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Friday, June 24, 2011

Great Grinds

Somewhere around 50% of American's start their day with a mug of it, but I would guess that 99.9% of those consumers make waste of it's remnants while thriving on their morning-time caffeine rush. 

Coffee beans are a hidden gardening treasure sitting in your workplace coffee filter until tomorrow's new brew.

Packed full of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium, coffee grounds can be tilled into compost, garden beds or even interior plant pots. This organic amendment will help stimulate beneficial microbes in the soil, but also act as a natural pesticide.  Slugs, snails and pillbugs are deterred by caffeine, so spread your grounds throughout the garden (2-5 lbs/ 1000 sf) and reap the rewards of your recycled and organic fertilizer/ pesticide. 
Don't be alarmed if you see some green or blue-green fungal growth, it is actually a beneficial fungus for the microbial activity. 
Not part of the 50%?  Me either... but bring a box to your workplace every day to collect your coworkers grounds, or ask your local donut shop for any before they throw it out.      
What do you recycle into your garden/ compost on a regular basis that most people just throw in the trash?


Teri Tomato said...

I've been putting coffee grounds in the garden for years, I use loose leaf tea and that goes in there too. Most of the other kitchen scraps (fruits, veggies...) go to the chickens, I keep two compost containers, one for the girls the other for the garden.

Astrid in Bristling Acres said...

I've been composting them for years. I heard this past year that coffee grounds are great for blueberry plants. So now I've got a dedicated coffee grounds bucket (not just the compost collection bucket) so that I can spread the coffee grounds around my blueberry plants. We'll see if it helps them!

-Sydney- said...

I'm not a coffee drinker either and when I asked for grounds at a local store the girl working the counter looked at me like I was crazy!--even when I explained what I wanted them for. I probably could have talked to a manager but I was so embarrassed by her reaction that I didn't push it. I'll have to try again (or maybe I'll just call first and talk to the manager).

One of the other things I keep separate are the eggshells. I throw them in a paper bag under the sink and when it starts getting full I crush them down and spread the shells around in my garden. Good calcium ammendment and I've heard the shards deter slugs and snails.

You can feed eggshells to chickens but you have to make sure they aren't recognizable or you might enocourage egg-breaking. I give them oystershells instead (which some people put in their garden). Tomato, Tuhmato.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Starbucks! They offer used grounds in nice, huge, five pound bags for free in most stores. Sometimes you have to ask but I usually pick up 20lbs or so each spring. We are HUGE coffee drinkers and my roses love me!

Boho Farm and Home said...

I have used coffee grounds in my compost, roses and acid loving plants for years but never knew that it all worked as a pesticide too. Thanks for the tip!

Have a great weekend!

Cindy said...

I've been having a terrible time keeping the slugs from munching my lettuce. I'll start spreading our coffee grounds around them today.

Thanks for the great idea!

Homemade Alaska said...

I too compost my coffee grounds. My mom used to take the leftover cold coffee in the pot and pour it into her houseplants, they grew wonderfully! I don't have leftover coffee though, I spend too much for my organic coffee to waste any of it :)

daisy said...

I save coffee grounds for our sago palm. It keeps it healthy if you place it on the crown and around the base.

I think I'll start using it for the houseplants too! Can't get enough of that smell o' java!

DJK said...

I keep it from the kitchen and get it from Starbucks. I put it in my composter, on the lawn, around the roses, in the garden beds. I love it. and so does my garden. I love that it deters slugs and snails...but I secretly wish that it caused them to explode.

Homemade Alaska said...

Ha, ha DJK that gave me a good laugh. I felt the same when I lived in Oregon, all those ginormous slugs!

Mrs. Farmer said...

We used to feed the coffee grounds to the pigs, but we have not lately. Now that I know they deter slugs, I will encourage Mr. Farmer to start keeping the grounds again. We have had a very wet spring, and slugs are an issue every year, not just wet ones!

Thanks for the tip!

Mrs. Farmer

PS- Oh yes, we also feed egg shells to the pigs and chickens, keep just about every kind of vegetal scraps for the pigs (we don't like to give them meat), and I ALWAYS feed the weeds I've pulled from my garden to the chickens. They LOVE them!

DJK said...

OOoohhh... I forgot to tell you...I keep a bucket that I put all of our eggshells in. To that I add a couple/few pounds of coffee grounds. I use that there mixture as a very effective deterrent to slugs/snails (and other soft-bodied critters) which also happens to be a great "fertilizer".

From what I understand cats don't like the strong smell of the coffee either and so it tends to keep their stinky arses away from the garden, too.