This is far from the truth!
Grounds from your coffee pot have a great nutritional makeup that can not only wake you up in the morning, but do absolute wonders for your yard.
If you are looking to start going organic in your lawn care regimen then using coffee grounds is a great way to start.
Used grounds will not only provide the nutrients that your grass needs to start growing correctly, coffee will also help the amendment process of your soil.
Coffee Grounds Used For Fertilizer
Conventional synthetic fertilizers are great for making your lawn green extremely fast, and in the hands of a certified professional they are perfectly okay when used in the right circumstances with limited use.
These fertilizers provide your lawn with macro-nutrients that when applied are immediately accessible, and are great if you are trying to get new lawns established fast, such as a newly sodded or seeded lawn.
The bad thing about these fertilizers is that they are widely misused by homeowners and uneducated lawn maintenance companies – in the hands of these individuals these fertilizers create runoff into our waters and burning of the homeowner’s lawns.
Synthetic fertilizers can also promote susceptibility to disease, infestation and contamination from fungus, pests and bacteria, if they are applied at the wrong times and at the wrong amounts.
I recommend that if you do decide to continue on a synthetic regimen then either hire a certified professional like Georgia Lawn or at the very least get a soil analysis done so that you will know the proper amount of macro nutrient to apply safely.
If on the other hand you would not like to worry about nutrients leeching out of the soil, burning your lawn or creating a succulent state that promotes disease – then look no further, coffee grounds are the answer!
Used coffee grounds can provide your lawn with many great benefits:
- Coffee grounds provide your lawn with both the major nutrient group N-P-K and the macro nutrient group in a slow release form. This is an important factor because unlike fast release synthetic fertilizers, the nutrients in coffee grounds will take time to break down and require microbes to break them down. This one aspect will change how your grass feeds, more than you can imagine. Since the nutrients will be available over a period of time instead of all at once your grass will grow strong and stay that way.
- Used grounds are a delicacy for earthworms. The earthworms use the grounds and in return aerate the soil with their castings. This not only helps break up the soil, it aids in the beneficial microbial activity that a healthy lawn craves.
- Coffee grounds are also being researched to deter certain wilt and rot fungi and bacterium from forming.
Where To Find Coffee Grounds – For Free!
Starbucks is a great place to get a hold of substantial amounts of used coffee grounds.
Most Starbucks have a Grounds For Your Garden program that you can get at least a five-pound bag of used coffee grounds that they would otherwise be throwing away. This not only helps your lawn but it helps Starbucks keep waste out of landfill.
You can also check out the cafes participating in Ground to Ground, or better yet, approach your local coffee shop and ask them if they want to help you out.
According to E-importz - “Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world.”
In there somewhere is the single American household coffee pot that is putting out just enough used grounds every day to use in your fertilization program. If you can set-up a kitchen compost bin you will be able to save your grounds everyday and before long will have enough to take care of your needs.
Another great thing that you can do is start up a community coffee grounds pile. Doing this you will be able to acquire a larger amount of grounds while sharing with the rest of the neighbourhood.
How To Mix And Dry The Coffee Grounds
Once you have gotten up enough coffee grounds you can now begin to start making them work for your lawn.
The first step is to spread them out evenly onto either a tarp or old sheet and let them dry in a sunny dry spot.
The next thing that you need to do is using either a hard rake, leaf rake or shovel, go through and turn the grounds so that what was exposed is now mixed into the pile. It usually takes a day or so for the grounds to completely dry, but this depends on what part of the world you are in. Dry and hot conditions work the best.
Once you have your grounds dried you will be able to mix them or apply them straight – both have their benefits.
Applying the grounds directly to your lawn is good if you are going to be doing some core aeration or are only going to be applying a light amount of them.
Coffee grounds are highly compactable and can smother the lawn if applied too heavily. If you are looking for a heavy application of grounds mixing them with pelletized lime for acidic lawns, or with compost for topdressing for any other lawn, should allow you to dump the grounds on without smothering the grass.
If you are going to be mixing the grounds with lime, the mixture we follow is to mix ten pounds of dry grounds to forty pounds pelletized lime.
To do this you can pour the lime onto the same tarp or sheet that you used to dry the grounds and mix it in with the grounds. Now use a shovel or a hard rake and mix the grounds and lime.
Make sure to mix the grounds in really well with the lime and then use a shovel to put the mixture into either a drop or broadcast spreader.
If you live in the Southern United States where there is a lot of clay and acidic soil, then you will want to put out about twenty pounds of mix per thousand square feet.
Calibrate your spreader setting by either looking at your manual or looking on the Internet for a quick reference sheet that most spreader manufacturers should have on their sites. Once you have your spread ratio, start walking at a medium pace and then open your spreader’s shoot, releasing the mix onto the lawn.
You will want to go around the perimeter of your lawn first and then in straight rows through the lawn.
When you get to the edge of each row, close the shoot on your spreader and turn around – once you are walking forward again open the spreader’s shoot. Doing this will give you a nice even coverage with no dump spots in the corners, which smothers your grass.
If you are using the grounds for topdressing, then mix ten pounds of grounds to 40 pounds of compost. Mix the same way as the above, making sure to get a good even mixture throughout.
Once you are done, put the mix into a wheel barrel and grab a shovel. Try and spread as even as possible, to avoid spots where piles will accumulate. If that does happen, grab a leaf rake and try and rake them into the lawn as good as possible.
After Care Instructions
After you have spread your grounds a good watering will do them good. Not only will it help the grounds get into the soil, it will help the high spots level out.
You will only want to water the lawn enough to get the top one to two inches of soil wet. A quick way to test this is to get an old screwdriver and mark it at two inches. Now sink it into the ground until you feel it stop – this is dry ground.
Any time is a good time to add coffee grounds to your soil, as it will love the boost in organic material and nutrient makeup.
You should apply the grounds every couple of months if you want optimal results. After a while you will be able to see substantial changes from all the microbe, earthworm and beneficial fungi activity that has come from adding material, that would otherwise end up in landfill.