Tomatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Lexington, NC
Question by cfugate
May 10, 2007
I have been told that putting coffee grounds around your tomatoe plants that it would make them grow. I would like to know what nutrients are in coffee grounds, and what other types of vegetables might be helped by them.


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Answer from NGA
May 10, 2007

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Studies have shown the effective role that spent coffee grounds can have in a garden as a fertilizer. Due to its high nitrogen content, spent coffee grounds contain properties that is excellent in plant health. As nitrogen is a crucial component of DNA, RNA, and proteins that plants need to build themselves, coffee is becoming increasingly used as a fertilizer. Additionally, recent studies have shown that spent coffee grounds also contain potassium, phosphorous, and other trace elements that only assist the development process for a plant. It is particularly effective for roses, as many gardeners swear that roses love coffee grounds as a fertilizer.

If you are interested in obtaining spent coffee grounds to use as a fertilizer, it's actually easier than you probably thought to obtain. Most local coffee shops will provide coffee grounds for a small price or for free. Large coffee shop chains tend to have a policy of composting coffee grounds, but often give them away to those who ask.

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