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Old 09-07-2008, 10:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

Hey Ya'll,

I hope that everyone is safe and out of harms way.

My wife was at a coffee shop the other day. They were giving away used coffee grounds. The idea is to recycle the grounds as a compost or fertilizer. Has anyone one had success with this? I am worried about the "flavoured" variety. I would think that the grounds were treated with some chemical to make chocolate hazelnut french roast supreme. Decaf has me worried as well.

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Old 09-07-2008, 10:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

Kenzie - in South Africa they used to topdress the playing fields with coffee grounds from the local factory, and I have always used them both in the compost heap and on the ground. I wouldn't think there could be anything too toxic in them as they are suitable for human consumption (in the liquid form). Can't help you out with the chemical composition etc though.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

i use coffee grounds and the filters in my compost. i dont think id use the decaf ones.
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Old 09-07-2008, 02:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

To decaf. coffee beans don't they use water?
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Old 09-07-2008, 06:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

YES Compost them.. worms love them... We compost everything... How cool you have somewhere to get grounds.. I believe if they go straight to the garden they can be a bit acidic..
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

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YES Compost them.. worms love them... We compost everything... How cool you have somewhere to get grounds.. I believe if they go straight to the garden they can be a bit acidic..
Bingo! A colleague of mine raises red wrigglers and sells them and their castings by the bagful at farmer's markets and plant shows. She feds them a combination of coffee grounds (from the coffee shop) and fresh yard trimmings.

Kylie also gives a good warning about composting the coffee grounds before you use them. Some acid-loving plants like Azaleas, Camellias, etc. won't mind a moderate amount as a top-dressing on mulch. Other plants will experience burn on their feeder roots. Composting coffee grounds with fresh yard trimmings and a moderate amount of real wood ash produces an excellent soil tonic and fertilizer.
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

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... How cool you have somewhere to get grounds.. ..
No Starbucks in your hood?
They give them away.
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

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Bingo! A colleague of mine raises red wrigglers and sells them and their castings by the bagful at farmer's markets and plant shows. She feds them a combination of coffee grounds (from the coffee shop) and fresh yard trimmings.

Kylie also gives a good warning about composting the coffee grounds before you use them. Some acid-loving plants like Azaleas, Camellias, etc. won't mind a moderate amount as a top-dressing on mulch. Other plants will experience burn on their feeder roots. Composting coffee grounds with fresh yard trimmings and a moderate amount of real wood ash produces an excellent soil tonic and fertilizer.
Richard, Would I be safe using uncomposted coffee grounds as a top dressing since everything here is so alkaline? (Although, the soil I use is Kelloggs's Garden soil with compost/Supersoil Cactus Mix at an approximate 50/50 mix) Perhaps it would benefit my the bananas by acidifying my alkaline water - what do you think?
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

OMG ROFL!! I have no HOOD ..I live in sure enough BFE!!! The only SB's is over 25 mi...HEHEHEHEHEHE
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:35 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

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Richard, Would I be safe using uncomposted coffee grounds as a top dressing since everything here is so alkaline? (Although, the soil I use is Kelloggs's Garden soil with compost/Supersoil Cactus Mix at an approximate 50/50 mix) Perhaps it would benefit my the bananas by acidifying my alkaline water - what do you think?
Our soil and water here is a bit alkaline: for many people the result of watering the native soil is a pH of 7.2 to 7.4. I've visited homes where they applied coffee grounds once per month on top of their mulch once per month. I think they were applying about a cup per plant per month. At some point several months later the plants begin to fry and upon testing the soil, I find the pH is 5 or lower. That was easy to correct with some liquid gypsum and the plants (most recently, roses) recovered in two months. But why torture your plants? Get a pH probe and test the soil once a month in between waterings. Your goal is to keep the pH between 6.0 and 6.5.

By the way, the Banana fertilizer you are using is acid forming, so definitely test the soil to see if additional acid is needed.
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Old 09-09-2008, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

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Our soil and water here is a bit alkaline: for many people the result of watering the native soil is a pH of 7.2 to 7.4. I've visited homes where they applied coffee grounds once per month on top of their mulch once per month. I think they were applying about a cup per plant per month. At some point several months later the plants begin to fry and upon testing the soil, I find the pH is 5 or lower. That was easy to correct with some liquid gypsum and the plants (most recently, roses) recovered in two months. But why torture your plants? Get a pH probe and test the soil once a month in between waterings. Your goal is to keep the pH between 6.0 and 6.5.

By the way, the Banana fertilizer you are using is acid forming, so definitely test the soil to see if additional acid is needed.
Thanks Richard, I bought one last week. Just gotta figure out how to use it . I have to calibrate it and then determine how to use it on soil. Once I get it figured out, I will talk to you about how to fix my soil.
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks Richard, I bought one last week. Just gotta figure out how to use it . I have to calibrate it and then determine how to use it on soil. Once I get it figured out, I will talk to you about how to fix my soil.
Really? The soil probes sold at big-box stores in the nursery section run about $15 and last for several years.



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Old 09-09-2008, 11:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

Ohhh, I have seen those, I didn't think that they were accurate enough. I will get one of these cheapies and see what my soil pH tests.
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Old 09-10-2008, 07:49 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

being a Starbucks employ say: we use the coffee grounds for compost but as Richard said they are rather acid i only top dress with them on my Azaleas and other acid loving plants by the way guys and gals Decaf is mad by washing the beens in cold water by us but there is a chemical process for doing it so i cant vouch for the other coffee company's and as for flavorings most coffees that are treated for flavor are of a chemical nature IE. artificial flavors i wouldn't use them unless they were really well roted. not to cut my Co. down but all those flavored syrups you all are drinking in your Carmel Mocioto's are artificial too the only flavor that starbucks uses that is pure is the Moca mix and the new and old hot chocolate hope that doesn't destroy any ones coffee allusions do your self a favor and stick with the brew its the purist and least adulterated (Nuthin But Coffee Beens and Highly Filtered Water) now how could that be bad for you LOL
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Old 09-10-2008, 08:58 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

I compost my coffee grounds. I don't think starbucks or any other coffee house seperate their coffee grounds. In regards to caffinated and decafinated.
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Old 09-10-2008, 09:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

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I compost my coffee grounds. I don't think starbucks or any other coffee house seperate their coffee grounds. In regards to caffinated and decafinated.
we dont but as i said with are coffee it dosint mater are decafe is procesed with water so thers nothing harmfull in them
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:48 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

Okay, I checked my potted soil by sticking the probes into the soil. The needle didn't really move. It is around 7 to 7.5 I believe. So, I will give them a quarter cup of coffee grounds until the ph comes down to the optimal range.

It's nice being able to call Pauly and ask for all of the free coffee grounds I can handle. Thanks Pauly!
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

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Okay, I checked my potted soil by sticking the probes into the soil. The needle didn't really move. It is around 7 to 7.5 I believe. So, I will give them a quarter cup of coffee grounds until the ph comes down to the optimal range.

It's nice being able to call Pauly and ask for all of the free coffee grounds I can handle. Thanks Pauly!
Give each dose of grounds about a week before measuring the impact. You might also find that after you stop adding grounds the pH drops a bit more over time. Eventually, your alkaline water will catch up with it though and it will be time to start adding again.
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:18 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Coffee grounds in compost or as a fertilizer

Hey ya'll,

And thanks all! This is all good stuff. I think I will invest in a soil tester. Then celebrate with a good cup of java.
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