Friday, June 18, 2010

Starbucks is my new best friend-Coffee Grounds For The Garden

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I have always thought to myself that I needed to go to a coffee house and ask for their used coffee grounds (don’t use new as they are too acidic) for my compost.  However, I am not a coffee drinker.  So, I always forget to do this (and don’t have any of my own).
Today I happen to be at Starbucks for a snack.  I was SO excited when they had an awesome bucket out front that had these large bags of used coffee grounds, already ready to go.  They even put them into the empty coffee grounds bags so there is no additional packaging other than the sticker to seal it.  I always think about stuff like extra packaging for things.  Anyways, these bags of used coffee grounds are free and now super convenient!  I could have kissed the woman behind the counter when I saw this!
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I am no composting master and have never used these before in my compost.  However, the sticker from starbucks had great information about it.  When I got home with my bag of coffee grounds I did a bit more research about using this. 

*In my research I also found coffee grounds are a great way to organically take care of slugs, ants, and to keep cats from using your garden as their toilet.
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So, I decided to use it straight in my garden first.  The kids loved helping me spread it into the garden and it was a great way to reinforce that plants need food and water.  Then, I dumped the rest of it in my compost.  I also added some ash, to the compost, that I have from my patio fireplace (all wood burning).  I have always heard about adding this as well. 

I’m curious to know if other people have used either coffee grounds or ash and what their results/opinions have been!!!

Rebecca
Happy gardening and composting! 

6 comments:

MiaZagora said...

I found out about the Starbucks "Grounds for Your Garden" program either through an email or Facebook. I just started gardening this Spring and found that not only do we have sticky clay soil in parts of the yard, but also a giant population of slugs and snails. After removing some old shrubs and the leaves that had fallen under the shrubs (a favorite slug/snail habitat) I planted some flowers and I have a small patch of tomatoes, peppers and herbs. Since I have food and flowers planted together in one section, I didn't want to use a poison. I discovered that coffee grounds is an excellent slug/snail repellant, and coffee sprayed directly on slugs will kill them. I do drink coffee, but I'm the only one in my household that does, and I didn't generate enough coffee grounds to put around all of my plants at one time. I have gotten probably 60 pounds of coffee grounds this year from Starbucks, dug it into the soil and spread it around the plants. So far, so good! Coffee grounds is also good for the soil and worms love them!

RootsAndWingsCo said...

MiaZagora,
Thanks for your comments. I had read that it was a great repellent for snails. Here in Phoenix we don't have snails, so I have none to test this on. ;)


I also read about worms loving the coffee grounds.

Glad to know this is working for you!
Rebecca

Honey said...

:) I love free organic matter for my garden and compost... You know you're an addict when you steal curbed bags of leaves from people with weedy yards (that means no pesticides! ;) )

I just wanted to remind you to check your ph as ash and coffee grounds can raise it. So counter the grounds by mixing a tablespoon of lime for every 5lb bag. Just remember "1 to 3 for 5" Doesn't make a lot of sense but it works for me! ;) oh and the 3 is for the 3 cubic feet of coverage.

Honey

Kiera said...

I just started using the coffee grounds to keep the neighborhood cats from thinking my garden is their litter box, it's working like magic! Never thought to go to a coffee place and get their used grounds...gonna have to try that! Thanks,
chambersmade.blogspot.com

pam said...

Bravo Starbucks!

Actually we have been putting coffee grounds on our soil forever! I remember my great grandmother saving her grounds and digging them in. If she did it - it is good enough for me!

Shop Without Money Sisters said...

Great Tip! I've read about the coffee grounds before for your personal pile but we don't drink coffee here (gasp! I know!). Never thought about going to a coffee house. We've got tons in our downtown area!
Heather