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  • Coffee grounds...would you??

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ID:	714722 I've been experimenting this year with using large quantities of coffee grounds in my garden along with leaves and wood chips as mulch on the surface.

    Anybody have any adverse experiences with them? It's kind of too late now, but...

    ​??
    Eugene OR 8b WL: Capoll Curt Negra, Del Sen Jaune Gran, Calderona, and Tia Penya

  • #2
    If you like a bunch of green mold, then go for it

    Don't put it on in a solid layer like a mulch, it will cake up and mold as I mentioned. Feel free to include in your soil mix as an amendment though.
    Richard - San Diego 10a

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    • Bry
      Bry commented
      Editing a comment
      Ever done bokashi?

  • #3
    I went into various starbucks and asked for used grounded coffee over a month period. Must have collected few hundreds pound!

    Before soil is hard clay, but now is so much better, plus attract lots of earth worms. Hard to attribute to the coffee alone since I also mixed in compost and woodchips mulch.

    Felt odd and weird asking for used coffee, but totally worth it.
    Sacramento, CA 9B
    WL: More space for fig trees!

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    • #4
      Starbucks is always happy to save them up and give them to you. Like others have said, do not pack them on top. Mix them in. If you put them as a layer, they will cake up and make it hard for water to get through, too.
      9a/b - Vegas, baby! WL: Texas Peach, BFF, La Joya Unk, Exquisito, Smith, I258, Battaglia Green, 187-25, CLBC, Cardenillo, White Baca, Del Monte, Raspberry Tart, Edith Lamb, Thermalito, Hative D'Argenteuil, Azores, Martinenca Rimada, Paratjal Rimada, Golden Rainbow

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      • #5
        Coffee grounds are rumored to inhibit growth in large quantities. I've used them in small amounts; for larger amounts composting might be better.

        Let us know how large amounts fare.
        Johnson1
        Zone 9b
        S of Tampa Bay, FL

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        • #6
          FigHearted how do you mix it in? im thinking of using for my potted figs, do i need to like pull the fig out and put coffee ground under than put fig on top? or like mix it with new soil then i can lay it over without pulling the pot out?
          Please subscribe to my youtube channel all about figs and fruit trees thank you! https://www.youtube.com/c/kimtien

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          • AustinPermie
            AustinPermie commented
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            If you use it in your potted trees, be sure to account for that as part of your fertilizer regiment, otherwise, you might have more nitrogen than you desire.

          • Seattlefiggirl
            Seattlefiggirl commented
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            ahh very good to know thank you!

        • #7
          Earthworms love coffee grounds. Definitely add spent grounds to your compost. While a top layer will mold, it also dissuades (ie kills) slugs and snails because they can’t handle the caffeine, even in small amounts. It’s a great natural alternative to salts and baits.

          I've seen the theory that it stunts growth, but I haven’t seen that happen to my plants, but I don’t use a really large amount and all the grounds I use are spent.
          Willamette Valley Oregon, zone 8b. WL: zaffiro, rodgrod, campaniere, de la Gloria, thermalito, del sen juame gran, Sangue dolce, Jack Lily, verdolino, Syrian dark, rubado, sodus Sicilian, Burgan, i258, raasti, white triana, petravaca bijela, bordissot verda

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          • JCT
            JCT commented
            Editing a comment
            Please tell this to the slugs and snails in my garden. I tried to put a layer of coffee grounds around some plants that the snails seemed to love, but they went right over the grounds! I could see the snail trails go right over the coffee and onto the plant. I went back to Sluggo....

          • Sod
            Sod commented
            Editing a comment
            Dang. Works great for me

        • #8
          Seattlefiggirl To me, no soil amendment is worth the risk of pulling out an existing and growing fig tree. Just mix it in your soil mix when first preparing to up-pot. Not a lot, just as an amendment. If it is too late for that, just mix it with other amendments or else just sprinkle over the top. Think of it like adding salt or other seasonings to what you are cooking (minus the tasting part, LOL). Sprinkle it on top and mix it in a bit. You have plenty of time to add more if you need it. But it is a real pain to remove if you add to much at once and clog up watering.

