Gardening can be a very relaxing pastime, but it is also great for the environment for a number of reasons. Vegetable or herb gardens can provide a means by which you can have food items without transporting them from out of state. Flower gardens attract pollinators, improving the diversity of the local ecosystem while protecting the topsoil. Gardens of all sorts also benefit from composting, which is the use of decomposed organic waste items such as cores, peels and grass clippings as plant food. The question often arises, are coffee grounds good for plant soil? It just so happens that, depending on the nature of your garden, coffee grounds may be quite beneficial to your garden or potted plants.
Plants that benefit from coffee grounds
Used coffee grounds in the soil slightly raise its acidity somewhat, while also adding valuable nitrogen to the soil. Plants feed off of nitrogen, and some plants are picky about the pH of the soil in which they grow. Common acid-loving plants include roses, azaleas and blueberries, among many others.
Coffee grounds make a great fertilizer for just about any plant, even ones that do not require acidic growing conditions. For plants that prefer a neutral or base fertilizer, simply mix the coffee grounds with gardening lime to adjust the pH to the level you need. If you're an avid coffee drinker, this offers a ready source of fertilizer for just about any plant with very little additional financial expenditure. It also greatly reduces your kitchen's waste by finding a great use for coffee grounds that have already exhausted their use for brewing coffee to drink.
Other uses of coffee grounds in your garden
The bane of any flowerbed's existence is the mischievous neighbor's cat. Cats love to play or hunt in areas with dense cover, such as a flowerbed, and may also chew on the leaves of the many types of plants. In addition, the tendency for cats to use the loose soil of a flowerbed as a litter box is quite common. However, cats tend to stay away from areas with coffee grounds and orange peels. Sprinkling the old coffee grounds on the surface of the soil may also be effective in repelling slugs, snails and other common garden pests.
How to incorporate coffee grounds into the soil
There are a few ways you might choose to add coffee grounds to your garden or potted plants. First, you must determine whether you're going to use straight coffee grounds, grounds mixed with old citrus peels or compost, or grounds mixed with gardening lime.
You may wish to experiment with different proportions of gardening lime to coffee grounds. This method will require that you have some type of test strips or other pH indicator in order to determine whether or not you have the right ratio of coffee to lime. Alternatively, you can find recipes online for homemade fertilizer using coffee grounds.
For repelling purposes, you may wish to simply sprinkle coffee grounds on the surface of the soil around the base of your plants. Scatter coffee grounds at least a few inches farther from the base of the plant than the widest-spreading leaves or branches. When using the grounds for fertilizer, carefully turn the mixture into the soil around the base of your plants with a garden trowel.