Uses and Benefits of Coffee Ground For Your Garden

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Stop throwing out your used coffee grounds, especially if you’re gardening. As a home gardener, you may also want to keep a close eye on your local coffee shops, or even stop in and talk to them about taking some of the used grounds off their hands. Yes, you can use coffee grounds in garden growing.

How Coffee Grounds Can Help

Saving coffee grounds isn’t some crazy hoarder thing. Coffee grounds are a great asset to farmers and people who like to grow small gardens in their backyards. You may want to keep decaffeinated ground on hand, as well as caffeinated. Sometimes fresh, unused grounds will come in handy too. Here’s how to use them.

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1. Keep Away Bugs and Other Pests

One common way of using coffee grounds in garden growing that has been used for centuries is as a bug repellent. It’s likely your great grandparents even used some of these tricks for keeping the bugs and stray cats out of their flowerbeds and food plots.

One type of pest that is kept away with coffee grounds is slugs. Both snails and slugs are affected negatively by coffee grounds so they will avoid soil with this acidic compound in or on it. If the neighborhood stray cats are using your garden as their litter box, you can use the old coffee grounds to keep them away as well. It can also help keep rabbits from robbing your garden and digging holes.

2. Use Grounds in Composting

Composting is an extremely environmentally healthy thing to do, and there are some great gardening uses for that compost. Make sure you mix in some brown composting materials since coffee grounds are green composting material. You need to keep things balanced. While you can use your used coffee grounds just the way they are, composting them is an opportunity to get more out of them. However, you need to do it properly. Mixing fresh used grounds straight with the soil is also a good fertilizer, it just doesn’t offer as many benefits.

Nitrogen is added to compost with the addition of coffee grounds, and this won’t be added it to the soil if you put it directly in. That’s why composting some of it is a good idea. The coffee grounds in your compost help create a rich fertilizer for your garden. This organic material created through composting makes the soil healthier, so it drains better, retains water better, and aerates the soil.

3. Fertilize Without Composting

Used coffee grounds, even uncomposted, offer benefits to the soil. However, fresh coffee grounds (unused) are acidic and may harm some plants. Previously brewed coffee grounds are neutral. That means that they have no effect on the acidity of the soil and won’t hurt your plants. Just work the used coffee grounds directly into the soil for their fertilizing benefits, as well as all of the other things they can do.

4. Feed the Worms

Compost, in general, provides food for worms, and worms are enriching to your garden environment. That means you want to feed them well and keep them around. Adding coffee grounds to the compost means more microorganisms that are much loved by worms. When the worms excrete what they’ve eaten, they are adding more nutrients into your garden through those castings.

Some Issues With Using Coffee Grounds in Garden Plans

You must know the benefits and risks of using coffee grounds in garden growing before you start sprinkling them.

As mentioned, you can use fresh unused grounds in your garden if you have acid-loving plants. Some plants like acidic soil include blueberries, hydrangeas, azaleas, and lilies. Some vegetables will thrive in somewhat acidic soil but keep it away from your tomatoes. It’s good for root vegetables and helps keep slugs out of your carrots.

Fresh ground coffee is great for keeping weeds, whether you’re using it in a food plot or your flower bed. It may keep away some fungi as well.

Some plants don’t like the presence of caffeine, although it is the thing that keeps the cats and rabbits away. You can use decaffeinated coffee to help fertilize your garden, though it may not keep the pests away as well (or at all).

A Good Reason to Drink Some Coffee

Now that you know there are some beneficial reasons to use coffee grounds in garden planning and in composting, it’s time to drink up. If you’ve been looking for a better excuse for your three cups every morning, you’ve got it now.


Jonathan E. Bass

Graduated from Middle Tennessee State University. I am currently a gardener. I have a small garden behind my house. I love it.

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