Used Coffee Grinds?
Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 8:19 AM
By Randy Pedersen
What can you do with all those used coffee grounds?
Don’t throw them out. Used coffee grounds, the things that usually get tossed in the garbage bin just after you have had your first cup of inspiration are valuable in several ways. Unlike other lists I have read, this one is Randy Tested for actual usefulness in as much as I have done all these things and they actually work. So here are four things you can easily do to get rid of your coffee grounds in an environmentally friendly way.
1- Coffee makes terrific compost. Coffee grounds contain phosphorous, potassium and magnesium. Essential garden nutrients contributing to soil health. Worms also love coffee grounds and the earth loves worms. Worms aerate the soil and help to break down composting coffee grounds, which are important in affixing nitrogen to the soil. If you don’t have a backyard compost, most municipalities have a composting program you can partake in. By the way unbleached coffee filters can be composted so you don’t have to separate them from the spent beans. If you use K cups you have to take them apart, compost the coffee grounds and recycle the plastic parts if that service is available in your area.
2- Gardeners hate slugs. You don’t have to kill them as that is messy and cruel (hey slugs have to eat too.) Just use spent coffee grounds to discourage them from going after your prized plants. Spreading coffee grounds around flower or vegetable beds discourages them from passing over the barrier. This really works. Just make sure you keep the supply up. Don’t worry about removing the coffee grounds; just dig them into the soil after they have served their purpose.
3- Use a cookie tray to dry out some used coffee grounds. They can then be put in a bowl to deodorize your refrigerator or other smelly trouble spots in the house. After use they too can be composted. Note: resist the temptation to use them as a potpourri in your sock drawer lest you redefine the term stinky feet (no one likes that girl; her feet smell like coffee.)
4- Evergreen shrubs will thank you for the occasional dose of coffee grounds lightly dug into the soil around them. Coffee is slightly acidic and helps to provide the PH soil these shrubs and trees prefer. Azaleas, Rhododenrons, Camellias and coniferous trees such as Spruce and Cedars all benefit from acidic soils. Be careful not to overdo it and avoid creating acid conditions around plants that prefer neutral or alkaline soils.
So there you go, some practical tips for extending the life of coffee grounds beyond your morning cup. You can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and enhance your outdoor living space all at the same time. A word of warning though, unless you are an ardent user of an in sink garbage disposal avoid dumping coffee grounds down your kitchen sink. Coffee grounds will eventually build up and plug your drains resulting in expensive visits from your friendly plumber or worse. Using chemical drain openers to clear the mess can result in unfortunate changes in the environment of fish living downstream from you resulting in an unknown science experiments for future generations.
217 Comments | Author: Randy Pedersen