I speak to people about coffee grounds for their plants often. Maybe too often. Maybe in every conversation…. Let me think about that and I may even be able to write a happy Spring time poem for it. Oops, too late.
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
but treat them with coffee
and changes their hue
Some Easy Steps to Make New Soil
Collecting used coffee grounds (UCG) and various bits of refuse to take home can be a lot of work. Sometimes we don’t even have time to go outside to stare down the weeds, so as a minimum, this is all you need to do to start improving the quality of your soil and making use of all that good organic material.
- Get a little bag and put it somewhere in the kitchen. If you have little wombats crawling around the place, the ones that strangely resemble you, then get in on the bench.
- Every time you prepare or clean up any kind of food, throw in everything except meat and fish waste . As Tim Marshal writes in his fantastic book – Composting
All organic matter can be composted. Vegetable waste, hair, sawdust, manure, urine, straw, tea leaves and coffee grounds are suitable examples…
Meat and fish waste should only be used by very experienced composters, as they can cause hygiene and community health problems.
- Soon enough you will start to fill that bag with those kitchen scraps, and if you are getting between .5 to 1 kilo per day then its all good. When the bag starts getting full (no longer than 2 days worth), tie it off and take it outside.
- Hopefully, you have something you can dig a one by one foot hole with. So get to it and let me know when you are ready for the next steps…
- Keep going…
- Almost there…
- Awesome. Tip the contents of the bag into the hole and put a light covering of soil over it, or grass clippings, straw, wet newspaper/cardboard. You could even put a phone book or bin lid over the whole thing to prevent an animal digging it up. Try to leave some room in there for more kitchen scraps.
- Keep repeating the step above until you are about three inches from top, then pour in some water, leafmould, coffee grounds, or blood and bone if you have it. Cover the lot over with soil (you should still have some there from when you first dug the hole), and now just leave it alone. In about 2 months start growing some vegetables over that spot.
- Pick another spot in the garden, and do it all over again. By the time a year has gone by, you would have recycled several hundred kilos of perfectly good organic material, gotten some exercise, and prepared your garden for more productive use.
So folks, this is an easy way to get started. It might not be as effective or scalable as say hot compost or the heat induction compost I have in the backyard, but it is a start. A push. And sometimes that’s all we need ;)