We have been adding coffee grounds to our compost for quite a while now but since I know of people who use grounds as at least part of their cover material I thought I might as well get some extra use out of them. We are using a Keurig with reusable pods that we fill and empty so now I empty the pods into a bowl on the counter. Every few days I empty the now dry coffee grounds into the cover material container and mix it up a bit. The grounds now add a dry fine mix to coarser material and have an added use before they get to the compost bin.
Life is too short or my list is too long, not sure which.
Good use for them! Btw coffee grounds are not acidic even though coffee the drink is. Weird huh? Well the acidity of the coffee is water soluble and it washes out. I know flower beds love it when you just add the grounds right out of the filter. For the compost pile don't forget to trow the paper filter in too if are using a normal coffee maker. Starbucks gives away free bags of there used coffee grounds. If you ask nicely in sure any near by reastraunt will give you there's same goes with the tea mix they use a lot to make the big things of sweet tea!
i got to know the people at Starbucks
for the last 3 or 4 years ive been getting grounds
they save the large bags for me.
i am guessing they are about 100lb each, and i usually go weekly.
its hard to process that much as compost
so, i throw it around, or mix it with sawdust and grass clippings as mulch.
or, i mix it with sand and create a mound
and wait 6 months to plant on it.
if they are dry, they soak up minerals...
i will use fish emulsion with iron and magnesium on the mound once or twice
they will hold those nutrients, and the worms love em too.
My worms just love them. I do compost on my scale, but when I come across a windfall, I just top my beds up with them, and the soil life goes wild.
I have also emptied my press into sealed mason jars to keep them sterile, and inoculated them with mushroom butt slurry. They like it fine. I usually just dump the material in under a layer of windfall grounds in my garden bed as soon as there are visible signs of fungal activity, and that usually gets me mushrooms if the windfall grounds are fresh and hot, and I time it all right.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
I found through experimentation that sprinkling them straight onto the soil results in a crust forming. This crust prevents the soil below from drying out as quickly, but it also prevents rain from penetrating.
I also found that the crust also prevents some vegetable seeds from pushing through. Carrots were a total failure for example.
In general I have stopped applying grounds directly to the soil. Incorporating it INTO the soil though seems to kick off a worm party for sure.
I have heard that they repel slugs, but perhaps only in areas with less moisture than here. It's never worked for me. Our continual rainfall may rinse away whatever the slugs find objectionable. Anyone else find otherwise?
They're supposed to be pretty neutral. The acid comes out in the drink. I've never tested for PH. I'm told that everything here is horribly acidic, but when I plant stuff, I have to jump back to avoid being hit by the emerging growth.
I use my coffee grounds as a mulch in my garden beds. It kind of repels slugs and bunnies...if it's fresh. Once it's been rained on, it's not very repellent. But, I like how it covers the soil and helps it warm up. I haven't really encountered mine forming much of a crust, but then, mines never more than 1/2 inch thick and it rains here, often washing the grounds into the soil or off of the soil. I love using coffee grounds in my beds, as pretty much any other mulch I use here either (A) breeds slugs (I'm talking about you, leaves!), or (B) is duck bedding and there's a risk of listeria/salmonella. So, coffee grounds are the perfect mulch for my situation. (For the longest time, I couldn't get a compost pile to work, because animals kept eating it. I had one bin broken apart by something that wanted into it's contents. But, now I've got some spiffy tumbling compost bins that were free, and my husband drinks TONS of mint tea for his crohn's. The mint repels most everything, and the bins make it really easy to have to "piles" going, so I'm acutally composting the bedding for application in my garden. )
I coat the south-facing slope of my hugelkultur with coffee grounds. It heats earlier in spring. Slugs become entangled in the dry material. Snakes bask on the dark surface, and are able to start their day of feeding earlier than on the landscape surrounding. I think the smell might put certain bugs off of their game.
I've gathered several tons of it at Starbucks and Tim Hortons coffee shops. The material often comes with lots of filters included. They are placed over small patches of weeds, then heavy material is dumped on top.
It is about twice as valuable as cow manure, nutrient wise. Weed seeds can survive being roasted and the ground and having hot water poured over them. A very suitable material for early starts.