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Recycling Coffee Grounds

Put coffee grounds and filters to work improving your garden’s beauty and productivity.

Recycle these morning discards in your compost or worm bin. The worms and microorganisms will break them down into wonderful compost. Or occasionally sprinkle the grounds on the soil surface of your indoor and outdoor container and in-ground gardens.  In addition, you’ll have fewer slugs since caffeine repels and even kills slugs.

But moderation is just as important in the garden as it is in your own diet.  Coffee grounds contain allelopathic chemicals that can inhibit the growth of certain plants.  Once the grounds are fully decomposed there is no need for concern. 

And be careful when adding large amounts of coffee grounds.  They can temporarily tie up nutrients in the soil.  So, play it safe and dig them into the garden in fall with shredded leaves and herbicide-free grass clippings, add them to the compost pile or feed them to your worms. 

A bit more information:  Consider recycling the morning paper right along with the coffee grounds.  Shredded paper makes great bedding for worm bins and a good source of carbon in compost piles.  Spread several sheets of your paper over the soil surface around your landscape plants.  Cover with shredded leaves, woodchips, evergreen needles or herbicide-free grass clippings to hold them in place and improve the appearance.  The newspaper will help suppress weeds and over time will break down adding organic matter to the soil.


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