One of the simple pleasures in life is a cup of black coffee in the morning. Occasionally I like to add some real, organic, thick cream in the morning, but most days I just drink it black.
Turn a Waste Stream into a Resource
Coffee as a soil amendment allows us to turn a waste stream into a resource. Obviously I’m enjoying my cup of coffee, and now I can take those spent grounds and utilize them in a way to benefit my garden.
You can obviously utilize them in a compost pile and they are a great nitrogen source. Remember, compost piles are all about nitrogen/carbon ratios. Coffee grounds are at about a 20:1 carbon to nitrogen so they are a really great addition to your compost piles and can help keep that heat going.
With coffee grounds, you don’t want to use them as a thick layer. they can create an impenetrable layer making it difficult for water to reach the soil.
What are the NPK values?
In one of my videos I talked about using wood ash as a soil amendment and while wood ash has no nitrogen, very little phosphorus, and a high percentage of potassium. Coffee grounds are flipped with higher nitrogen, little phosphorus, and very little potassium (2.3.3).
This is ideal for homesteaders/home growers to use. Our goals when gardening are not to worry about being precise or perfect, we focus on two main things:
- do no harm
- benefit our plants and soils
So the details of the NPK ratio aren’t super important.
Another benefit of coffee grounds is they help feed microbes and all the biology in the soil. It would be great for worms bins as well. So let’s apply our coffee grounds
When applying coffee grounds you have two options:
- pull back mulch and put coffee grounds directly on the soil then return the mulch
- Just spread it on lightly across the top of the mulch. This is especially useful when you have very sensitive plants or new sprouts coming up through the top. I usually choose this one because I like simple, and I know that as water is added either in the form of rain or watering methods, the coffee grounds will slowly make their way into the soil.
Coffee grounds can be used on any type of garden especially using it at the amount most home gardeners would apply it.
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