Composting with Coffee Grounds
As many of you who have been to our roastery in Albion we have a beautiful courtyard where we from time to time grow herbs and other things to add to our sandwiches. I also have a large kitchen garden at home and am a avid gardener with my kids. I feel it's important to know where your food comes from and how to grow it.
Composting with coffee is a great way to make use of something that would otherwise end up taking up space in a landfill. Composting coffee grounds helps to add nitrogen to your compost pile.
If you will be adding used coffee grounds to your compost pile, keep in mind that they are considered green compost material and will need to be balanced with the addition of some brown compost material.
Many people feel that coffee grounds lower the pH (or raise the acid level) of soil, which is good for acid loving plants. But this is only true for unwashed coffee grounds. “Fresh coffee grounds are acidic. Used coffee grounds are neutral.” If you rinse your used coffee grounds, they will have a near neutral pH of 6.5 and will not affect the acid levels of the soil. To use coffee grounds as fertilizer, work the coffee grounds into the soil around your plants. Leftover diluted coffee works well like this too.
The benefit of using coffee grounds as a fertilizer is that it adds organic material to the soil, which improves drainage, water retention and aeration in the soil. The used coffee grounds will also help microorganisms beneficial to plant growth thrive as well as attract earthworms.
There is lots to learn and not all plants will like the acidity so I suggest you do a little research on what plants with go well with your coffee grounds, but we are all for re-using and re-cycling where we can. It's worth looking in to!