Coffee Grounds and organic fertilizers

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by MADinfant, May 19, 2009.

  1. MADinfant

    MADinfant Member

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    Recently, I have been saving my used coffee grounds to put at the base of my plants as a natural fertilizer. I work at a restaurant and it struck me that tea grounds should serve the same purpose. They are just ground plant matter. Am I right about this assumption, or is there just some super property to coffee over tea?
     
  2. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    Tea and coffee have different levels of nitrogen. I might say that plant growth is great with nitrogen, but once the time comes for production by the plant, nitrogen applications should seriously taper off. Do you want a plant, or a plant to eat from? Some of the serious gardeners her add the nitrogen boost with other elements during spring turning of the soil, to adding a mixture at planting time. From there, they limit its usage, allowing normal plants time for growth. You don't want a plant on steroids throughout the season, allow natural growth with some help. Does this make sense?
     
  3. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    both will work - and especially well for those plants that thrive with acidic conditions.
     
  4. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    I guess you're saying that tea comes from leaves, while coffee comes from beans. And leaves (at least, fresh leaves) have a high nitrogen content. Which is why we often compost green stuff like grass clippings before applying them in the garden.

    But wouldn't these particular tea leaves already have lost most of their nitrogen content during the process of drying, curing, and being soaked in freshly boiled water?

    I shouldn't worry too much about this.
     
  5. MADinfant

    MADinfant Member

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    It does! I've heard of poor vegetable production and taste when plants are overstimulated. From what I understand, the plants put too much energy towards growth in this process and not towards fruit production.
     
  6. MADinfant

    MADinfant Member

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    You point out a good question. Wouldn't this be the case with near boiled coffee grounds also? The question this next leads me to, when I see references to using coffee grounds as an organic fertilizer, are they referring to pre or post brewed grounds? Wouldn't pre brewed be a bit expensive?

    Like you said, maybe we're over thinking, but that's what this site is for!
     
  7. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    You are over thinking. If you want cost effective method for utilizing a stimulant for your garden, use the coffee grounds from starbucks within 2 days of getting them, to have fresh effective soil for the garden. Mix the grounds with the soil, then let them grow. The effects will last long enough to stimulate the plant for root growth. Plants need to produce the vegetables shortly after growth. If you go half a season stimulating with nitrogen, you cut vegetable production in half. Make sense? Allow the plants to do their job once they are in the ground. Remember prep the soil for the plant, then let it grow. Afterwards you over think, and overstimulate.
     
  8. MADinfant

    MADinfant Member

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    Starbucks, sounds super expensive! Your points make sense. I'm still confused though, after I go to Starbucks and overpay for coffee that has obviously been over-roasted, do I use grounds that have not been used to brew coffee, or are brewed grounds still adequate?

    Thanks for the response.
     
  9. Helen Leung

    Helen Leung Active Member 10 Years

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    I always thought you put used coffee ground in the garden, not the unbrewed ones. The brewed coffee ground also has relatively neutral ph from some of the articles I've found online. The brewing takes the acidity out of the ground. I usually just put the ground in my compost pile anyway. the worms love it.
     
  10. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    Starbucks gives huge bags of used coffee grounds for free to gardeners. They know it is great for the garden, and even have special bags for them. Call your local starbucks and ask them about it. Trust me, well worth it.
     
  11. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    Yes Helen, the coffee grounds go into the soil as explained above. Per comments before, get the used grounds from starbucks. They want you to.
     
  12. sweetlou

    sweetlou Member

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    so if i put goffee grounds around my flowers in all my floerwbeds it would help them grow bigger ho often should u do this procedure if this is benifeciary. thats my question
     
  13. Acoma

    Acoma Active Member

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    The grounds can be mixed into the soil (not just spread on top) every 2-3 weeks with flowers. You want to mix into the bed just before watering. this helps the garden. Letting the grounds just sit on top, or in dry soil will not benefit the garden as much as the grounds would be waisted.
     

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