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How to Use Coffee Grounds in the Garden?

If you make a pot of coffee daily, it means you have a fantastic source of the organic matter right in your home. Coffee grounds and gardens have a great relationship with each other.

Coffee grounds have proved to be super beneficial for the nutritional requirement of a garden. You may have seen people collecting the bags of coffee grounds from coffee shops and wondered what they are collecting it for; it is a cheap and, more often than not, a free nutrition source for your garden’s soil. 

This article will discuss the uses of coffee grounds in the garden to benefit from it:

Coffee Grounds Mulch

Seasoned gardeners know very well about how beneficial mulching is. Traditional mulching methods include; using straws, wood chips, and other organic materials, which are a little costly and difficult to find in some areas. By using coffee grounds as mulch, we can improve the overall health of our garden soil. 

Coffee grounds have a lot of nutrients in them, like nitrogen, magnesium, and calcium. These nutrients are necessary for proper plant development.

Despite its many benefits, using coffee grounds can also harm your plants, if you don’t use it properly. The advantage this organic fertilizer option is that it improves drainage, water retention, and aeration due to the texture and high organic matter content. Coffee grounds will also help in the growth of microorganisms that are good for plant growth.

Some points need to be kept in mind before using coffee grounds as mulch:

  1. Do not use fresh coffee grounds.
  2. Do not use coffee grounds directly on plants.

Fresh coffee grounds are extremely acidic and can easily kill plants. If you spread the fresh coffee grounds directly on the soil, they will block sunlight and moisture, which can harm your plant.

Coffee Ground Fertilizer

Just like eggshells and other organic material, coffee grounds are used as fertilizer. However, its results are slower but effective. The results can vary because it is a leftover product of your coffee, so there is no fixed ratio of nutrients.

Coffee grounds help in the growth of many vegetables such as,

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Broccoli
  3. Tomatoes

The acidic nature of coffee grounds works well with these vegetables. However, all plants need nutrients, so it is, in general, an excellent fertilizer. You can sprinkle the coffee grounds on the soil or add it in irrigation water to use it as a liquid fertilizer.

If you are using it for the first time, start with a small quantity and see how your plants react. If you notice a positive growth, then use it more often. Negative growth means the soil or plants have not accepted the new fertilizer, and it should not be used further.

You can also use fresh coffee grounds around plant varieties that prefer acidic soil, like azalea, hydrangea, blueberries, and lilies. Many vegetables like to grow in acidic soil except for tomatoes, so typically tomatoes don’t show a good response to the grounds of your morning brew. On the other hand, crops those form edible root-like radishes and carrots do great, especially when the coffee grounda are mixed with the soil at planting time.

Use it as a Pesticide

Coffee grounds can be used as a pesticide. You can sprinkle it around the plants, you think are vulnerable to some pests like slugs or snails. They work as an insect repellent because of their texture and smell. For example, it can be because of both the abrasive texture of coffee grounds that slugs and snails find it difficult to cross this barrier and the pungent odor that they work as a repellent.

Using them as a pesticide is not only cheap, but it also provides an organic alternative to many chemical fertilizers and pesticides. 

Works as an Anti-fungal

A less popular fact about coffee grounds is that they possess anti-fungal qualities. Plants usually get affected by Pythium and Fusarium fungus, which are incredibly harmful, and by using coffee grounds on your soil, you can prevent the spread of these diseases.

Feed Worms

Farmers and gardeners use worms to increase their soil fertility. Grounds can be added in the worm bin as a feed, but don’t add too much because it is acidic and can cause discomfort to your worms.  For a small worm bin, use a full cup of coffee grounds.

When you add coffee grounds in your soil as a fertilizer, earthworms also get attracted by it. Coffee grounds happen to be their favorite food. The presence of earthworms in the soil is extremely beneficial as they eat the fungi, mix organic matter into the soil, and improve soil structure and the water infiltration rate.

Animal Repellant

Coffee grounds can also be used as an animal repellant. Animals like cats and dogs use your garden as their litter box, which is an unpleasant experience for humans; these animals are generally not very fond of the pungent smell of coffee. Sprinkling some coffee grounds on the soil will keep them away.


Coffee grounds provide an organic and cheap solution for so many garden issues. We can use them in the soil as fertilizer, mulch, anti-fungal, and pesticide. The use of used coffee grounds in your garden also invites earthworms, which is a smart way to fertilize your soil.

By using it around your plants, you can prevent pests like slugs and snails from harming your plants, and it can also keep your neighbor’s cat at a distance thanks to the caffeine content of coffee remains. Don’t toss the leftovers of your morning coffee away; instead, use them in your garden to improve your soil.

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