Coffee Grounds used for Gardening
We are heading into Summer time now in Australia, and I wanted to show you an update of my garden and some of the things that are growing. It is great to come out to the garden and see the quality of the soil, most of which has been improved by using coffee grounds and other organic material. Let’s get to it.
This is the garden bed that I covered in the post titled Making Compost and Soil with Coffee Grounds, including some pH tests that indicated the soil was approx 6 pH. That level is just fine for most plants and over time will continue to break down. Potatoes seem to like coffee grounds; these are some off-cuts that I threw into the garden bed a couple of months ago and are growing nicely.
Jerusalem Artichoke in a mixture of coffee grounds compost and wood chips, along with a nasturtium as a natural insect repellent. Before I had added the coffee to this clay pot, there was nothing but lifeless sandy dust. Now it is a great place to grow this excellent tuber vegetable.
This is one of the new garden beds I added recently, and an early version of just the wind break is covered in the post titled The Garden July 2010. In the beds are Lavender and Rosemary, and an eggplant and Marigold. Over time, the Lavender and Rosemary will grow to form a natural wind break for the vegetable plots, plus with the added benefit of attracting bees and other insects to assist with pollination (and they are happy with a pH between 5.0 and 7.5, so coffee grounds directly on them are OK).
To the right is a healthy Nasturtium, which is doing a good job of attracting nasty insects away from my vegetables and acting as a covering to prevent weeds from taking over.
Plot 1 is looking just fine, and is a great example of coffee grounds in the garden. From front to back we have garlic, chili, dill, tomatoes, zucchini, and climbing beans, all making use of the coffee compost that was prepared months before. The beans fix nitrogen to the soil from the roots, and the tomatoes feed off the nitrogen. As the beans spread out, I’ll use them to build a canopy to shield the other vegetables over the hotter summer months.
Dill flowers are getting ready to do their thing. It also turns out that each one is like a little breath mint, amazing taste.
The zucchini is really taking off, nearly ready to flower. It could be because this is a heritage variety or the coffee grounds, or maybe both. For the sake of this blog, let’s assume it is the coffee grounds 🙂
Zebra tomatoes in flower, only a few weeks after putting them in as seedlings.
This was the spot where one of the compost bins was placed over winter. The soil is rich and in much better shape than a year ago. There is something growing in there also, hopefully a pumpkin.
Now looking at the garden plot 2, more tomatoes and climbing beans, plus more nasturtium and another Marigold. At the front is a parsley in flower.
Another of the compost bins just starting off again. Plenty of coffee grounds, kitchen scraps, paper, and grass and weeds from the garden.
Garden plot 3 now, with zucchini and corn growing in this one and some other things I can’t remember planting. I’m guessing that when whatever they are start to fruit up, it should be easy to figure it out.
In the front are potatoes growing in a container, to the left of this is a fig starting off, and to the left of that is another Jerusalem Artichoke. Lastly, the hot compost bin is sitting happily, feeding on coffee grounds and just about anything else that it finds.
And inside the compost bin, even with a bag full of brown leaves and 50 kilos of weeds it still keeps going down. And a whole bucket of shredded paper, and more coffee grounds….
Coffee Grounds Help Create Healthy Garden Soil
Hope you enjoyed the tour of the garden. As you can see, my garden has become much healthier through the use of coffee grounds. There are other materials involved in making all this also, and all of them are readily available for little to no cost. So on the question of what vegetables like coffee grounds, the answer is most of them. Get to it!!
What Others Are Reading
- The Ground to Ground Primer – Coffee Grounds for the Garden (groundtoground.org)
- Coffee Grounds (groundtoground.org)
- Collecting Coffee Grounds in the Office (groundtoground.org)
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Do coffee grounds grow weeds?
No they are very good at killing off weeds if you lay the grounds a few inches deep. Weeds will grow in coffee grounds if you combine it into the soil, just like they would with compost. But on their own I don’t think you need to worry about weeds in coffee grounds (mould yes, weeds no).
Great garden. Have just got into using coffee grounds because of what I found on your site so please keep adding all this information. Went to a few gardening sites from Google and they might have an article or 2 about coffee grounds but not this many!
Bye for now – Cassy
Nice one Cassy – glad to see you like the site. And yes, some sites write about coffee grounds but this one writes HEAPS about coffee grounds!!
You are right that coffee grounds make the soil better. Same thing for me and it is free and everywhere. Great site!
Then welcome Suzie. Stop by anytime 🙂
The garden looks fantastic!!
Thanks Ellen. Seems that most vegetables like coffee grounds so I am not actually doing that much, just providing the best soil condition to allow these plants, herbs, and vegetables to grow
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Recently I needed to reduce on my own caffeine drinks intake and this excellent piece of writing makes me prefer I hadn’t! Love the garden natural wind break. Just a quick question for you – Do coffe grounds stop weeds from growing?
Yes they do stop weeds Elaine although not necessary by adding them directly. The best way to do this is to use coffee grounds for making a good quality mulch or compost, and then getting a thick layer of this over newspaper. This will stop any weeds from growing through, and after 3 months or so the soil under the paper and compost will be ready for something else to grow there.
Cheers CC. Glad you like the windbreak. The Lavender and Rosemary is starting to creep up the Hessian sheet I was using to stop the wind, so at some stage next year, I might take them down to use as a break some where else in the garden.
As for your question if Do coffee grounds stop weeds from growing? – that really depends on what you call a weed. What coffee grounds help to do is to create healthy soil that then allows for productive plants. So this won’t automatically get rid of the weeds for you without doing all the other things as well, like good plant selection at multiple levels, mulching, layering with compost, ETC.
I would not recommend that you layer the coffee grounds over the soil to form a barrier, as this will make a crust that blocks out water and air flow and will damage the soil beneath.
Thanks for writing in!