          I used to use coffee grounds, but have not for a while. If I remember correctly, it keeps ants away, too. I remember making a ring of the grounds about 1" - 1.5" thick a couple of inches away from the trunk. The ants didn't cross it. I then had to make sure that the leaves didn't touch anything else that the ants could and would climb up to cross over. The only thing is, if you top water, your ring will not last long if you are not careful.

          Also, be careful to remember that coffee grounds are small particles. They are also absorbent particles. Both of these traits make for good moisture holders in the ground. Too much of a good thing can be bad. The down side is they can hold too much water and upset the balance that you are used to when it comes to watering and lead to root rot for container grown plants.
          9a/b - Vegas, baby! WL: Texas Peach, BFF, La Joya Unk, Exquisito, Smith, I258, Battaglia Green, 187-25, CLBC, Cardenillo, White Baca, Del Monte, Raspberry Tart, Edith Lamb, Thermalito, Hative D'Argenteuil, Azores, Martinenca Rimada, Paratjal Rimada, Golden Rainbow

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          • Seattlefiggirl
            Seattlefiggirl commented
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            thank you so much i think im not too worry about tea leaves i guess its the coffee grounds that is different.

          • FigHearted
            FigHearted commented
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            Seattlefiggirl, just remember that coffee grounds are very fine particles that do not dissolve. Any time you add fine, non-soluble particles to your potting mix, you are going to increase the water retention because you have increased the amount of surface area to which the water molecules will adhere. The amount of surface area in 1 cup of pea gravel vs 1 cup of coffee grounds is exponentially different.

          • Seattlefiggirl
            Seattlefiggirl commented
            Editing a comment
            ok thank you so much to learn

        • #9
          Dans mon jardin...

          café à l'ail... Click image for larger version

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ID:	715036 café aux myrtilles Click image for larger version  Name:	blueberries 2020.jpg Views:	0 Size:	5.62 MB ID:	715032 mais jamais de café avec mes bébés figues!! Click image for larger version  Name:	early fig starts.jpg Views:	0 Size:	3.20 MB ID:	715034
          Eugene OR 8b WL: Capoll Curt Negra, Del Sen Jaune Gran, Calderona, and Tia Penya

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          • Bry
            Bry commented
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            Sorry...just having fun with google translate. I mostly use coffee grounds in my compost piles along with leaves, grass clippings, etc. I'm interested to see if the coffee gives a nitrogen lift! Supposed to be 2.0 - 0.3 - 0.3 (NPK)

        • #10
          I don't know about figs, but my grandmother dumped her coffee grounds in the the raspberry patch outside her back door since the civil war (ok, 1930s) and as a child, I relished those raspberries.
          Dale

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          • #11
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ID:	715567 grass is cut and coffee/leaf compost is spread over it. We'll see how it grows!
            Eugene OR 8b WL: Capoll Curt Negra, Del Sen Jaune Gran, Calderona, and Tia Penya

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            • #12
              Over the years, I've been told by a few good sources that coffee grounds are a beneficial addition to any garden...AS LONG AS THEY ARE COMPOSTED FIRST!
              Also can sprinkle a small circle around the base of young plants to deter slugs, because the course grounds tear-up their delicate undersides
              Oregon City, OR (Zone 8b) by Portland.

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              • #13
                I’ve heard they are great for acid loving plants like hydrangea and blueberries. I’m curious if adding much could adversely impact the pH of the soil for figs. Also, I wonder how much of a deterrent it could be for fungus gnats; has anyone had any experience with this?
                -Carl (Marlton, NJ (Zone 6b/7a))
                WL: CdD mutant, De Tres Esplets, Nero del Cisternino, Sangue Dolce, BFF, Noir de Caromb, Sao Miguel Roxo, Dall Osso White, RGR

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                • #14
                  I've never tested this experimentally but I've read that because the acid in coffee beans is water soluble, little to no acid remains in the grounds once they have been used. Surely someone has tested used coffee grounds for acid content/PH?
                  Micah 4:4 - Wish list: I 258, Craven's Craving, Thermalito Socorro Black, Raspberry Tart and a bigger backyard.
                  Kingwood, Texas Zone 9a

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                  • Hammy
                    Hammy commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I just did a test on the coffee grounds:
                    pH of tap water - 6.54
                    pH of tap water with 1 Tbs used coffee grounds - 6.48
                    pH of tap water with 1 Tbs new coffee grounds - 5.74

                  • Enscribe
                    Enscribe commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Most people using large amounts would be using spent espresso beans from $tarbuckz or the like. I would speculate the numbers from those would be more acidic.

