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Tuesday 16 April 2024

Coffee Grounds In Your Garden !

Well, you can't say there isn't variety on this blog. Whether it be articles and studies about diabetes and living the low carb lifestyle, to a wide variety of recipe suggestions, and even wildlife photography - there is variety - and they do say 'variety is the spice of life'.

But how about this one?

How to use coffee grounds in your garden – 3 ways to benefit plants and improve soil quality

Wondering how to use coffee grounds in your garden? Well, it turns out that your caffeine addiction might just be your garden's saving grace and the next step for upping your allotment's sustainability.

If you're lucky enough to have a coffee machine in your possession then you may be all too familiar with having to dispose of used coffee grounds after each delicious cup. Coffee grounds that you might have only previously seen as trash/rubbish are your garden's treasure, as using the grounds to nurture your plants and soil is a sustainable garden idea.

With this in mind, horticulture and garden experts share thoughts/tips on how to use coffee grounds in your garden and also why they are good for your plants and soil quality.

How to use coffee grounds in your garden

There's more than one way to use coffee grounds in your garden, whether your plants need an extra pep in their step or your veggies have fallen victim to a slug invasion, this natural solution is more versatile than you think!

Here are the three plant-friendly ways of using up those rich coffee grounds...

1. Fertiliser

If you are trying to keep up with the garden trends this year or are perhaps looking to recreate the wildflower garden border trend then coffee grounds are a great plant fertiliser.

Russell Birchell, Founder of 'Hedging UK' says, "Coffee grounds imbue the soil with vital nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus, leading to healthier plant growth and greater blooming potential in the long run."

When it comes to how you should spread your coffee grounds and how often there's a little more choice to it than simply dumping the grounds into your soil and calling it a day.

“Coffee grounds can be used in various ways in the garden, " agrees Peter Ivanov, Professional gardener at 'FantasticGardeners'. "For example, they can be incorporated into compost bins or worm bins to add nitrogen and increase microbial activity, which will make them more nutrient-rich."

2. Mulch

If you don't have a compost bin then you can also use the grounds directly as a mulch around acid-loving plants, explains Peter. Plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, blueberries and roses are particularly fond of acidic mulch as they naturally help lower soil pH over time.

Peter also suggests mixing the grounds into the soil as this can improve soil structure and drainage, however, he does warn against overuse as they are not compatible with every plant species.

"It’s not suitable for all plants and the main problem is that if they’re applied in a larger quantity to the top of the soil, their small particles can clump together and prevent water and air from reaching the roots of the plants," explains Peter.

To prevent this he recommends using the coffee grounds on the border soil of established plants only and making sure you aren't putting them in the same spot every time. 

3. Pest control

When we are vegetable growing, using heavy chemicals to kill slugs is just not an option, luckily coffee grounds can help with this too.

"Coffee grounds can act as a great deterrent for slugs and snails because the rough texture of them can irritate their soft bodies, making it uncomfortable for them to crawl across the soil," It's not just the texture of the grounds however, the actual caffeine content is also believed to have a toxic effect on slugs and snails too.

Peter does point out that the grounds alone won't completely deter the plant-eating pests, and suggests using them alongside other types of barriers and traps too. The grounds as pest control will also need to be applied often as they will deteriorate, especially if it's rained recently.

Where is the best place to put coffee grounds in the garden?

Although adding coffee grounds is one of the easy gardening tips that every gardener should know, there are a few do's and don'ts. Due to the acidness of the grounds, there are some plants you should not be putting them anywhere near for example tomato plants and seedlings as this can interfere with their growth and germination. 

"It’ll be best to compost them first to reduce their acidity and allow them to break down, making them suitable for a wider range of plants," explains Peter. Once you've composted your grounds then they should be safe to use for the rest of your plants and flowers, but you must add the grounds gradually.

Peter warns of creating a water-restricting barrier with the grounds which could eventually cause your plants to wilt and die. He recommends adding a layer of another type of organic mulch, such as wood chips, just to stop the grounds clumping together and stop water movement.

Happy gardening 😊
Words above from article here

Of course after you've done any gardening (or just read about it) why not enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a low carb scone. The recipe details are here  please note the recipe is suitable for diabetics and is also gluten free, Keto, LCHF

~ Enjoy your day ~

You will find a variety of articles and recipe ideas within this blog, and not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan


The Happy Whisk said...

I toss all kinds of stuff in, including coffee. It's a great way not to waste.

Tom said...

