Ask a Question forum→I recently read coffee grounds are bad for Gardening??? What do you think?

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Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
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PamelaLynn77
Dec 10, 2018 11:11 AM CST
Just curious what you gardeners think about coffee grounds?
Also what about coffee grounds in potted plants, curious about what others think.......



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[Last edited by PamelaLynn77 - Dec 10, 2018 12:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
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cwhitt
Dec 10, 2018 11:44 AM CST
Hmmmm - I always use coffee grounds on my roses, and they seem to like it. I do know that coffee grounds tend to lean towards acidic, so maybe not so good for plants that don't like slightly acidic soil? I also use them on my Amaryllis. I also use egg shells and banana peels too.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Pamela Gregory
Md (Zone 6b)
Gardening A Perfect antidepressant
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PamelaLynn77
Dec 10, 2018 11:57 AM CST


[Last edited by PamelaLynn77 - Dec 10, 2018 11:58 AM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Dec 10, 2018 12:45 PM CST
I think, like everything else, coffee grounds should be used sparingly on potted plants. In the garden, they can work wonders.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 10, 2018 1:17 PM CST
The eggshells will never decompose - you have to grind them into powder first. Banana peels? Fruit fly time. Like eggshells, they need to be blended or dried and ground up. Coffee grounds, by the time the coffee has been leached out (and then you drank it) make good compost but that's about it.

You should both start a compost bin, your garden will be more attractive and less buggy without food waste. Smiling

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
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cwhitt
Dec 10, 2018 2:30 PM CST
My compost bin if full of all three, and I have never had a problem.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Dec 11, 2018 7:45 AM CST
@PamelaLynn77 -- This article says a bit of the same, but also very different - and I tend to agree with this article more. I have a lot of earthworms in my compost bin and they like coffee grounds -to the point that they open up baby nurseries in my bin. Also, by Amaryllis, roses and pepper plants seem to thrive on them.

https://www.gardeningknowhow.c...

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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Dec 11, 2018 8:23 AM CST
It is my understanding that coffee grounds are acidic by nature. Coffee is an acidic drink. I would imagine that rhododendrons, azaleas and evergreens would like a soil with coffee grounds.
I am not sure about veggies but I think I read somewhere that they prefer a ph neutral soil.
When you grow orchids, it is all about the ROOTS!!!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
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sooby
Dec 11, 2018 8:42 AM CST
Bill, the drink may be acidic but the grounds are not necessarily.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Dec 11, 2018 8:59 AM CST
We have six compost bins and have added coffee grounds, eggshells, and kitchen waste for the 26 years we've had them: no odors at all.
Thumb of 2018-12-11/pirl/552c7c Thumb of 2018-12-11/pirl/0c3ddd

As for the acidity in coffee grounds...

Thumb of 2018-12-11/pirl/0d2bbf
Thumb of 2018-12-11/pirl/231871
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Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
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crawgarden
Dec 11, 2018 9:28 AM CST
Every year I get a big bag of coffee grounds from Starbucks, use them in my compost, never an issue.
Isaac Asimov, once wrote, “Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Dec 11, 2018 9:35 AM CST
I did read that brewing the coffee takes a lot of the acidity out, but that it depends on your method of brewing and how long it brews for. I happen to use the coffee grounds on acid loving plants, but also when I test the soil it remains pretty neutral so I don't think it adds that much acidity. @pirl - it that meter in straight coffee grounds or treated soil? I can't tell.
As far as killing earth worms as stated in that first article - I have an old big pot that a tree came in that I use for my compost bin - earthworms climb up into it and breed - lots of baby wrigglers - they seem to do just fine with my coffee grounds. I add other stuff too though - banana peels, egg shells etc. But they seem to thrive. I even bring the grounds home from work to use - been using them for years.
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Dec 11, 2018 10:07 AM CST
"A commonly held assumption states that coffee grounds are acidic, but this does not hold true experimentally. While two studies on coffee ground composting reported mildly acidic pHs of 4.6 and 5.26, others have measured neutral (7.7) to somewhat alkaline (8.4) pH levels. One researcher found that the pH of soil treated with coffee compost increased after 14 to 21 days of incubation, gradually decreasing thereafter. Obviously the pH of decomposing coffee grounds is not stable and one shouldn't assume that it will always, or ever be acidic."

From Washington State University:
https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/...

When I tested my own coffee grounds they were 6.8. Some plants are actually inhibited by coffee grounds.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Dec 11, 2018 10:58 AM CST
cwhitt, I can't figure out who you are disagreeing with.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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pirl
Dec 11, 2018 10:59 AM CST
Both testers were inserted in coffee grounds, no soil.
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
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BigBill
Dec 11, 2018 11:06 AM CST
I just read on the Internet where brewing coffee is acidic but the brewing process renders the leftover grounds essentially neutral!!
Interesting! Confused D'Oh!

So I stand corrected and informed.
When you grow orchids, it is all about the ROOTS!!!
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Dec 11, 2018 11:28 AM CST
@DaisyI - the article that @PamelaLynn77 was questioning up in her original post that said to never use coffee grounds in the garden. The author seems very authoritative in her writing, but what she is claiming does not really match up with my own experience.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
[Last edited by cwhitt - Dec 11, 2018 11:41 AM (+)]
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Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
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cwhitt
Dec 11, 2018 12:12 PM CST
Thanks Arlene! Very interesting meter results. Good article Sue.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Dec 11, 2018 2:35 PM CST
cwhitt said:@DaisyI - the article that @PamelaLynn77 was questioning up in her original post that said to never use coffee grounds in the garden. The author seems very authoritative in her writing, but what she is claiming does not really match up with my own experience.


That article was about caffeine, not acidity. And, the sources they sited said mixing non-greens in, like paper and cardboard, cancelled out the effect of the caffeine.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Christie
Central Ohio 43016 (Zone 6a)
Plays on the water.
Amaryllis Permaculture Sempervivums Roses Bookworm Annuals
Composter Hybridizer Cat Lover Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
cwhitt
Dec 11, 2018 2:51 PM CST
The article also says that coffee grounds kill helpful bacteria and earthworms and does talk about coffee being "Highly acidic". The title of the article is "Whatever You Do, Don't Put Coffee Grounds in Your Garden". That is the actual question we are discussing - whether it is fine to use them in the garden, or not.
Plant Dreams. Pull Weeds. Grow A Happy Life.

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