Gardening can sometimes be confusing, especially nowadays that we have so many online resources, tips, and tricks to go through. These resources can often confuse us because they contradict each other, which leaves us helpless regarding what to do with our plants. One of the most talked-about topics in the world of gardening is coffee grounds. They're a pretty cheap tool and therefore liked by many, but are they really good for your plants?
In today's post, we'll teach you everything you need to know about the usage of coffee grounds in the world of gardening. Let's start with the basics and then focus more on the advice and the tricks. Did you know that using coffee grounds can ruin your progress if you don't educate yourself? Without further ado, let's jump into the topic.
What are coffee grounds?
When you brew coffee, the residue remaining can be used for many different things. In movies, you might see a fortune teller use coffee grounds for predictions! Used coffee grounds can also be beneficial for your plants, which is why many people take this fertilizing method a step further - they brew coffee specifically for this occasion instead of just using the waste they have after they drink coffee.
The fresher, the better - you might want to include this fertilization method in your daily routine. However, not before you read the rest of our advice - it's important to do this properly in order not to hurt your plants.
Why do we use coffee grounds while gardening?
Coffee is used for composting, but it can also be used as a mulch. A mulch is essentially an additional layer of protection that you add on top of the pre-existing soil. This layer protects the soil by helping it keep its natural moisture, reducing weed growth, and improving the fertility of the soil.
People love to drink coffee, and the health benefits of the same have been discussed before - as long as you don't make it with a bunch of sugar and creamer, you should be good to go. The same goes for the plants - proper, black coffee residue can be great for the plant's health.
Coffee grounds contain a lot of potassium (up to twelve grams per kilo), magnesium, and phosphorus (about two grams per kilo both). The greatest advantage of coffee grounds is that they release nitrogen into the soil in a progressive manner. Plants that thrive on acidic soil might benefit from this the most. Many gardeners have noticed that blueberries and various other berries seem to be positively impacted by this method of fertilization.
There is also a theory that the caffeine found in this mulch acts as a repellent - snails, slugs, and other pests seem to be negatively impacted by this, and they tend to avoid it. Worms, however, love this fertilizer - if you're a vermicomposting fan, you might want to look into this topic.
Can I use coffee grounds on roses?
So, what about roses? Are roses one of those plants that cannot be fertilized with coffee grounds? Well, you can exhale in relief - coffee grounds are definitely compatible with roses. The nitrogen works well for them, but you need to educate yourself before deciding to do this, as there are negative consequences such as nitrogen burns.
So, yes, you can, but you need to dilute it and properly care for the roses in the meantime. They need to be strong and healthy in order to use all the benefits the coffee provides properly.
The use of coffee grounds is most popular in the spring, as this is the start of the growing season, and it helps with essential minerals by preparing the soil for any additional planting later on. We'll talk about timing later on as well.
How do I use coffee grounds properly?
It's always useful to dilute the coffee grounds, and you should use about one cup of grounds in a gallon of water, which is about 250 grams of material to 4 liters of water. Mixing the two will help when it comes to distributing the grounds and preventing any burns.
Alternatively, you can sprinkle around the 250 grams of material around each plant and then water everything with about one to two gallons of water. This is a little bit riskier, as there could remain a portion of the materials that haven't been watered and mixed into the soil, making it quite ineffective.
You could also add the coffee grounds to the organic mulch you're preparing for your soil. You can distribute this mulch around the plants at a few inches of depth, and the rain will mix it up.
April and May are the best months for rose fertilization, as the roses emerge and open their leaves. Many people apply coffee grounds during later August, and this is not a good idea - you'll waste the material, the rose will possibly turn black, and you'll have to remove the damaged portion.
Tips and tricks
Add banana peels to the mix - you can soak them in water to create vitamin-enriched watering material. You can also cut the peels and add them to the compost. It's up to you.
A great trick you can also use is the idea of putting coffee grounds in the little hole you make when you're planting acid-loving plants. For roses, this isn't needed, but it can be great for various berries.
You can also use pre-made mixes and just add the coffee grounds to that, but it's more beneficial to do the other methods.
Rose bushes can definitely benefit from the coffee grounds - just make sure that you use water with added coffee grounds or sprinkle smaller quantities. You could definitely damage the plants by overdoing this, so make sure to start in April or May and have some moderation. Give the plant some time to breathe, and you'll notice changes in growth.