Composting Coffee Grounds - Knowledgebase Question

Portland, OR
Avatar for ben_wager
Question by ben_wager
January 19, 1998
I have been receiving coffee grounds from the local cafe as an ingredient for my compost. What will coffee grounds offer my soil? Is it carbon rather than nitrogen? How about the acidity? Will it harm my plants?

Answer from NGA
January 19, 1998
Coffee grounds have a C:N ratio of 20:1. The higher the carbon ratio, the longer it will take to break down. To enhance the process, mix your coffee grounds with fresh grass clippings. You can add the uncomposted coffee grounds to the soil around acid loving plants, like azaleas, camellias and blueberries. Or, you can compost the grounds and use the compost on most any plant. Here's an excellent website to visit and learn all about the fine details of composting:

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