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Used coffee grounds and your garden

Coffee grounds contain several substances that promote healthy plant growth. They contain nitrogen, tannic acids and other nutrients. Acid-loving plants especially respond to coffee grounds and coffee. If you need a large supply of used coffee grounds, visit your local Starbucks coffee house. Most Starbucks outlets will give you their used coffee grounds for free.

Why should you put used coffee grounds in your garden?

The high content of nitrogen in coffee grounds is a very good mulch for fast-growing vegetables.

Coffee-ground mulch will help reduce the ravages of slugs and snails. Use your coffee grounds to mulch plants that slugs love to feast on, such as hostas, ligularias and lilies. Coffee-ground mulch will help promote healthy growth in daffodils and other spring bulbs as well.

Ways you can use Coffee coffee grounds in your garden:

  • Sprinkle used coffee grounds around plants before rain or watering, for a slow-release nitrogen.
  • Dry the coffee grounds and work into the soil around acid loving plants.
    • Some types of acid loving plants are:azaleas, blueberries, butterfly weed, camellias, cardinal flowers, cranberries, ferns, gardenias, heathers, heaths lupines, mountain laurels, oaks, pecans, rhododendrons, spruces, yews
  • Add used coffee grounds to compost piles to increase nitrogen balance.  Coffee filters and tea bags break down rapidly during composting.
  • Dilute used coffee grounds with water for a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer. 
  • Mix used coffee grounds into soil for houseplants or new vegetable beds.

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