In the garden, you can add flavored coffee grounds to the compost heap. Coffee grounds, which are rich in nitrogen and other nutrients, will help promote healthy plant growth when added to a compost pile.
In addition, if you don’t want to add them directly into your garden soil, they make an excellent mulch material that will keep moisture from evaporating from the surface of the soil.
Coffee grounds also have insect-repelling properties and many people believe it helps deter rabbits and deer too. You will learn about can you use coffee grounds in the garden in this article.
Coffee Grounds For The Garden: How Does It Work?
Flavored coffee grounds contain small amounts of caffeine and citric acid, which may explain why some gardeners believe they deter certain animal pests. Coffee has been used as an insecticide and a natural herbicide and it is believed to repel bugs such as ants and snails.
There is no scientific evidence to support these claims but a lot of gardeners swear by it. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, which plants need for healthy growth and they also have a high acidity level, which can help neutralize soil alkalinity.
Besides using flavored coffee grounds as mulch or composting material, you can also mix flavored coffee grounds into your potting soil to create an organic and nitrogen-rich growing environment for your plants. As with most fertilizers, it is not recommended that you use over 50 percent coffee as part of a garden fertilizer mix.
The Benefits of Using Coffee Grounds as Mulch
Coffee Grounds as Mulch: Repellents and Other Benefits
Adding flavored coffee grounds directly to your garden soil can act as mulch that will prevent moisture from evaporating. Coffee grounds also have insect-repelling properties and many people believe it helps deter rabbits and deer too.
Use of Coffee Grounds as Mulch: Water Conservation
Applying coffee grounds as mulch will help conserve soil moisture, which also helps reduce the need for irrigation in hot weather. When using flavored coffee ground around your plants, be careful not to apply them where they might touch the plant stems or foliage because they could cause damage.
Use of coffee grounds as mulch: better soil texture coffee grounds make an excellent addition to your soil because they increase the organic matter content, which makes the soil more porous and improves its water-retention capacity. Coffee grounds are sometimes added to potting mix for this reason too.
How to Prepare Flavored Coffee for Your Plants?
There are two methods you can choose from in preparing flavored coffee:
Fresh Coffee Grounds
In order to prepare this type, you’ll need to soak the grounds in water for 24 hours and then mix them into your potting soil. You can also apply as a foliar spray by mixing two tablespoons of coffee with one gallon of water. Liquid coffee concentrates are also available at nurseries and online, which you can use as a soil drench or to make an insecticide spray.
Dried Coffee Grounds
Using dried coffee grounds does not require any preparation before adding them to your garden soil. The downside is that dried-out coffee grounds tend to break apart easily and may cause the soil texture to be too dense for some plants.
How Does It Help Promote Healthy Plant Growth?
Flavored coffee grounds are beneficial for acid-loving plants such as azalea, blueberries, rhododendrons and camellias because they can help neutralize soil alkalinity.
Coffee grounds contain small amounts of nitrogen that plants need for healthy growth and they also have a high acidity level that helps neutralize the alkaline levels in some soils.
How to Apply Them Correctly?
In order for this method to work correctly, add coffee grounds regularly otherwise plants will suffer from lack of nutrients. So if you just add them once then you’re wasting money and time.
The best way to fertilize your plants using flavored coffee grounds is by applying them once or twice a year in the fall.
- Use 2 tablespoons of flavored coffee grounds for every gallon of water you use.
- Mix the ground coffee in water and let it sit overnight or at least six hours so that all the essential nutrients dissolve into the water.
- Afterward, pour the mixture on your plants to fertilize them with the nutrients from flavored coffee.
- Repeat this process every time you fertilize your plants. If you don’t, the nutrients from coffee grounds will dissipate into the soil.
There are commercial products available to help gardeners prepare flavored coffee for their plants that are high in nitrogen and acidity.
Precautions When Using Flavored Coffee Grounds in The Garden
Be careful because even though these are organic waste products, there is still a chance that your plants will not react well to the coffee ground mulch. So test it on one plant first and wait for at least two weeks before applying it to all your plants. Some plants may simply get burned by the added acidity of the coffee ground mulch with no noticeable benefits.
If you want to be on the safe side, it is best to use flavored coffee grounds as a soil amendment and not as mulch around your plants. If you decide to try using them as mulch, start with a very thin layer and make sure you water your plants regularly to help the coffee grounds break down.
You should also be careful when using flavored coffee grounds in the garden because they can attract rodents and other animals that might eat into your plants or cause damage to your soil.
Some people suggest adding citrus rinds, eggshells or red pepper flakes with your flavored coffee grounds compost because they claim it increases the effectiveness as a herbicide and insect repellent.
While the combination of all the ingredients could be helpful, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims so you should not rely on them too much if you decide to use flavored coffee grounds in your garden.
You may wonder if you can use flavored coffee grounds in the garden. Well, we’re here to tell you this is a great idea! Nowadays there are so many ways that people incorporate coffee into their lives and it’s no surprise that they want to share its benefits with their plants as well.
The best way would be periodically using them as mulch or soil amendment which will help promote healthy plant growth by providing nitrogen and acidity for your plant’s needs.