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Coffee Tips

Are Coffee Grounds Good For Compost?

If you like drinking coffee, you probably go through a lot of coffee grounds in a month. And like most coffee drinkers, you throw your used coffee grounds in the trash without a second thought.

coffee grounds for compost

Has it ever occurred to you that used coffee grounds can be recycled? One primary reason for recycling coffee grounds is the gases they emit in landfills that contribute to global warming.

And if that’s not something you think about, you may decide to find other ways of using coffee grounds to get more out of them.

Good coffee beans are quite expensive, and it feels good when you can get more out of coffee grounds than the beverages you take every morning.

A good idea is to add them to your compost. That’s a mixture of decaying matter made up of organic materials such as kitchen remains that are used to fertilize plants.

You can create a pit in your garden or use a bin as a compost reservoir when creating this organic fertilizer.


How Coffee Grounds Improve the Quality of Compost

Coffee grounds are one of the best ingredients to use in your compost. Although a lot of nutrients are extracted from coffee grounds during the coffee brewing process, some minerals remain that you can use in compost.

Since coffee brewed using coffee grounds is unpleasant, these nutrients are better off in your compost, where they can make fertilizer that will benefit the plants in your garden.

Some examples of the minerals in coffee grounds are Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Iron.

These minerals are ideal for growing leafy greens in vegetable patches and healthy flowers in flower gardens.

Coffee grounds also improve compost quality and structure by adding nutrients to it.

Compost made with coffee grounds can;

  • Improve soil water retention capabilities
  • Enhance soil drainage and aeration
  • Amend soil by adding essential nutrients to it
  • Repel pesky pests such as slugs and snails
  • Attract beneficial creatures to it, such as earthworms

You can use compost made using coffee grounds to grow flowers such as Azaleas, Hydrangeas, and Lilies.

Veggies like carrots and radishes also flourish when fertilized with coffee grounds or compost containing coffee grounds.


How to Make Compost Using Coffee Grounds

Although making compost using coffee grounds seems complicated, it’s as easy as mixing them in with other ingredients in a compost pit or bin.

Sprinkle them over all the other compost ingredients and turn the compost for a few minutes weekly. Leave that for a few months, and you’ll have the most amazing compost fertilizer for your flower or vegetable garden.

You can also use a compost tumbler to make compost with coffee grounds and other materials in 3 weeks.

Remember that coffee grounds are considered the green matter in composting. You must mix them with brown matter such as dry leaves, grass cuttings, and bark to balance the nutrition in compost.

If you have a large quantity of brown and green matter, measure them out at a ratio of 30:1.

Thirty should represent the brown matter you add to compost, while 1 represents green matter like coffee grounds.

You can also add unbleached coffee filters to your compost. These brown paper filters are considered brown compost matter.

Unbleached coffee filters are usually rich in carbon, which balances out the nitrogen from coffee grounds and other materials in the compost. These filters also increase the oxygen levels in compost pits and reduce unpleasant odors.


What To Avoid When Composting With Coffee Grounds

There are things you should avoid when composting with coffee grounds. One mistake most people make is pouring excessive amounts of coffee grounds into their compost.

Coffee grounds should only make up 20 percent of compost matter. Anything more than that will spoil your soil’s nutritional value and pH. It will also kill any beneficial organisms in it due to over-heating.

Excessive amounts of coffee grounds in compost may also cause over decomposition of organic matter resulting in slimy fertilizer that you cannot use in your garden.

That’s why you need brown matter to balance coffee grounds and other green materials in a compost pit.

Using too much brown matter in compost may cause it to heat up and accidentally catch fire.

So, sticking to the recommended 30:1 ratio when adding materials, including coffee grounds, to your compost is the best way to go.

Remember to rinse coffee grounds before adding them to compost to lower their pH and eliminate any excess caffeine in them. That will ensure the compost does not change the pH of your soil, preventing plants from thriving in it.

And when you decide to use the compost in soil, avoid doing it during the germination stage of your plants. Coffee grounds can inhibit the growth of plants during this time. Use it after the plants have established themselves.



That’s information on how to use coffee grounds in composting. Now that you know they are beneficial for gardening, you don’t have to throw them away. You can use them to create a beautiful garden instead.

If you have stale coffee grounds in your pantry, it’s time to try making compost with them. You can also use them in garden mulch because they aid in moisture retention.

And if you notice any fungus on your plants, spread coffee grounds around them to stop the fungal attack.

Coffee grounds are great weed killers, so you can always spread them over your lawn for this purpose if gardening is not your thing.

You may also find other coffee grounds recycling projects that please you apart from using them in gardening. They are used in beauty care routines and home care, such as in making coffee scrubs and home deodorizers.

Reusing coffee grounds in this way will ensure you do not add to the millions of tonnes of coffee grounds in landfills that contribute to global warming by producing methane gas.

If you can’t get enough coffee grounds for your projects, don’t worry. You can always get free coffee grounds from shops and restaurants. Starbucks offers them to customers for free through their Grounds for your Garden project.

That tells you that you can never lack coffee grounds to use in your garden or home projects as long as you are interested in recycling them.


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