The Coffee Ground Garden

Coffee grounds can be an excellent addition to a compost pile. The grounds are relatively rich in nitrogen, providing bacteria the energy they need to turn organic matter into compost. Coffee ground compost is so good for your garden, it can actually replace manure, organic fertilizers and it repel bugs!

Despite what most believe, the grounds not acidic. In fact, after brewing they are nearly a perfect 7 (neutral pH). They also encourage the beneficial bacteria in your soil and compost bin and are digestible by worms or other little “helpers”.

»While coffee grounds appear to develop mold, particularly in storage, this is actually yet another beneficial property of the grounds. The natural mold and fungus on coffee can suppress all pathogenic or non-beneficial fungi. To top it all off, coffee grounds increase the temperature of the composter. It is also a perfect material for wiping out harmful bacteria.

»It is recommended that you always compost your coffee grounds and balance them with carbon rich materials such as leaves. If adding them directly to the soil, turn the soil and expect to wait a few months until the soil is “ready” for use. Use of a nitrogen rich material is recommended when doing so. Typically, the coffee grounds can make up from 15% to 35% of your compost pile with excellent results.

»If used as a soil amendment, remember to keep the grounds damp and always mix in a sizable or equal amount of nitrogen rich fertilizer with the grounds. If used on top of the soil, use of a bit of nitrogen rich material is optional, however it is best to cover the grounds with leaves or bark mulch.

Need More Coffee Grounds?

If you’re family makes a pot of coffee a day, you should be able to gather a somewhat sizable supply to keep on hand. But, if you are not a coffee drinker or you simply need more grounds, make arrangements with a local coffee shop (you know which ones!) to collect what they are already throwing away. Typically, when collecting from a coffee shop, you can arrange a pick up time and date and bring your equipment with you to collect. Get a 5-gallon (polyethylene) bucket with gamma seal lid and use a permanent marker to write your name or whatever information the business wants and leave it with them. Leave your phone number and ask them to contact you to pick up the bucket once they have filled it for you. Find 5-gallon buckets and gamma seal lids at your local hardware or Home store.

All Natural Pest Repellant

Added directly to the soil or near plants, coffee grounds will act as a deterrent that keeps away slugs, flies and other pests that would otherwise harm your plants. In fact, deer, rabbits and other animals are also deterred by coffee grounds – an old farming trick often used to create natural “fencing” to keep these animals out of certain areas.

 

Thanks to Homesteading.com/Survivalist.com/Off The Grid.com for the information in this post.

Photo from mycoffeesupply.com

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