There are lots of us that use coffee to get us going in the mornings or a pick me up in the afternoon. Rather it’s brewing a pot or using a pod, we will have grounds left over. So why not use them in our gardens to help out? Below is a list of just some of the uses we have found for coffee grounds that offer benefits for our gardens. So review the list with a great cup of joe and find a way to use those grounds!
1. Grow Mushrooms
Why buy store bought when we can grow our own mushrooms? All we need is a bucket, a lot of coffee grounds, and Oyster mushroom spores. It does take a lot of grounds to grow them though; one good source is to ask for leftovers at a coffee shop. Most of the time they’ll be more than happy to supply you with them.
2. Blue Hydrangeas
Add grounds to the soil and it will help our hydrangeas grow a vibrant blue. This is because coffee grounds add acidity; this helps the plant absorb aluminum, which gives the flower it’s blue color.
3. Keeping Pests Out Of Our Garden
We may enjoy waking up to the smell of coffee, but pets, especially cats, don’t find the odor so great. Simply sprinkle some coffee grounds around where you don’t want pets to tread and it will help deter them. If slugs and snails are the garden pests, sprinkle coffee grounds as a barrier. As the grounds dry it will create a barrier that slugs will not crawl over.
4. Speed Up Our Compost
When making compost, don’t forget to add coffee grounds. Some people actually use the grounds in their compost piles in place of manure. Especially with high-carbon items like leaves and straw, it actually speeds up the composting process. Coffee is a good source of nitrogen for compost and the pH of grounds is pretty close to neutral.
How to layer coffee grounds in compost: 1/3 leaves, 1/3 fresh grass clippings and 1/3 coffee grounds.
5. Repel Bugs & Mosquitoes
While we’re outside enjoying the summer evening, set out bowls of grounds to keep bugs away. We can even sprinkle the grounds around our sitting areas to help keep the mosquitoes away. They will even repel your neighbor’s cat, too. For more details on repelling mosquitoes: Best Natural Mosquito Repellents for Your Home.
6. Feed The Worms
Worms love coffee grounds! Scientists think it’s because they need something gritty in them in order to aid digestion. Either way, it’s a good gardening tip. Whether we already have worms or want to attract more of them, get out the coffee grounds and feed the worms.
7. Fortify Plants
This article on How to Use Recycled Coffee Grounds offers details on how using coffee on our plants can help them grow better. Using compost made from coffee works wonders, as it contains nitrogen and all plants need this important nutrient, especially lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and brussels sprouts.
We can also add grounds to the soil for a better soil structure. Be aware that stronger coffee can be more acidic. But, when we use recycled or used coffee grounds most of the acid has left the grounds and is in the coffee. Try using additional nitrogen fertilizer with the grounds. The grounds boost microorganisms in the soil to break down the coffee. This process will also use nitrogen in the soil, so it’s a good idea to add a little nitrogen.
8. Planting Carrot Seeds
Carrot seeds are so small they can easily be washed out with rain and clump together. As the carrots grow, this can lead to overcrowding and crooked roots. An easy fix is to mix the seeds with dried coffee grounds, sand or fine vermiculite. The seed to grounds mixture should be in equal ratios. Read more from Cornell University: growing carrots.