Ground to Ground

5 thoughts on “Raw Coffee Fertilizer

  1. Thanks folks. Good Ideas. I think we’re going to till some of the grounds/filters directly into several beds we’re leaving fallow this coming season (It’s winter up here now), at the rate of about 2 inches per bed. We’ll compost the rest per your suggestions. I’ll let you know how it turns out.


  2. Hi there,

    I am one of the stewards of a large vegetable garden in Columbus, Ohio, USA. We work our soil hard. We do a spring crop of mustard & collard greens, beets, turnips, kale, etc; a summer crop of tomatoes, cucumbers & squash; and a fall crop of more greens, beets, turnips etc. We therefore are always looking for organic material to recharge it.

    We just ended our growing season, but have access to UCG all year round. We are putting them on our beds as they become available. We will leave them on top of the beds through the winter & till them in in the spring. Thanks to the generosity of our local Peets Coffee Shop we have access to about 100 gallons a week (including filters). I have several questions:

    1. How much UCG would you recomend for each 250 Sq. ft. bed?

    2. I read somewhere of research indicating that UCG applied directly to the soil has an inhibiting effect on mustard greens. Thoughts/insights?

    3. What do you know about the UCG taking nitrogen out of the soil as they decompose? I read about that elsewhere, and was thinking about putting some chemical nitrogen in w/ the UCG when we till them in next spring to offset that so we don’t stunt our spring crop. Thoughts?

    4. Do you have any suggestions on how to easily/effoiciently remove the filters? we do it by hand, but there has got to be a better way.

    Thanks in advance for your help & enjoy your summer!


    • Compost them, then add the compost to your beds or make compost tea. This will take care of the nitrogen issue, as well as break down the filters (a good source of carbon). Then an inch or two of compost on top of the soil will feed it for quite a while.


    • Have you thought about starting a large size compost pile ( at least 3′ x3′ x3′). I collect 230 gallons of UCG every month and add to the compost pile including the filter paper. Paper will break down in about a week so no problem. If you have time to turn it every couple of days you can have finished compost in about 5 to 6 weeks. I do add plenty of grass clippings and leaves to round out the bulk of the pile.


    • Thanks for writing in Todd and apologies for my delay in writing back, although it seems we have some good folk that have taken the lead! As CM has suggested, a large amount of coffee grounds should go into compost first, and that will take care of the nitrogen leaching issue. And like Doug writes, cooking them in a large pile will result in a finished compost in a couple of months (and break down those filters also).
      So in response to the questions:
      1. As much as possible once composted or turned into vermicast.
      2. Yes have had this issue although not once broken down as per step 1.
      3. Follow CM and Doug’s suggestion.
      4. Follow CM and Doug’s suggestion!!


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