Thursday, March 20, 2008
I love coffee. It is great that we can get locally roasted, organic fair trade coffee right in town. I have a favorite - they buy directly from small farmers who use only sustainable practices, pay them fair prices (and disclose the info), and even deliver coffee locally using bikes and skateboards. Can't beat that.
After brewing, I don't throw my espresso pucks away - I save the grounds. In the summer, they store up and I take them out as each bowl fills to use in the garden immediately. In the winter, I save my grounds in bags all winter and when spring comes begin to use them to help kickstart my plants and bushes, and prepare my beds.
Coffee grounds make a great addition to plants like blueberries or rasperries and flowering bushes like lilacs, roses, and hydrangeas who like a more acid soil.
The grounds also slowly release nitrogen and make a good fertilizer when lightly sprinkled around plants before watering. It helps boost the nice dark green leaves.
Grounds also can help with certain bug issues -- they deter cutworms, mites and other detrimental bugs - just sprinkle around the base of your plants or problem areas. Slugs and caffeine don't mix, so it helps deter their destructive appetite from your plants as well.
Grounds are a good addition to your compost.
If you have houseplants, sprinkling a little on their soil every few months before watering will help give them a little boost.
Coffee grounds make a great natural (and pet/kid safe) addition to the garden. If you don't drink much coffee, no worries. Many coffee retailers now offer free bags of used grounds just for gardens (and it keeps the grounds out of the garbage cycle - bonus!).