One of the downsides of coffee making is the coffee grounds that you end up with. Rather than throw them away, are there any other uses for coffee grounds?
Adding coffee grounds to the soil can be a great supplement. They are often thought to be an acidifying agent when added to garden soil but the ph in coffee grounds is actually closer to neutral. Coffee grounds are a rich source of fatty acids, essential oils and nutrients. As the coffee grounds decompose they release nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus that helps support plant growth. Plants that like nitrogen rich soil include camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas.
You can add to the effect by adding nitrogen fertiliser to the soil at the same time. The amount that should be used is usually said to be no more than 6 pounds of grounds for every 100 square feet of planting area.
You can also add coffee grounds to compost. Be careful about how much you use however. More than 30% can be harmful, so try to use equal amounts of coffee grounds, leaves and grass clippings. Many gardeners however rave about how worms flourish when fed on coffee grounds.
Coffee grounds can also be good in the fight against garden pests. Particularly slugs and snails.
It is important to note however that some plants simply do not like coffee grounds. It can stunt growth in plants like white clover, asparagus fern and geraniums. In addition if you are using coffee grounds as a form of mulch then make sure you mix it with other types of organic mulch. If you just use it alone it can create a barrier on top of the soil which then prevents air and water from getting to the soil.
If you are wanting to use coffee grounds in your garden then do use fresh, organic grounds. Drip grounds also tend to work better than boiled grounds, as they are higher in nitrogen content.
Other uses for coffee grounds include deodorizing a sink disposal system. Don’t however do this with a septic system but running some through the sink can cause a nice smell. Coffee grounds can also be useful in getting rid of smells on your hands and some people even use them to exfoliate their body skin.
Overall the best use of your ground coffee is for your compost and garden but do beware as not all plants love it.