Can you share some tips for using coffee grounds in the garden? I have three kinds of roses plus a vegetable plot I want to fertilize and protect from pests like aphids. I heard that coffee grounds will do the trick.
Nancy Gower, Ogden, UT
It’s smart to start using coffee grounds for plants in the garden. Instead of throwing them out, you can save money by using them to fertilize your plants. And yes, the grounds will repel pests like mites and aphid and snails. You can read the full details about ways to use coffee grounds in your garden here.
Meanwhile, coffee grounds will attract beneficial bugs like earthworms. The worms will aerate the soil, and so will the grounds themselves. This works especially well around ground cover plants, to provide an extra way to keep the soil moist. If you live in an arid place, you’ll find that this way to use coffee grounds in the garden will also help the soil retain moisture and you’ll have to water a little less often.
Don’t be alarmed if you see some maggots in the garden. A few maggots are good for compost and the garden and function like the earthworms do. If you have a larger number, investigate the soil. There may be something dead you need to remove, like a bird or vole.
While unwashed coffee grounds may raise the acidity of the ground, washed grounds are close to neutral pH. Simply mix them in your compost to add nitrogen to the soil. Just be sure to balance them out with refuse like old hay or wood chips to maintain the compost balance of brown and green material.
If you want to boost the acid levels of the ground for your roses, carrots, or radishes, try putting coffee grounds around them. And if you have hydrangeas, you’ll find they bloom a deep blue color under the influence of coffee. Be careful to keep the grounds away from tomatoes; they don’t do well in acidic soil. Instead, use baking soda for tomatoes in the garden to reduce acidity.
Finally, if you cut perennials or flowers to place in a vase, put them in coffee grounds. You’ll see that they stay fresher for longer. Grounds are useful in many ways all around the house and yard. To sum it all up, check out that article for more information.