You buy sustainably grown coffee and tea whenever possible. Fantastic! The farmers thank you for your support.
However, did you know that you can take your eco-sensibilities another step by turning your daily grind (or cuppa tea) into a great compost, fertilizer or special food for acid-loving plants?
The caffeine in coffee grounds is an excellent source of nitrogen. Nitrogen gets “fixed” by bacteria in soil, creating a high quality compost for your plants. Add it to your compost pile. Coffee filters and tea bags break down rapidly during composting so throw them in too!
You can also sprinkle a little around your plants before rain or watering for slow-release nitrogen.
Azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias thrive in acid soils. They’ll especially love the grounds when they’re flowering.
To make a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer, put a half pound of wet grounds into five gallons of water, and let it sit for a few hours. Then mix it into the soil for houseplants or new vegetable beds.
Feed a few coffee grounds to your worms (as in vermiculture) for their daily cup of Joe.
Mix coffee grounds and crushed egg shells, and encircle tender plants with the blend. Slugs and coffee griounds are not compatible bedfellows.
Don’t have a garden? Put your grounds in a bag and save in the refrigerator for a friend who does. Note: Coffee grounds mold easily. If they won’t be used immediately, allow them to dry out before you bag them.