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14 Ideas for Gardening with Coffee Grounds

If you’re a coffee drinker, chances are you have a spare container or two of used coffee grounds sitting in your kitchen.

While you could just toss them in the trash, there are actually a number of ways you can put those coffee grounds to good use in the garden.

From adding nutrients to the soil to deterring pests, coffee grounds can be a helpful addition to any gardener’s toolkit.

Even if you’re not a huge coffee drinker, a lot times your local coffee shops will let you take home used coffee grounds for your garden.

Here are 14 different ways you can reuse coffee grounds in the garden.

how to use coffee grounds in the garden

Ideas For Gardening With Coffee Grounds

1. Composting

Coffee grounds make an excellent addition to your compost pile.

They are rich in nitrogen, which helps to break down organic matter, and they also help to aerate the compost pile.

Just be sure to mix them in evenly so that the pile doesn’t become too acidic.

2. Fertilizer

Coffee grounds can be used as a fertilizer for both indoor and outdoor plants.

They contain essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which can help to promote growth.

Just be sure not to use too much, as too much nitrogen can actually burns plants’ roots.

A general rule of thumb is to add no more than one cup of coffee grounds per square foot of soil.

a woman using used coffee grounds to amend her soil

3. Mulch

Used coffee grounds make an excellent mulch for both vegetable and flower gardens.

Spread a layer around your plants and then top it with another layer of organic material like straw or leaves.

This will help to retain moisture and keep weeds at bay.

4. Pest control

Coffee grounds can help to deter slugs, snails, and ants from your garden.

Simply sprinkle them around the perimeter of your garden bed or on problem areas.

You can also make a snail and slug trap by sinking a cup or bowl into the ground and filling it with coffee grounds mixed with some water.

a family starting plants with used coffee grounds

5. Acid-loving plants

Coffee grounds are naturally acidic, so they make a great addition to soil for plants that love acidic conditions like blueberries, raspberries, hydrangeas, azaleas, lilies, and camellias.

6. Fungicide

Got some powdery mildew or black spot on your roses? Sprinkle some coffee grounds around the affected areas.

The coffee grounds will help to absorb moisture from the leaves and also act as a mild fungicide.

7. Herbs

Coffee grounds can help to deter cats and other animals from using your herb garden as a litter box.

Sprinkle them around the perimeter of the garden or on problem areas.

adding used coffee grounds to compost

8. Start new plants

You can use coffee grounds to start new plants by mixing them with potting soil.

Just be sure to water them well and give them plenty of sunlight.

10. Trees and shrubs

Coffee grounds can be used as a mulch for trees and shrubs.

Just spread a layer around the base of the plant and top it with another layer of organic material like straw or leaves.

11. Worm bin

Used coffee grounds make an excellent addition to a worm bin.

They help to aerate the bin and also provide a source of food for the worms.

12. Compost accelerator

If you’re looking to speed up the composting process, coffee grounds can help.

Just add a handful or two to your compost pile every time you add new organic matter.

using coffee grounds for house plants

13. Fertilize houseplants

Coffee grounds can be used to fertilize houseplants.

Just mix them with some water and then apply it to the soil around the plant.

14. Repel mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, so they can be a real nuisance when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors.

Fortunately, coffee grounds can help to keep them at bay.

Just spread used coffee grounds around areas where you’ll be spending time outside.

The mosquitoes will be attracted to the coffee grounds, and they won’t be able to find their way to you.

As you can see, there are lots of different ways you can put those used coffee grounds to work in the garden!

So next time you’re about to throw out your used coffee, think twice and put them to use instead!

Your gardens—and pocketbook—will thank you!

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