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How to Make Compost From Coffee Grounds

Get more out of your daily brew by turning your coffee grounds into nutritious soil for plants.

Coffee beans aside from being delicious when brewed as a beverage, contain tons of vitamins and minerals that are perfect for making compost. Here are three easy ways you can use ground coffee to benefit your plants.

1. Compost your grounds.

Coffee is roughly 2% nitrogen and will break down naturally in a well maintained compost bin. Gardeners have been skeptical of adding coffee to compost as the prepared beverage is acidic. Recent studies have show that brewing coffee removes most of the acidity in the grounds and they are left with a ph value around 6-7. This makes them a perfect addition to any compost bin. We recommend a ratio of 1/3 grass, 1/3 used coffee grounds, and 1/3 leaves for a great compost. If you use paper filters with your morning brew you can include them as a substitute for leaves. You can even rip up the filter before adding to speed up the composting process.

2. Add used grounds directly to your soil.

If you don't have a compost bin or any experience with composting that's ok. Take your used coffee grounds and mix them in directly with your soil. Uncomposted coffee grounds a great for helping with water retention in soil and will natually add a small ammount of nitrogen over time. Make sure you mix the grounds in will as leaving them on the surface of the soil will actually keep water from sinking into the soil. We recommend a making the soil a maximum of 5% used coffee grounds.

3. Make a Coffee Fertilizer.

Soaking used coffee grounds in water will break down some of the nutrients in the coffee to make a great fertilizer your plants will love. For this add 6 tablespoons of used coffee grounds to a gallon of water and let sit over night. In the morning stir and strain out the remaining coffee. The resulting liquid will be a nutrient rich fertilizer that will keep your plants happy and healthy.

Bonus Tip!

Use fresh unused coffee grounds for plants that like acidic soil like blueberries, carrots, radishes, azaleas, and hydrangeas!

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