Used coffee grounds can be used as fertilizer in your garden. They can be added to new or existing plant beds. The grounds can also be helpful for eradicating certain pests from your garden, such as slugs, snails and ants. You can use the grounds from your own kitchen. If you don’t drink coffee or need a lot of grounds, visit your local Starbucks. This company has a policy of giving used grounds to customers for use in home gardens.
Benefits of Coffee Grounds on Soil
Coffee grounds are a source of nitrogen, calcium and magnesium. These nutrients are beneficial to the plants in your garden. Using the grounds is an environmentally friendly and cost effective way to nourish your plants. You are saving space in our landfills by recycling this household waste. The grounds are also beneficial to your compost pile. They help maintain the nitrogen balance which is important for decomposition of the organic materials in your compost.
The grounds increase the acidity of the soil. This is beneficial to acid loving plants in your garden. Some of the plants that love acid soil include azaleas, blueberries and rhododendrons. However, it can harm some of your plants. It’s important to use the grounds only on plants that will benefit from increased acidity in the soil and avoid using it on plants that are not acid loving.
Coffee grounds improve the soil in your garden. The grounds make it easier to till the soil, which is beneficial for vegetable gardens. The coffee grounds are attractive to the worms in your garden. Adding them to the soil will provide an additional food source for the worms. As the worms ingest the grounds and move through the dirt, they help spread the nutrients throughout your soil, while aerating it to bring much needed oxygen to the roots of your plants.
Some studies have suggested that coffee grounds are beneficial for repelling slugs, snails and ants. One study by the USDA showed that they are effective against slugs. Other studies have shown no big difference with the use of grounds. The caffeine in the grounds and acidity are thought to be responsible for repelling the slugs. There is a lot of debate among gardeners on this benefit. Some believe it works, while others think does not make a difference.
How to Add Grounds to Soil
There are several ways to use grounds in your garden. You can sprinkle the used grounds around the plants that are already in your garden. Just sprinkle the grounds on top of the soil and water them in. this method allows the nitrogen to be slowly released into the soil to nourish your plants. Be sure to sprinkle the grounds lightly over the soil. Don’t just dump a pile around the plants. This can cause the grounds to cake and this will actually cause them to crust over, preventing moisture from getting to the roots of your plants.
Another method of adding grounds to existing plants is to lightly work them into the soil around the plant. Take a bit of the grounds and a small garden spade. Lightly dig the grounds into the soil. Dig the mulch into the first inch of soil around your plants. This will help nourish the plants and will prevent the caking that can happen when you just add the grounds to the top of the soil.
You can add grounds to new plant beds prior to planting. When you are preparing the soil for planting, add the grounds. Tilling the grounds into the soil will produce the best results. This will nourish the soil without causing the grounds to cake. Till the grounds into the first six to eight inches of soil as you prepare for planting. Add the plants and backfill with the soil and grounds mixture. Water the beds well to help release the nitrogen into the soil.
The grounds can be diluted with water to make a liquid fertilizer for your plants. This method is similar to using the grounds on ant hills. You will need to mix the grounds in a four to one ratio, four parts water to one part coffee grounds. Mix the water and grounds in a bucket and leave it in the sun to get warm. This will allow the water to reach the temperature of the outdoor air. This step is important, since water that is too hot or too cold can shock the plants. Once it has warmed up, just spray the mixture onto the plants.
If you are using the grounds to repel pests in your garden, there are a few ways to do it. How you apply the grounds depends on the pests you are hoping to eradicate. If you are using them for slugs, put the grounds down in a ring around the garden. This can be done around each of your plant beds. Some gardeners find that adding a bit of crushed eggshell makes this even more effective.
Coffee grounds can be used on ant hills throughout your yard. You will need to mix the grounds with water. The amount you will need depends on the number of hills in your yard. For each ant hill, mix one pound of grounds in a quart of warm water. Once it is mixed, pour the mixture in the top of the ant hill. Repeat this process for each hill in your yard.