and magnesium, important nutrients that support plant growth.
Coffee grounds don't do well as a mulch. They tend to develop a hard crust and will repel water, if left on the surface. It's better to dig them into the ground.
Many gardeners swear by coffee grounds to help deter slugs. Apparently, slugs do not like to come in contact with coffee grounds. Try it yourself, by scattering coffee grounds around hostas and other plants in the garden. Remember to water thoroughly, because of the coffee ground's tendency to crust over. There is also conflicting information as to whether to add coffee grounds to your worm bins. This author has been adding coffee grounds to my composting worm bins for a number of years with great results. In the compost bin, coffee grounds count as a "green" or nitrogen source. They help create heat inside the compost bin. Why not turn your used coffee grounds into something useful in your garden.
Placing a container next to the coffee pot will serve to remind you to save the coffee grounds instead of throwing them away. When the container gets full, take it out to the garden. Adding coffee grounds to your garden is just another step in improving your garden soil and making your crops and flowers healthier.



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