Coffee Grounds

COFFEE GROUNDS are one of the amendments I add to my compost and I also use them in other areas of my garden for different purposes.  A good general article on coffee grounds can be found at this link:    

Pick out the trash

 I’ve been getting my grounds from a coffee hut down the road that sells organic coffee no less!  I put a clean 5 gallon bucket outside their back door and they fill it with coffee grounds.  It gets full after a few days and I replace it with another one.   They used to just throw away their coffee grounds, and they would end up in the landfill along with their other trash.  Unfortunately, coffee grounds in the landfill create methane which is even more harmful than carbon dioxide, so the more people who can recycle coffee grounds in their gardens the better.   

 I’m still experimenting with my coffee grounds.  I layer grounds into my compost pile, which is supposed to help heat it up and break down the compost. I also sprinkle grounds around my bushes, I add a little coffee grounds to my vegetable beds, and I’m experimenting with coffee grounds  to deter slugs and snails from entering my veggie beds and eating up my seedlings.   

 The topic of coffee grounds deterring or killing slugs & snails is still somewhat debatable, but I do believe I experienced positive results when I poured a bucket full of coffee grounds along my back fence where the slugs were hanging out behind some boards and coming out at night to eat up my lettuce seedlings.  After I poured the coffee grounds around the lettuce patch, I came out the next day and sure enough, no slug slim, which means that no slugs had crossed the barrier.  Coincidence or?  After that, my lettuce grew undisturbed, so I tend to be a believer that coffee grounds deter slugs.  I just wish they would actually kill them.  Of course the most effective and least toxic approach to eliminating slugs and snails is letting your chickens out to graze in your yard.  The main drawback to that, of course, is that chickens destroy flower and veggie beds.  The first year I had my chickens I let them roam all winter, and that spring I had literally NO slugs and snails, but the amount of work I had to put in to restore my yard and bed areas was too much.   Here are a few links about coffee & slugs:

 Some of the science behind coffee grounds says that you should also add nitrogen to your soil if you add coffee grounds because the grounds encourage microbial growth which uses up nitrogen.  Also, too much coffee in the soil may stunt the growth of certain seeds, but how would you know if it’s the coffee grounds, or other factors that stunt growth.  Next spring I am going to experiment with and without coffee grounds to see if there is a difference, and I will try to remember to write a post about it. 

I also use my black compost bin to store coffee grounds.  It is next to my compost pile so the grounds are always handy when I need them to layer into my compost.  When the bin is full of coffee grounds, I just continue to dump grounds into other areas of my garden and spread them out.  

 Organization in the Garden 

 For everything I do in my yard, I try to incorporate systems that will cut down on time, labor and cost.  Because my lot is so large, I look for ways I can minimize all the walking I have to do back and forth just to get the tools and items I need for a particular project.  Sometimes this means having more than one shovel, rake or tool. I find that this applies to my compost pile more than any other project, so I definitely keep an extra set of tools at my compost & coffee depository area so I don’t have to hunt them down in my shed or elsewhere in the yard if I used them for another project.  With a large yard, and many projects going on simultaneously, I need to conserve my energy, and working a compost pile is almost more work than I’m willing to do on a regular basis, so I definitely need everything right there to make it easier.  I now need to have a smaller shed nearby to store them in so they won’t get worn down by the elements.



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