Most people find it virtually impossible to get going in the morning with a cup of coffee to help power them into action. But, when you've had your fill and the time comes to clean your coffee machine, what do you do with the grounds?
If, up until now, you’ve simply been throwing them in the trash, stop! You’re wasting a valuable, free plant fertilizer that is packed with nutrients that your plants will love.
You can even use them to help grass grow strongly, which is ideal if you’ve got children or a pet that has been tearing up your lawn.
Below, we’ll look into why exactly coffee grounds are good for grass? We’ll also explore some other places they can be used in the garden, from deterring pests to changing the color of certain flowers!
Why Are Coffee Grounds Good For Grass?
First things first, let's take a look at why coffee grounds are so good for grass. Coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen, which is one of the nutrients that grass relies on for strong growth.
So, by feeding your lawn with coffee grounds, you’ll be giving it an all-natural, nitrogen-based fertilizer. And, even more importantly, you’ll be getting it for free!
Coffee grounds also contain trace amounts of other minerals that can help your grass grow strong, including phosphorus.
But that’s not all! Unlike a lot of liquid fertilizers, coffee grounds break down slowly. This means that they release their nutrients into the soil at a steady rate, and nothing evaporates away during hot weather.
Another reason why coffee grounds are so good for grass is that they are highly effective at deterring slugs and snails. So, no longer will you have to worry about these slimy pests munching on your lawn.
Unlike slugs and snails who can’t stand coffee, worms find it highly attractive. This is extremely beneficial for your grass, as the more worms there are in the underlying soil, the more aerated it will be.
In turn, the grass roots will have room to establish and the earth won’t get compacted during the winter months.
Worms will also leave worm casts in the soil as they break down the nutrients contained in the coffee grounds. These act as a fertilizer too, so you’ll be feeding your grass with even more nutrients without even realizing it.
Worm casts have been shown to improve drainage as well, preventing pools of water from collecting on your lawn during a sudden downpour.
How Do You Add Coffee Grounds To Your Grass?
There are two ways you can add coffee grounds to your grass. The first, and easiest, way is to simply add them to your lawn directly. Lay them out on a tarp during a spell of warm weather and let them dry out a bit.
After a few hours, simply sprinkle them across your grass, rake them in so that they are evenly distributed across the lawn, and gently water the grass to help the coffee grounds settle into the soil.
It is worth noting, however, that you may need to collect quite a lot of coffee grounds over time so that you can cover the entire lawn at once. This does depend on the size of your lawn though, and, of course, how much coffee you make throughout the week.
You can sometimes find bags of used coffee grounds in coffee shops, which can help you add to your collection faster.
The second way is to add them to your existing compost. However, it’s important to make sure that your entire compost pile isn’t made up of more than 20% of coffee grounds, otherwise, this can have a negative effect on grass and cause it to burn.
Once your compost is ready (usually after 90 days), you can apply it to your lawn in the same way as above.
Other Ways Coffee Grounds Can Benefit Your Garden
So, as you can see, adding coffee grounds to your grass will help feed it with nutrients, improve soil structure and, ultimately, help it grow as healthily as possible. But, if you’ve collected more coffee grounds than you need, there are other ways you can use them throughout your garden.
Working coffee grounds into the soil in your flower beds can help to suppress fungal diseases. This is because they have antimicrobial properties.
And, as they break down over time, they lend their antimicrobial properties to the soil and help stop fungal diseases such as Pythium, Fusarium, and Sclerotinia from ruining your plants.
Since coffee grounds are so high in nitrogen, they also make a highly effective feed for tomato plants. Applying a thin layer to the top of the soil and watering it in will help your plants grow stronger and promote photosynthesis.
Finally, adding coffee grounds to the soil that hydrangeas are planted in can change the color of the flowers they produce! This is because a hydrangea’s flower color naturally changes depending on the acidity of the soil.
If you’ve got a hydrangea with pink flowers, adding coffee grounds to the soil it is planted in will increase the acidity in the soil and turn the flowers blue!
Coffee Grounds And Cats
By now you’re probably itching to get out and sprinkle coffee grounds all over your grass. However, one thing that you need to be aware of is that caffeine is highly toxic to cats.
So, if you have a pet cat or even if you have one that visits your garden on a regular basis, we’d recommend adding coffee grounds to your compost rather than scattering them directly onto the soil.
By doing this, you’re giving the caffeine a chance to break down, mixing it with other materials, and reducing the chances of any caffeine coming into contact with a cat.
Likewise, if you’re using coffee grounds in your flower beds, make sure you work it into the soil rather than scattering it on top. This will make it much harder for a cat to dig them up.