Sunday, July 15, 2012

I love coffee...

Coffee may just be one of the most marvelous drinks on the planet. It warms you up, wakes you up, AND feeds your garden! If you are anything like me, you need a cup of coffee or two to get you moving in the morning. My question is... what do you do with all your spent coffee grounds and filters? Here's a short list of possibilities...

Compost -
Coffee grounds do marvelous things in the compost pile. They are considered a green, not a brown. Coffee grounds actually have about the same nitrogen content as fresh cut grass! Just mix the whole thing, filter and all, right into your pile.

Worm Candy -
Worms love this stuff, but you have to be careful when adding it to your worm bin. Coffee grounds are acidic and abrasive, and if you give too much to your worms, they will be unhappy. Also, watch the moisture content of your worm bin when adding coffee grounds, as they tend to retain a lot of water.

Slug Repellent (and Snails and Ants also!) -
Because the grounds are abrasive, slugs and snails don't like to cross them, so circle your plants with some, like you would do with eggshells. Ants don't like the acidity, and will tend to steer clear as well.

Garden Fertilizer -
You can bury the grounds, top dress with them, or scratch them directly into the soil around your growing plants, especially those (like Rhododendrons and Azaleas) which like their soil on the acidic side. You can also soak your spent grounds overnight and use the brew as a simple liquid fertilizer.

Mulch -
Coffee grounds make a great mulch! They look great (and smell good too!) and they work as a slow-release fertilizer at the same time!

Plant Rx -
Coffee grounds are known to suppress late blight in tomatoes. Top dress or mist the plants with water that has soaked the grounds overnight.

Most of us have an abundance of coffee grounds right in our kitchen, but if you don't, you can most likely get them from your office coffee pot, or maybe your next-door neighbor! Starbucks also offers spent coffee grounds for free. All you have to do is ask!

What's your favorite way to recycle your coffee grounds?

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