Millions of tons of used coffee and tea should be going into the ground or your garden instead of the trash bin and could easily become a daily green activity for a large percentage of the population.
Coffee grounds should really be one of the preferred materials to be used for compost and fertilizer. Consider using coffee grounds instead of manure, since there is less chance to add to the local pathogen population. Coffee grounds have proven effective to help kill various diseases living in roots and seeds of plants.
Compost Heat is great because heat kills pathogens and weed seeds. Coffee grinds were more effective than manure at maintaining high core temperatures in the range of 135 to 155 F for two weeks according to a study by Oregon State University Extension Service.
Coffee grounds are not unlike giving your soil a Vitamin as they are a good source of nitrogen, calcium and magnesium that are greatly beneficial for the growth of plants.
The Good Critters:
The caffeine and acid in coffee grounds are good food for worms that help spread the nutrients and fertilize the plants and aerate the soil, which creates more oxygen for the roots. Google vermicomposting to learn all about composting with worms.
The Bad & The Ugly Critters:
Snails and Slugs typically find the caffeine and acid present in coffee grounds to be fatal.
Other Benefits of recycling your Coffee Grounds:
They are free
Are more pleasant & fragrant to use than most compost/fertilizer
Using coffee grounds also reduces the demand for chemically based fertilizers.
U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), says organic materials take up space at landfills and produce methane and leachate pollutants, so any reduction is helpful.
Too much of a good thing is also bad so the general rule is don’t make coffee grounds more than 20% of any given volume of compost.
EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 30 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+, Linked in or website