Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Coffee Grounds in the Garden

Thursday, January 26, 2012

If there's one good thing that has come out of being stuck on the sofa with this bad back, it's that I've been surfing away on various gardening and homesteading blogs.  One of the things that I've been thinking about alot is the stuff that we throw away every day.  In particular, the food scraps and other things that can be going into our new composters.

One interesting post that I ran across is over on Craving Fresh and covers how to use coffee grounds in the garden to improve your soil.  I'm not a coffee drinker, but J. is and every morning he throws out his grounds and a paper filter.  Apparently, coffee grounds make a great fertilizer because they're really rich in nitrogen!  So, instead of buying commercial fertilizer, I've got a ready supply already.  Just add 2 cups of grounds to a 5-gallon bucket of water, let it steep for a few hours and then pour it onto the plants.  And here are a couple more uses for coffee grounds that I found on the Interwebs:

  • They supposedly deter slugs and snails but I haven't had a problem with those yet.  I guess slugs don't like caffeine.
  • Grounds are naturally acidic, so they will help balance the pH of your soil if it's on the alkaline side.
  • They're lightweight, porous, and high in organic matter, so they are a great amendment to potting soil.   
  • You can use them like mulch around plants that love acidity (blueberries, roses or azaleas, anyone?)  Just don't pile them more than an inch deep or you may end up with mold.
  • Worm farms love coffee grounds.
  • Starbucks introduced a grounds recycling program in 2001.  You can read more about it here.

Now I just have to find a container for J. to put the grounds in rather than in the trash.  (It sounds like a big deal, but his coffee maker is on our 2nd floor near the bedroom so that he doesn't have to go all the way down to the kitchen on the 1st floor every morning.)  Maybe I need to save up for this cute little thing.

If you've used coffee grounds in your garden, I'd love to hear about it.  Did you see a noticeable difference in plant growth?  Do you have any other uses for coffee grounds?


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