Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages. Over 2.25 billion cups or mugs of java are imbibed each and every day. Although large nations are split between coffee and tea, America is clearly in the coffee column. More than half of U.S. adults enjoy at least one cup of Joe per day. The liquid is so popular we’ve actually given it a proper name!
Coffee is also good for the economy, as most drinkers consider its imbibition a daily ritual. Some folks simply cannot start their day without a cup of hot Joe in their hands. This has helped American companies such as Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts earn untold sums while they employ tens of thousands of workers. But believe it or not, most folks still get their coffee the old-fashioned way, i.e., they brew it at home.
According to a recent report, about 85 percent of regular coffee drinkers make a cup in the morning before they leave for work. This not only saves them beaucoup bucks on an annual basis, it also helps the environment, in more way than one. Firstly, they won’t have a cardboard or Styrofoam cup to dispose of when they’re done. All they have to do is rinse out their mug instead of adding to landfills.
Secondly, coffee grounds can actually be reused, or repurposed.
Coffee grounds are good for plants!
If you grow your own vegetables or simply love your lawn, you may be ignoring a cheap and ready mulching agent. When you add coffee grounds to the soil in your garden, it serves as an effective fertilizer. How does it work? Even when used, coffee retains nitrogen, which is needed to help plants and vegetables grow. But because coffee is quite acidic, it should only be used on certain crops.
According to horticulturists, the plants that can truly benefit from coffee grounds include roses, blueberries, tomatoes, and evergreens. These are plants that thrive on the nutritional value used or unused coffee grounds add to the soil. In particular, these grounds add texture and fertility to the earth, which helps attract earthworms.
Coffee grounds as a pesticide
Because most inorganic coffee contains pesticides, they can actually deter critters that are harmful to plants, such as snails and slugs. Organic coffee may not stave of these garden pests, unless they include organic pesticides that are specifically designed for that purpose. But either way, rotted or fermented coffee grounds will not work.
How to use them in your garden
Because they generally have a much higher nitrogen content, drip grounds tend to work better than boiled grounds. For optimum results, coffee grounds should be sprinkled around vegetables and flowers before you water them, since that will effectuate the slow-release of nitrogen into the soil. Using compostable, non-bleached coffee filter is easiest, as they can be dumped into your garden altogether.
However, a much simpler and more economical way to use coffee grounds in your garden is to mix them with water and spray them directly on plants and vegetables. The experts recommend using about a half-pound of grounds for every five gallons of water. They can then be sprayed into vegetable boxes, pots, and garden beds.
Do they really work?
When used correctly, coffee grounds help produce bigger carrots, tomatoes, and other esculent vegetables. As we mentioned, coffee grounds work best on plants that require acids, but they can also be of benefit to those that do not adore them. Used in moderation, they will still help attract earthworms that help turn and aerate the soil. They can also help keep bugs at bay, since coffee grounds typically contain insecticides.
How much to use
Like any type of fertilizer, coffee grounds are only effective when used sparingly. It is never a good idea to add too much, as that could do more harm than good. The proper proportion is usually around 4 to 1, or twenty-five percent of coffee grounds to mineral soils by volume. There is no need to use a measuring cup, just be careful not to sprinkle in too much. When applied appropriately, coffee grounds add potassium, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, and nitrogen to all types of soil, which improves its fecundity and structure.
Coffee grounds are one of the many secret ingredients amateur and professional gardeners use to produce bumper crops. They often pair them with crushed eggshells and sprinkle them around the base of their plants, since both can help repel slugs and bugs.