Coffee Grounds in Your Garden Soil From Master Gardener David Wall

March 17, 2024 – Many of you use your “used” coffee for fertilizer in your gardens. You like the results, but you have to experiment to find the best way to do it. Coffee used for fertilizer is not exactly a new idea. Also, many of you put coffee grounds in your compost piles where they mix with other organic contents, eventually resulting in large soil additives.

It should be noted, however, that this is made with coffee grounds, not coffee liquid. Coffee liquids, at least, should be diluted (50/50) before adding to the garden or compost pile. Dilution with tap water increases the pH of the liquid from a normal 5.2 – 6.9 to 6.5-7.0. Liquid coffee contains nitrogen, magnesium and potassium which are good, but it can have things added to it, such as milk, cream, or artificial sweeteners, none of which will make your compost pile or plants.

Used coffee grounds are great in the whole garden, but are perhaps best used on tomato plants from seed to mature plants. They will help seeds germinate faster, support growth, and allow mature plants to produce more tomatoes. The nutrients mentioned above in coffee are in a form that in the soil can be easily absorbed by the roots of the tomato plant. In addition, the coffee grounds used in the soil absorb a large amount of water, which is then retained around the roots of the plant, thus providing moisture for the seeds of young plants and the roots later. Two spoons scraped into the soil around the plant pit begins the process. Two more on the ground provide additional support. Nutrients will escape from the soil and go through the roots of the plant.

After making your morning coffee, pour another pot of water on the soil and save it to provide additional fertilizer. Finally, the bottom line here is that this fertilizer is free!

coffee grounds