Ground to Ground

Coffee grounds for slugs ‘illegal’ – Bullcrap

Coffee grounds for slugs ‘illegal’ – IOL Lifestyle |

used coffee grounds in container

In what would be one of the most bizarre stories I have covered on this site (and this coming from someone that advocates urine fertilizer and eats mealworms – not in that order), comes an article which cites a leading European Union official who regards the use of used coffee grounds on slugs as illegal?!

The article, posted on South African online news site Independent Online, refers to a EU source quoted by the article author, Ian Drury:

The home-made solution contravenes regulations on pesticides, say officials.

The article goes on further to quote a source at Britian’s RHS:

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has warned that any gardener using coffee granules to deter slugs falls foul of EU regulations. The rules say that any active ingredient or chemical used in gardening must be explicitly approved and placed on an EU list of pesticides.

The notion that the application of spent coffee grounds could be ‘illegal’ is in my mind a nonsense,  and here is some great support by gardening commentator and author Bob Flowerdew, as quoted in the article:

Regulations are an ass, but they haven’t led to prosecutions. I cannot recommend that anyone breaks the law, but I can point out that, in other countries, people do use coffee grounds.

That they do Bob, for several hundred years! Why this child could be breaking the law at this very moment.

coffee grounds


Now I also have to add a disclaimer, the article was written a couple of years ago and only finally got around to finishing this post from the increasingly large collection of half started stories that seem to be sitting in the Ground to Ground Draft folder. I think it was Deborah from the UK that told me about the article in the first place, and after a couple hours of raging it got sunny, chores needed doing around the house, the chickens needed feeding. Sure it took a couple of years to get back to it. Those chickens are always bloody hungry!

5 thoughts on “Coffee grounds for slugs ‘illegal’ – Bullcrap

  1. I enjoy your blogs so very much! I have amazing plants in my indoor atrium because of coffee grounds. You are right, coffee grounds being illegal for slugs is “bull crap”!! I love your answer. Rhoda Coben Denver Colorado

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This reminds me of a recent article stating that in (I think) Germany, they’ve been talking about outlawing the sale and sharing of any unapproved seeds. Of course, that would mean only big corporations and GM seeds would be available, and all unusual or heritage vegetable seeds would become illegal.

    It’s sort of like in many parts of the USA, buying and selling pot is fine, but you can end up in huge legal trouble if you dare distribute milk straight from a cow.


    • Yeah that is a great point about the milk. Somehow we have a situation where unpasteurized, unhomogenized ‘bath milk’ can be sold if labeled as such, refrigerated in 2 litre bottles (just like the regular milk), and everyone knows people aren’t spending up to 10 dollars for 2 liters of something going into the bath. Thanks for writing in!


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