Using coffee grounds for gardening really helps? If yes, what are the correct ways to use coffee grounds in the garden? Read this educative article for complete details.
The next time you finish your morning coffee, think twice before you dump the grounds. Coffee grounds can do magic in your garden, not necessarily in the ways you would expect. They do not provide abundant nitrogen and do not lower soil pH much. But they can enrich your garden soil, compost pile and help in other ways.
Increases Plant Nutrition
Coffee grounds contain 2% of nitrogen, but plants can not use this until it breaks down. As these grounds decompose, the low nitrogen level in them acts as a long-acting fertilizer.
Coffee grounds also provide a healthy and slight dose of other basic nutrients like phosphorus and potassium, secondary nutrients like magnesium and copper of which potassium, magnesium and copper portions are used by plants right away.
Coffee grounds also contain calcium, manganese, zinc and iron, but the level of these nutrients is too low to have an effect on plant’s growth.
Coffee Grounds in Soil
Coffee grounds have long been bragged to lower the soil pH, but most of their acidity goes straight from beans to brew. Laboratory analysis shows that they are slightly acidic to neutral and make a minor to no impact on soil pH.
But who cares about the acidity, coffee grounds improve soil structure directly and in no time. Poor Soil, low in organic matter benefits from scratch when coffee grounds are applied.
Coffee grounds in the soil also improve the seed germination and growth of the plant. What is more advantageous is that they prevent soil borne diseases like wilts, fungal rots, and some bacterial pathogens.
Coffee Grounds Compost
If you’re about to add coffee grounds to your compost piles, restrict it to the range of 20 to 25 percent only, higher levels than this can suppress beneficial microorganisms, so do not overdo it. Balance your compost with other organic materials: the residue of grass clippings, dry leaves or similar composting materials.
Coffee Grounds Mulching
Coffee ground mulching is becoming popular, because of the claims that they deter pests and pets away, prevent weeds and aerate the soil.
But you should know, coffee grounds are fine in texture and their use as mulch works best only in combination with coarse organic mulches. If used alone, in a thick layer, coffee grounds can dry and compact the soil and keep moisture out, not in. Instead of getting the benefit you’ll harm your plants.
To use them for mulching, always put thin, half-inch layer of coffee grounds with a layer of coarsely textured organic materials. Leaves, compost or barks, and twigs work to form a layer of mulch, favorable and permeable.
*If you find yourself short on used coffee grounds, ask your nearby coffee shops, they’ll give you this for free.
Also Read: Epsom salt uses in garden