...they don't belong in the trash.

Mari said...

I've heard coffee grounds are good for plants. I don't drink coffee though! :)
I'll have to remember to save the grounds when I make a pot when friends come over.

J.P. Alexander said...

Gracias por los consejos. Te mando un beso.

Anonymous said...

Interesting -Christine

Rose said...

This is a great post...I knew that coffee grounds were used in gardens but didn't know just what for and had never thought to google it.

aussie aNNie said...

Great tips and I too toss my coffee, tea bags etc into the garden once they add the nutrition to the soil the plants are gorgeous

Linda said...

I have read a bit over the last few months that are against using coffee grounds in the garden. At least use with caution.
Is this wrong?

Margaret D said...

Interesting Jan.

roentare said...

I did not know that coffee ground can be utilised this way

Elephant's Child said...

Himself's coffee grounds and my tea leaves go straight to the compost bin(s).

jabblog said...

We save ours to use in the garden - tea leaves, too:-)

eileeninmd said...

The garden sounds like a great place for the used coffee grounds.
Take care, have a great day!

Rustic Pumpkin said...

I heard about this several years ago and went round all my local coffee shops who agreed that if I took in my own container they'd be happy to save the grounds for me.

Unfortunately, after a few weeks I had so many coffee grounds scattered in my borders I couldn't cope with the smell of the rotting coffee grounds! Moral of this tale is don't go overboard!!!

Pam said...

I just do one cup of coffee in the morning and at this point, not sure I want to share it with my plants! lol....kidding

My name is Erika. said...

My parents used to use their coffee grounds in the garden. Sadly I'm not a coffee drinker but even though I wouldn't have any, I think it's good to read how something old is still a good thing to do.

R's Rue said...

So true

Kim in Oregon said...

Great tips! I didn't know not to use around tomato plants! I do have some rhodies that look like they need some love so I'll start there!

Debbie said...

i have heard this before. we don't drink coffee but i wish we did...maybe i can bribe a friend to share there's!!

Rajani Rehana said...

Beautiful blog

Valerie-Jael said...

Yay for coffee! Valerie

Jeanie said...

I'll have to share this with Rick. He's a coffee fan!

Shari Burke said...

This works really well! I've used coffee grounds both in compost (as in the fertilizer made from food scraps, etc--here they call potting soil compost, it seems), as mulch in my container garden, and to deter slugs in a pot with my hydrangea a few years ago.

happyone said...

Don't have any coffee grounds - don't drink it. :)

Mary Kirkland said...

That's a good idea.

The Furry Gnome said...

I think our Head Gardener does that.

Lowcarb team member said...

REPLY TO Linda who said...
I have read a bit over the last few months that are against using coffee grounds in the garden. At least use with caution.
Is this wrong?

Hello Linda
Many thanks for your comment and question.

The article you provide the link to raises some good points.

Reading comments here it seems many have used coffee grounds in their garden.

I certainly wouldn't use them around the plants mentioned in my original article.
Also it is my understanding they shouldn't be applied in a larger quantity to the top of the soil as small particles can clump together and prevent water and air from reaching the roots of the plants.

As with many areas of life/lifestyle there is a wide range of articles and views, and in the garden it may be better to try out ideas in small ways and see how things go.

I have friends who use egg shells and tea bags too ... perhaps more on that in a future post! We'll see :)

Once again I thank you for giving the link to an interesting read.

All the best Jan

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

Wow! This is some really helpful information. Thanks.

Lorrie said...

Coffee grounds and loose tea leaves go into our compost bin regularly, along with vegetable peelings and such. Such a great way to feed our soil.

Linda said...

There are so many contradictory articles out there. It is hard to know what is right.

baili said...

wow these were precious tips for gardening
i might return to note

totally new thing to know for me dear Jan ,so big thanks for helpful post once again!

Laura. M said...

No con frecuencia, pero sí los hemos echado algunas veces en el huerto. Gracias.
Un abrazo.

Lowcarb team member said...


J.P. Alexander said...
Gracias por los consejos. Te mando un beso

Thanks for the tips. I send you a kiss

Laura. M said...
No con frecuencia, pero sí los hemos echado algunas veces en el huerto. Gracias.
Un abrazo

Not often, but we have thrown them a few times in the garden. Thank you.
A hug

David M. Gascoigne, said...

We recycle our coffee grounds along with the other food waste collected by the municipality.

Teresa said...

También los uso en el jardín. Besos.