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Mixing Wood Ash with Used Coffee Grounds  RSS feed

 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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wood ash is a good source of carbon and is alkaline, Used Coffee Grounds are a good source of Nitrogen and are acidic. Any thoughts with mixing the two and using as a soil amendment?
 
John Polk
steward
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Unbrewed coffee grounds are acidic. Brewed coffee grounds usually test out between 6.7 - 7.0

Still, a great amendment (especially if you let them half decompose first...you'll have tons of worms).

 
Saybian Morgan
gardener
Posts: 582
Location: Lower Mainland British Columbia Canada Zone 8a/ Manchester Jamaica
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I don't see any theoretical problems to the mix just don't think your balancing ph, more than your adding lime to your coffee as a additional nutrient. a 50/50 mix could be disastrous, same thing goes with how you apply it, ash on the leaves kills spiders and acute foliar application could really screw up plants. On the flip side if you can apply it onto mulch the ash will boost the coffee's slug repellancy while dry and slowly at potash as water leaches it through the soil layers. I can't seem to do anything delicately so i usually throw grounds at the plants in the rain hoping to hit slugs in the face and let the rain wash it down. I figure why put it where slugs might be, put it where there going so each time the climb it falls in their face. I wonder if at the right moisture would coffee help bind up the ash so it's less mobile, or would it just destroy the bacteria that the worms are actually feeding on when they go at coffee grounds.
 
Ivan Weiss
Posts: 179
Location: Vashon WA, near Seattle and Tacoma
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I compost all my wood ash and coffee grounds. I always have plenty of both. I'm with John. Let the worms have at it.
 
Nancy Sinclaire
Posts: 30
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The nice thing about both wood ash and coffee grounds are their nice small structure and especially their spread ability. They can be spread upon grass or garden as is with no composting. The only reason to compost them would be to bulk up the compost or to inoculate the wood ash or coffee grounds with a mix of bacteria and other wee beasties to better spread them around to work for you. Mixing the two and then spreading would be even better due to more even distribution of both. Maybe half right out into the garden and half into the compost. First post. I think I was nice. Being nice is not in my nature. It was hard work.
 
Steve Flanagan
gardener
Posts: 324
Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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Thank you, Nancy. And Welcome!
 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 484
Location: Englehart, Ontario, Canada
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The great thing about composting them is that if there is too high a concentration of some nutrient the process mixes this in and distributes it evenly through much of the compost thus eliminating any chance of burning your plants.
 
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