Monday, August 13, 2012

Black gold for your garden with a "kick"

Free coffee grounds are like black gold for your garden. 

 I am often blessed with gigantic blooms and luscious green and healthy plants around the yard and I owe much of this success not to Miracle Grow, but coffee grounds.  There are a couple ways to obtain free coffee grounds. One way is obviously by saving the ones you used to make your morning cup of java and the other is to contact your local coffee shop or restaurant and by kindly asking them to save some for you.  The bigger chain stores are recognizing the benefits of their used grounds, and even instruct their employees to save and place them by the front door so customers can easily grab them on their way out.  "First come - first serve" of course.

A lot of times, the restaurants will bag them up "filter and all" but that is OK too.  The filters can be added to your compost pile or buried directly into your soil.  I take the bag of coffee grounds and sprinkle a 1" layer around all of my plants, starting with the vegetable garden and fruit trees first, then lightly water it in. Other times I save up the grounds in buckets and mix it with fresh compost to be later cultivated into the soil before planting. 

The benefits are almost endless...

Nitrogen/ Plant Food.

Used coffee grounds are very high in Nitrogen, which as we all know is the fuel to fast and vigorous growth.  These grounds are slightly acidic so plants such as tomatoes and roses greatly appreciate a healthy dose but be aware not to pile it on too thick as you can create a mold growth. 

Slugs, Snails, and other pests

These little buggers hate these grounds very much and will usually stay far away.  If you have plants that are constantly being damaged by slugs, sprinkle a healthy dose of coffee grounds around the plant and as the slug passes over it, they will absorb the caffeine which acts as a poison.

Worms Love It! 

I'm no expert, but we do have a TON of worms in our garden.  From what I can see, the worms seem to  love to feed on the coffee grounds and its probably due to the small particle size which makes it easier for them to eat.  Worms then digest the grounds leaving you with fresh worm poop which is highly beneficial itself!

So the next time you brew a cup of Joe or pick up your latte, remember to ask for or keep the used coffee grounds.  Your plants will show their appreciation by providing you with a healthy growing season!

Cheers ~ Kevin

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