Coffee Grounds as Fertilizer for your Veggies

Fertilizer can be a big expense, but it doesn't have to be. Used coffee grounds and eggshells are free and provide much-needed nutrients to the soil. By using these items in the garden, not only are plants getting the nourishment they need, but these items will not be taking up space in a landfill. Storing coffee grounds and eggshells in a countertop composter, plastic container or plastic bag will prevent them from attracting bugs while you collect enough to use in the garden. It is important while collecting eggshells and coffee grounds that the soil remains dry and not humid to prevent unnecessary molds. Make sure that what you collect does not rot in the bags or container. I like to start collecting coffee grounds in autumn and winter. It's actually not really important when you start to collect coffee grounds, autumn and winter is just my personal preference. The quality of the coffee is not really important as all coffee's have a fertilizing effect. I would go for the cheap coffee grounds if you intend to spend money on fertilizers.


Direct Application of Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are an excellent free source of nitrogen, an element all plants need. A common misconception about coffee grounds as a fertilizer is that it may cause problems because of high acidity. But coffee grounds are close to neutral, with a pH between 6.5 and 6.8, making them a good choice for all plants. Each type of plant will prefer a different amount of coffee, so start small by adding 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds around each plant, lightly working it into the soil once a week. Observe how your plants react and add more each week until they stop showing signs of improvement.




Composted Coffee Grounds

Composted coffee grounds are probably the best, as they provide a good source of nitrogen and mildly acidic soil. However, if you don't want to get involved in composting, I think you'll be fine putting coffee grounds directly in the soil and mixing it slightly. It probably might take a little longer to break down on its own, but it'll be ok. Coffee "tea" is also one way of doing it, but I think it's more of a diluted one-time fertilizer drink for the plant.

You don't get the same benefit as having the coffee grounds in the soil, which dissolve a little bit of nutrients each day and encourage growth of microbes. Coffee grounds are great for plants that like slightly acidic soil like tomatoes and blueberries.Coffee grounds can be used in compost like other kitchen scraps. Paper filters can be composted as well, making coffee composting as easy as throwing it in the garbage. Combine equal parts grounds, grass clippings and dry leaves to create simple and effective compost. Combine all ingredients and turn the compost over with a pitchfork once a week. Depending on the outdoor temperature, the compost should be ready to add to the garden in a few weeks.





Eggshell Tea


Eggshells are rich calcium. Without the proper amount of calcium in the soil, plants may produce deformed blooms. You may be buying lime to prevent this problem, but eggshells are just as effective. Store eggshells in a large container of water, adding more shells as you go. Let the mixture steep for at least a few days or up to several weeks. Combine 1 cup eggshell tea to 1 gallon of water and thoroughly water plants. Up to 1 gallon of the mixture can be used per plant. The added calcium will give plants a much-needed boost through production season.


Powdered Eggshells

Powdered eggshells can be added around the base of plants as a slow-release fertilizer. This process will benefit plants all season, and you can add it throughout the growing season. Allow eggshells to dry, then pulse in a blender until they become a fine powder. Sprinkle around the base of each plant.





Comments

  1. Now I'm reading this after having given up raising chickens! Surely they would have been better than 'store bought' egg shells!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely agree! Never give up on raising chickens by the way.

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  2. and the chicken manure is like nothing else once its composted down

    ReplyDelete

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