There are several great uses for coffee grounds in the garden and around the home. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen. They also contain vitamins and nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other trace minerals. All of these nutrients will benefit flowers, fruits and vegetables! Not only are coffee grounds great for the garden, there are several uses for coffee ground around the home.
Uses for Coffee Grounds in the Garden
Compost bin: Coffee grounds thrown into the compost bin will aid in breakdown. Even though they are brown colored, they will be considered “green matter” in the compost because of their high nitrogen content. We will talk more on green and brown matter in compost bins in another post.
Garden: We use a small amount in the garden. The nitrogen will help the plants grow stockier and bigger. But a word of caution is needed here. Most vegetables prefer a more alkaline soil. To many coffee grounds will make the ground overly acidic. A safer route, and one we prefer, is to compost them first. You can use all the compost you like!
When used in the compost pile, you can throw in filter and all! The filter will compost down too!
Coffee ground tea for the garden: A good way to use coffee grounds for the garden is to make a tea to give them a pick me up. Plants enjoy tea time too! To make coffee ground tea, use 2 cups coffee grounds in a 5 gal bucket of water. Steep overnight by letting it sit. Use the tea to water garden plants and houseplants.
Acid loving plants love coffee grounds because they are high in acidity. Coffee grounds are wonderful used around plants such as roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, evergreen plants like Hollies, etc. Just dump your daily grounds right in around these acid loving plants. As a bonus, the coffee grounds looks nice as a mulch!
Worm bed: Worms love their coffee fix as much as we do! Just be careful not to use to many coffee grounds at once. For a small worm bin, I wouldn’t go over a cup per week. To much of the acid from the coffee may throw off the balance in the worms environment.
Slugs: Coffee grounds are abrasive and acidic. Slugs will avoid them, so use where slugs are a problem.
Cats: Keep cats out of your garden and flower beds with a mixture of used coffee grounds and orange peels. Place the mix around the plants and throughout the beds.
Ants: Detour ants by sprinkling around the area of the ant infestation. Place in known entry areas to your home, such as doorways, to prevent them from coming in.
Household Uses for Coffee Grounds
Deodorize hands: Rub grounds together in hands to remove odors from cooking such as onions and garlic odors.
Fridge and freezer: Coffee grounds will remove odors in refrigerators and freezers. They can be used for common ever day food odors and if you’ve had the misfortune of a power failure. To deal with the dreaded ‘spoiled food smell’ in the freezer, just fill a couple of bowls with used or fresh coffee grounds and place them in the freezer overnight.
Closets and drawers: Place a bowl of grounds in the closet to remove stale and musty odors. This also works great in dresser drawers!
Fireplace: If you have a fireplace, or a wood stove, coffee grounds can be used when cleaning the ash from them. Before cleaning, sprinkle wet grounds over the ash. This will make the ashes easier to remove and keep the dust settled.
Furniture: Make furniture scratches less noticeable by steeping the grounds and then applying a small amount to the scratches. The coffee grounds will stain the scratches, making them less noticeable.
Who knew there could be so many uses for coffee grounds that usually get thrown out? Oh, and I make it easy on myself by having an old butter bowl I keep under the kitchen sink to keep them until there are a few. It saves on trips to the compost pile
Do you have any other uses for coffee grounds? We would love to hear them!