Learn how to use coffee grounds in your garden with this guide to composting with coffee.
COMPOSTING WITH COFFEE
Want to score a great fertilizer while cutting chemicals? If you have used coffee grounds on hand, then you’re all set!
Why coffee grounds?
Believe it or not, used coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen for your plants. As a key nutrient that helps provide plants with strong stems and green growth, nitrogen is one of the cornerstones of many fertilizers. Nitrogen boosts plant health due to the role it plays as a major component of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the compound that plants use in order to undergo photosynthesis, where they use the energy from the sun to make sugars out of water and carbon dioxide. Nitrogen is also present in DNA, RNA, the amino acids that make up proteins, ATP, and even most vitamins. In a sense, nitrogen is a foundational building block of the identity of plants. Without it, plants cannot flourish or exist.
Amazingly enough, even after brewing, nitrogen is present in coffee grounds, which make them a perfect nitrogen source for your garden. In addition to being nitrogen-rich, coffee grounds also provide calcium and magnesium to the soil. These elements are particularly beneficial for plant growth and health.
Let’s give Science a big hand.
How to Use Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer
1. Don’t use too much. A little goes a long way. So, if you’re directly applying the grounds, or using them in composting, make sure you are conservative with how much coffee grounds you’re distributing to any given area surrounding a plant.
2. Don’t leave dense clumps of coffee grounds on top of your soil. Maintaining soil health requires well-distributed fertilization components in modest amounts.
Direct application of coffee grounds
The simplest way to use your coffee grounds as fertilizer is to thinly spread a layer of coffee grounds on the soil surrounding your plants, and gently rake it. Aeration is key.
Composting with coffee grounds and homemade fertilizer
In order to compost with coffee grounds, simply add coffee grounds to your compost bin. You can even compost most coffee filters! When it comes time to apply your compost to your garden, make sure that your concoction has been thoroughly composted and well-mixed.
How Often to Fertilize
Fertilize every 1-3 weeks using your homemade coffee fertilizer. In order to continue to encourage growth and production, fertilize regularly throughout the growing season if you’re using a home-produced, organic fertilizer.
At the end of the day, the goal is to feel good about what you grow, and how you grow it.