Recycling and reusing coffee may be the last thing on your mind, but it is one thing that certainly serves a great purpose. Of course, fresh grounds are a different story, but both options help promote plant growth when used correctly. Furthermore, you get different results when using coffee in compost compared to garden soil. With those elements in mind, here’s how to spruce up your landscapes, gardens, and flowerbeds using something that you’d otherwise throw in the trash.
Coffee for Humans Is Also for Plants
Plants enjoy coffee just as much as you do. The only difference is that you drink the liquid from brewed coffee grounds while plants consume the nutrients in them, as well as the soil’s existing nutrients. Used coffee works well for compost since it produces nitrogen, but in soil, it is used more for fertilizing and improving drainage, aeration, and water retention.
Unbrewed coffee grounds are the perfect match for your acid-loving botanicals, including blueberries, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, radishes, carrots, roses, and more. However, fresh grounds are not so kind to non-acidic plants, so be sure to use them wisely throughout your beautiful gardens.
Using Coffee Grounds in Compost
When adding old coffee grounds to compost, it serves as green compost material, which produces nitrogen, as previously mentioned. Therefore, you’ll need to mix it with some brown compost material that’s high in carbon. A great balance leads to good compost. The amount of nitrogen found in used coffee grounds is around 1.5%, which is certainly plenty for plants.
Yes, coffee grounds are brown, but the nitrogen is what places them in the green compost material category, which also includes recyclables like vegetable peels, grass clippings, and eggshells. On the other hand, brown compost material consists of items like paper products, sawdust, pine needles, leaves, and dryer lint. The best compost blend is a 50/50 mixture of brown and green compost materials, although it usually doesn’t hit that mark completely. No mixing is necessary. Just toss the recycled coffee grounds on top of your existing compost and let the pile take over from there.
Use Old Coffee Grounds in Garden Soil
If adding recycled coffee grounds to compost is not something you do, using your old java granules in topsoil is another beneficial method. As a fertilizer, the old coffee grounds contain potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other useful minerals that help plants grow and develop beautiful leaves and flowers.
Since old coffee grounds include around 1.5% of nitrogen and are non-acidic, they are usually safe for flowers and landscaped gardens. Simply dump the old coffee grounds on top of the existing soil and let nature blend it in. For a more effective solution that maximizes nutrition potential, mix the grounds with topsoil at a 50/50 ratio, then disburse it throughout the garden. Just be sure to spread your mixture around with less than half an inch of thickness, or the grounds can combine and crust up to restrict water drainage.
Starbucks Is More Than Just A Great Place for Delicious Coffee Varieties
You may stop by your local Starbucks coffee shop every morning or maybe just a couple of times here and there. Just like home, their coffee grounds get tossed in the trash and go to the landfill. Most Starbucks stores are more than happy to give you some of their used coffee grounds, as long as you provide the bag or container to put them in. By giving you their leftover latte granules, it reduces landfill waste, promotes a greener environment, and lets them contribute to recyclable initiatives. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
You don’t necessarily need to visit a Starbucks to get your healthy dose of nitrogen-enriched coffee granules for your garden. Many local coffee shops are also happy to hand over their old grounds.
Whether you recycle old coffee grounds or use fresh ones to promote healthy stalks and beautiful flowers, the soil will have more fertilization to support strong roots and sustainable growth. Just don’t forget that non-brewed grounds are acidic and should be used with caution around non-acidic plants.