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. It’s as easy as throwing the used coffee grounds onto your compost pile. Used coffee filters can be composted as well.
Whether you make your cup of coffee daily or you have noticed your local coffee-house has started to put out bags of used coffee, you may be wondering about composting with coffee grounds. Are coffee grounds as fertilizer a good idea? And how do coffee grounds used for gardens help or hurt?
Used coffee grounds for gardening does not end with compost. Many people choose to place coffee grounds straight onto the soil and use it as a fertilizer. The thing to keep in mind is while coffee grounds add nitrogen to your compost, they will not immediately add nitrogen to your soil. 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.
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.