Lesson #26: Coffee Grounds Make a Beautiful Garden

Don’t throw out those coffee grounds! I recently have started my summer plant obsession which means a lot of plant research. Looking for a natural, cheap fertilizer, I stumbled upon the wonderful world of coffee grounds. Find out how to make a beautiful, flourishing garden that will be the envy of your neighborhood, all from leftover coffee grounds.

Having a beautiful garden is as simple as sprinkling some coffee grounds around your plants (or as my boyfriend likes to call them, my babies). As easy as it is to sprinkle the fertilizer from the store, there are many natural fertilizers in our homes that we can use–one of them being coffee grounds.

How Do Coffee Grounds Help My Garden?

Plants need nitrogen in order to grow to their greatest potential. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen that when added to the soil help add to the necessary amount for healthy plant growth. While this is not an immediate transformation, adding coffee grounds to your soil during Spring showers help distribute this nutrient throughout your soil. You can use coffee grounds as mulch, fertilizer, a compost addition, weed-killer, pest remover and more!

How Do I Add Coffee Grounds To My Garden?

Whether you have plants in a container or on the ground, adding coffee grounds to your soil is not difficult at all. When using the grounds for bigger plants, sprinkling the coffee around the base since this is easier than trying to break up the soil around the plant. If you are using containers, you can mix the coffee grounds in your soil, or just sprinkle the grounds on top of the soil. Whatever way you decide, your plant will be receiving much-needed nutrients. You really can’t go wrong.

What is the Difference Between Used and Fresh coffee grounds?

When reading the information tags that come with your plant(always keep these!), there will be a little subject mentioning the P.H or acid level of the soil. Depending on your plant, you will want to use fresh or used coffee grounds.

  • Fresh Coffee Grounds For Acid Loving Plants
    • Fresh coffee grounds should only be used for plants that enjoy acidic soil. Roses, azaleas, and hydrangeas are examples of plants that love a little extra acidity in their soil. Some fruits and vegetables also enjoy extra acidity. You can use fresh coffee grounds
      bell-pepper-plant-61726_1920 (4)

      Bell Peppers are vegetables that do very well in acidic soil. Coffee grounds also help to deter pests.

      and sprinkle them around the base of your plant or work them into the soil and then water according to the needs of your plant. I did this to my rose-bush and within a few days my bush began to grow at an extremely fast rate!

  • Used Coffee Grounds For Alkaline (Low Acid) Loving Plants

    • For the rest of my garden, I like to utilize used coffee grounds for fertilizer and mulch for my plants. Coffee grounds help cool and retain water in your soil which is particularly helpful on days when the temperature reaches 80°F (26°C) or higher. I am thankfully living with a coffee lover so I receive daily helpings of use coffee grounds. If you do not live with someone who drinks coffee (or not enough of it to fertilize your garden) no fear! Many coffee houses throw away large bags of used coffee grounds (what are they going to do with them?!) and are happy to give them to gardeners. When I have tried this I find that local coffee houses are awesome!

How Often Should I Use Coffee Grounds?

Check the information tag that comes with your plant. While some plants benefit and even need fertilizer every month, others can only tolerate fertilizer once every growing season (succulents are a good example of plants that require little fertilizer). When in doubt, do a PH test on your soil simply using baking soda or vinegar. This should help you determine how much to add to your soil. Take the soil you would like to test into a small container (two spoonfuls is enough). Then, simply pour vinegar or baking soda (add water to the soil first when using baking soda) into the container and see if it fizzes:

  • Fizzes with Vinegar: Alkaline (low acid)
  • Fizzes with Baking Soda: Acidic (high acid)
  • No fizz: Neutral

Do you love to garden? Do you have tips you would like to share? Please leave a comment below! I hope you enjoyed my gardening tip!

-NYL

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