                  • RocketSkates
                    RocketSkates commented
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                    Hammy thanks for the data, good to know!

                • #15
                  They are supposed to be quite neutral after making your cup of joe. And why do they call it a cup of joe in the first place?

                  LOL - you want gnats? Just put out a pile of spent grounds somewhere. Finely chopped, moist, organic material...... yum yum!! Hotel California for gnats.

                  You can check out any time you like,
                  But you can never leave!


                  9a/b - Vegas, baby! WL: Texas Peach, BFF, La Joya Unk, Exquisito, Smith, I258, Battaglia Green, 187-25, CLBC, Cardenillo, White Baca, Del Monte, Raspberry Tart, Edith Lamb, Thermalito, Hative D'Argenteuil, Azores, Martinenca Rimada, Paratjal Rimada, Golden Rainbow

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                  • Bry
                    Bry commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Haven't had any gnat issues in the garden...even with v. heavy applications. But were in Oregon, it's much cooler here ( I mean temperature wise)

                • #16
                  Just wanted to give a little update on the coffee trials. So far I'm seeing pretty positive results (besides the explosion of my slug population.)

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ID:	779379 This little Chicago Hardy is lovin' it!! Click image for larger version

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                  Eugene OR 8b WL: Capoll Curt Negra, Del Sen Jaune Gran, Calderona, and Tia Penya

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                  • Sod
                    Sod commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Slugs are baaaaaaad this year

                • #17
                  I experimented with large amounts of coffee as a top dress this year. The plants that like acid seem to be good. The plants who don't are stunted and discolored. I believe it is the acid because it goes away over time. I will post some pictures later.

                  The caking issue wasnt an issue for me because it hasnt stopped raining long enough.....
                  Brooklyn, Washington. zone 8b, rainy winter, mild arid summer
                  Wishing for: Tashkent, LSU DC 4, 6, I-258/GN AF, De la Reina, Becane, Tx-BA1, Gris de St. Jean, Adam

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                  • #18
                    I use lots of coffee grounds on plants that love highly acidic soils, like sweet potatoes, otherwise, I compost them first. Might sprinkle a few in the potted trees, but not much and nothing with any flavorings to it. Just plain coffee.
                    Spring, TX-8b/9a: Garden, Swim, Tuna Fish. Would love to have food forest on my own island, like Onassis.(Dream on.) Wishlist: Gardening & Fig friends.
                    "You're a fig & we love you, fresh or dry." - From A Fig Rhyme for Children

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                    • Bry
                      Bry commented
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                      Nice advice...thanks!!

                    • MsFiggie
                      MsFiggie commented
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                      Bry I know you probably have this figured, but I only deal with used grounds after brewing. Had someone use fresh ones once & it wasn't pretty. GL, I think you'll do just fine.

                    • Bry
                      Bry commented
                      Editing a comment
                      MsFiggie Yes, I was carrying literally loads of grounds from several Starbucks and mixing with wood chips during our wet winter...results have been v. good so far! Thanks for the encouragement too.

                  • #19
                    Enscribe, there may be growth inhibitors in coffee grounds which affect some plants beyond the PH level.

                    Johnson1
                    Zone 9b
                    S of Tampa Bay, FL

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                    • #20
                      This might be of interest: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/ga...nds-composting
                      Worcester, Massachusetts, Zone 6a - In containers 1 gal - 15 gal. Wish list: Dore' de Porquerolles

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                    • #21
                      I have a friend in Austin who is growing date palm from seed in pots and majority of the mix is just coffee grounds and they seem to be doing way better than mine which are in the MG palm mix
                      Sal | Zone 8A | Prosper, TX | Gardening Channel
                      Wish List: I-258, Figo Preto, Black Madeira, Peters Honey, LSU Champagne, Smith, Yellow Long Neck, Black Zadar

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