used coffee grounds

In case you haven’t heard about this, Starbucks has a ‘Grounds For Gardens’ program. They’ll set aside their used coffee grounds for you if you call ahead.

Used coffee grounds are a wonderful addition to the compost pile or worm bin. They’re not very acidic; they have a slightly lower than neutral pH. Most of the acid was transferred to your stomach when you used the grounds the first time. They contain about 2 per cent nitrogen, but they’re not a nitrogen fertilizer per se. In fact, you should add nitrogen when using UCG (we’ll just call them that since they’re our buds) directly in the garden, because the grounds encourage the growth of microorganisms that use nitrogen.

I incorporated quite a few UCGs into the soil of my raspberry stand early this spring. The plants came on green and vigorous, my best crop ever. Could have been the worm tea or the fact that I curtailed Japanese beetle activity with Neem oil, but my best guess is the coffee grounds. I also put a few into my tomato holes.


And of course, into the compost pile. Being in the country, the nearest Starbucks is 30 minutes away. But luckily, my daughter and grandbaby live 2 minutes from the store. So every visit the car smells like used grounds. I run in and pop out with a 50 lb. bag-full.

One man’s waste is another man’s treasure.


5 thoughts on “used coffee grounds

    • That’s too bad Theresa. I was happy with Starbucks for a long while, but for the last few months, I’d call and leave my information, and then when I came to pick up the grounds, they said none had been saved. Beggars can’t be choosers, they say.


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