The smell of coffee could already make you feel energized, especially in the morning. Whether you prefer hot or iced coffee, you cannot deny the fact that many people love this drink. A cup of hot coffee is perfect after breakfast, while a cold coffee can wipe your thirst during hot weather. But aside from being used to make your favorite drink, have you ever wondered if coffee has other uses? Like eggshells, can you make a compost out of coffee grounds for plants?
Can Coffee Harm Plants?
You can make coffee using different ways. For instance, you can do it by putting coffee mix, sugar, and creamer in a hot cup of water. Or, you can buy coffee placed in teabags. This way, you can dissolve the coffee powder the same way you make tea. If you prefer the second method, you probably wonder what you should do with the leftover coffee grounds.
For tea, you can use tea bags to remove the foul odors of your shoes. But what about the coffee grounds? Is there another purpose for it? Or can you add them to your plants’ soil? It is important to research first if adding the coffee to the ground can benefit the plants. This is because not all that you add to soil can help the plants grow. So the real question is, can you use coffee grounds for plants?
Compositing using coffee grounds is an exciting way to reduce the materials that end up in landfills. When you use coffee in gardening, you can add nitrogen to your compost pile while reducing the waste in your home. Coffee will not harm your plants, so it’s safe to say that you can add them to the soil. So instead of throwing them away, consider adding the coffee grounds into the soil.
4 Benefits of Coffee Grounds for Plants
Some of you may be skeptical about using coffee grounds for plants. This is because doing so does not immediately add nitrogen to the soil. Not only that, but it also needs to be balanced using brown compost material. Though there could be some drawbacks, still, using coffee grounds for plants offer some exciting benefits such as:
- Adds organic material to the soil
When you put coffee grounds in the soil, you also add organic material. This is important since it improves aeration, drainage, and water retention in the soil. Not only that, but it also attracts earthworms which helps plants to thrive.
- Helps plants that need acid
Coffee grounds can increase or decrease the pH of soil. This is good, especially for acid-loving plants. However, note that you can only enjoy this benefit from unwashed coffee grounds since the fresh ones are more acidic. Remember that the used coffee grounds are neutral, which will not affect the acid levels of the soil.
- Provides other uses
This material can also be utilized as worm food which you’ll find beneficial when conducting vermicomposting with a worm bin. Take note that worms like coffee grounds.
- Repels insects and their animals
Another exciting benefit of coffee grounds is it serves as insect and animal repellent. Using this material keeps slugs and snails away from your plants. Not only that, but it will also discourage cats from making your flower and veggie beds as their litter box.
Coffee Grounds for Plants
Though coffee grounds provide many benefits, it is essential to understand that there’s a limit when using them. For instance, you need to balance the soil with brown composting material when adding a coffee ground to your plants. Here are some of the things that coffee grounds cannot do:
Coffee Grounds as Mulch
Mulching is beneficial to plants, but it is pretty challenging to do. This is why many gardeners like to use coffee grounds since this material is way cheaper and provides some advantages. But according to other gardeners, putting coffee grounds directly on the soil can negatively affect the plants. For example, coffee beans contain caffeine that suppresses the growth of other plants. This is so done to reduce competition for space, nutrients, water, and sunlight.
Another reason why using coffee grounds for mulching could be detrimental to your plants is resisting water penetration. Coffee grounds are like clay soil because they consist of very fine particles which can lock together. As such, it transforms into a barrier that prohibits water penetration.
How to Use Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer
Though it is not ideal to use coffee as mulch, it can still be used as a slow-release fertilizer. Do this by sprinkling them thinly onto your soil. Another option is to add them to your compost heap. As mentioned, since coffee grounds are a ‘green,’ or nitrogen-rich organic material, you need to balance them with enough ‘browns.’ This includes carbon-rich materials like dried leaves, woody prunings, or newspaper.
Coffee is undeniably a delicious drink that you can have any time of the day. But aside from providing you some health benefits, it is also beneficial to your plants. You can use coffee grounds for plants by adding them to your compost or using them as fertilizer. But make sure not to add too much since coffee grounds also prevent water penetration.