Give Your Garden a Coffee Break

While a cup of coffee can get you moving each morning, a java jolt is also a great pick-me-up for your organic garden. 

You can use coffee and tea byproducts as a slow-release fertilizer and key compost ingredient. Thinly dispersed coffee grounds serve as a soil amendment that puts nutrients back into the ground. 

Here are some tips for getting “grounded”: 

  1. Add coffee grounds (including filters) and tea bags to compost piles to create a rich, all-natural source of energy for plants.
  2. Dilute with water to make a fast-acting fertilizer.
  3. Use in soil for houseplants or in vegetable beds.
  4. Some gardeners believe coffee grounds can help repel pests, such as snails and slugs.
  5. If your garden needs more nitrogen, turn to coffee. Nitrogen is essential for leaf development.
  6. Plants that thrive in acidic soil—think pines, evergreens, blueberries, raspberries, roses, azaleas, gardenias, ferns, rhododendrons, lily-of-the-valley and marigolds—can benefit from coffee grounds, which slightly lower soil pH.
  7. Feed coffee grounds to garden worms. Worm excrement and the aeration provided by tunneling worms work wonders in the garden.

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  • Elena  March 26, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Just wondering…do you think ground “espresso” coffee would work just as well? Also, if you are using organic seeds, organic soil, etc. and then add non-organic coffee would that mess things up? Thanks:)

  • Organic Gardening  May 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I used tea and coffee for my rose garden. now I’m going to try this for marigold and rhododendron too. I also have the same question like Helena, do I need organic tea or coffee for this?

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