After what feels like an eternal winter here in Chicago, it’s finally that time of year again! Time to get outside, enjoy the weather and plant your garden.
Spent coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen (along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and more) and make a great addition to the soil in your garden. So, instead of throwing out your coffee grounds after they’ve perked you up, recycle them and perk your garden up in the process.
Here are some great ways that you can use spent coffee grounds in your garden:
- Add used coffee grounds to your compost bin. The spent coffee grounds increase the internal temperature of your compost pile and help to speed up decomposition. Try not to exceed more than a 1:4 coffee to compost ratio.
- Add coffee grounds directly to your garden as a mulch and soil conditioner. You can mix it into your soil when planting, scratch it into the top few inches of your garden or just sprinkle it on top. Different plants/herb thrive at different levels of soil acidity, so make sure to check what type of soil your plants prefer before adding too many grounds. Some plants and herbs that thrive in higher acidy soil include (but are definitely not limited to) basil, catnip, fennel, sage, garlic, dill, hydrangeas, blueberries, cranberries, and citrus fruits.
- Make a liquid feeder. Place two cups of coffee grounds into a five-gallon bucket of water. Leave for a day or two to create a nice amber-colored liquid and then use it as a liquid fertilizer for garden and container plants.
- Create a slug and snail barrier. Coffee grounds are abrasive and acidic and make for a very unpleasant experience for slugs and snails. Make a barrier of grounds near slug-prone plants to protect them from those slimy pests.
- Add coffee grounds to your worm bin. Worms love coffee grounds! Add some to your worm bin every week or so. A cup or so of spent grounds per week for a small worm bin is perfect.
We’ve got plenty of spent grounds here at Ellipsis that we’d be happy to share with anyone who wants them. All you have to do is bring in a container and we’ll fill it up for you!
We generally have enough grounds on hand to fill up a small container. If you’d like a large amount of spent coffee grounds for a big project, you can bring in a five-gallon bucket and leave for a couple days and we’ll call you when you’re grounds are ready.