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Marie Iannotti

Do You Compost Your Coffee Grounds?

By February 17, 2008

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As a coffee lover, I was delighted when I first learned coffee grounds could be used in the garden. There was a while there when "they" were saying that coffee grounds were too acidic to use around plants, but that concern seems to have faded. I used them as mulch around my Hostas all last summer, to know ill effect. Emma Cooper, of The Alternative Kitchen Garden, lists ways to turn your morning coffee grounds into plant food in How To Compost with Coffee.

What about you? What do you do with the coffee left overs?

Photo: Courtesy of evangelos vlasopoulos / stock.xchng. Used with Permission.


February 18, 2008 at 2:18 pm
(1) Cynthia says:

Regarding coffee grounds added to soil around plants: Should I mix the coffee grounds into the soil or just lay the grounds on the top? Also, how long will coffee grounds “keep” before turning moldy.

February 19, 2008 at 10:00 am
(2) gardening says:

I don’t think it really matters. When I use them to deter slugs or as a mulch, I just spread them around the perimeter of the plants.

If the grounds stay wet, it’s just a matter of days before they get moldy. I collect mine in a wide, shallow, plastic tub and leave the cover slightly ajar, so they can dry somewhat.

They’re still good to use in the garden, but they can start to smell in the house. Once you spread them around and they dry, the mold disappears too.

February 19, 2008 at 5:10 pm
(3) Brandon says:

Composting coffee is a pretty great idea. If you are concerned about your coffee being “green” enough, another direction you could go in is buying fair trade, organic, and/or shade grown coffee…


February 21, 2008 at 1:45 am
(4) dee says:

When I was a little girl, our neighbor had the most beautiful petunias and portulaca. It wasn’t until I was older and realized why. She threw her used coffee grinds around them and her used dish water. I save used coffee grinds through the year, I spread them out to dry, then collect in gallon ziplocs to use through the summer. I have experimented and notice the plants that get the grounds are fuller and more vibrant.

February 22, 2008 at 8:23 am
(5) gardening says:

Several people emailed me to say they simply tie their grasses into bundles with twine or rope. Another Master Gardener wrote that she leaves a long end on the rope, so she can drag the grass to the compost. And 2 Master Gardeners I volunteer with told me they’ve begun to using bungie cords. I still use tape, because I can be all thumbs, especially when I’m tired, and the tape ensures the bundle holds together.

I also got this excellent suggestion from Mrs. Baizley. She uses her “…cut grasses as embellishments for the barnyard red gates & fencing when I showcase my new babies – - – as Ewe are aware. S’thing Ewe may wish to consider >”

March 16, 2009 at 10:56 am
(6) natie says:

Hello. I have always wanted a garden. The problem is we cannot get GRASS to grow at all. There is nothing but dirt and sand in our yard ( front and back ). Does anyone have any tips as to how I can get grass to grow so I might be able to actually have flowers. My husband and I really can’t take looking at dirt and sand when we could look outside and see the beauty of flowers.

March 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm
(7) gardening says:

If grass won’t grow, you’ll probably have trouble growing anything. Is the problem that the soil is too poor or is it something more? Drought maybe?

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