Re-using + Recycling Coffee: The Garden

May 05, 2022


Oct 28, 2015

Re-using + Recycling Coffee: The Garden

By 1000HillsCoffee on Oct 28, 2015 09:27 am

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Coffee is a versatile thing! Our whole world revolves around it – both its power to bring economic health to a community, and it’s addictive deliciousness. However, even used coffee grounds can fill a hundred small roles in your day to day life. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring the best ways to get the most out of your daily cup!

And we’re going to begin in the garden.



Used coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen (2% by volume), and introduction into the soil will give it a significant boost. Useful amounts of potassium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus are also found in varying quantities (usually a range of 0.06% – 0.6%). Some concerns have arisen due to coffee’s acidic nature – however, the existing acids are water-soluble, and therefore completely extracted during the brewing process, and the leftover grinds have a neutral PH of roughly 6.3 – 6.8, making them safe for a wide range of plants. In addition, the granular properties improve the structure of the soil, aid drainage, and attract worms. Basically, your garden might love coffee as much as you do!


Mix grounds directly into the soil, or sprinkle and cover with a layer or peat, mulch, or leaves. For best results, use in combination with a nitrogen fertilizer. For potted plants, mix no more than a 1 in 4 ratio of grounds into the soil.



The same high dose of nitrogen that stimulates plant growth also makes for a healthy compost heap! You don’t even need to separate the filter – paper filters provide a source of carbon.


Layer into an existing compost heap, or start fresh with 1 part coffee grounds, 1 part dried leaves and 1 part grass clippings.



Coffee grounds are often considered an environmentally friendly option for protecting against snails and slugs. Caffeine has been proven to be an effective deterrent, and in high enough concentrations will even kill smaller members. Many prefer this method to the use of chemicals that can be dangerous to other wildlife and pets, plus the additional benefits to soil make this a two-for-one!


Sprinkle grounds around affected plants. For a higher dose of caffeine, brew a cup and spritz over leaves once cool.


There you have it! How will your coffee Do Good in your garden?