So I love coffee. Love it lots. We consume a lot of coffee here at home. I am also all about reusing everything I can. Well I’m an avid gardener and have been mixing coffee grounds in my garden soil, compost, wormbins, and making a slow release fertilizer for years with fairly good success. Yet I found some information that made me question my practice for a while.
You see supposedly research has been done about how putting coffee grounds directly in your garden is actually counter productive on the nitrogen side of things. It encourages bacteria to show up that gobble up all the nitrogen from the coffee grounds. So you are left with no nitrogen. The research suggested if you were putting coffee grounds on your garden you should also add another nitrogen rich fertilizer to balance out the bacteria consumption. The research continued saying that it should all go into your compost and let that lock all the nitrogen in…. Personally I found the whole thing flawed after some thoughts and questioning.
You see if that’s the case putting items like blood meal, alfalfa meal, corn meal, etc on your garden would have the exact same reaction. There would be no net gain. So really it does not make sense at all to me. Also there are the other qualities of coffee grounds.
You have a lot of trace vitamins and minerals. These can help fill in gaps of necessary nutrients for your soil. That’s important. People often forget about those things. Plants like lots and lots of nutrients. But there is more.
Let’s say that bacteria and fungi and all kinds of other microscopic organisms do come to gobble away at the coffee. This improves the soil microorganisms of your garden which in some parts of the country is desperately need it. More and more research is showing the better microorganisms in your soil the healthier your plants are. So why not encourage these things? Also worms start showing up. With them other creatures. slowly you have a nice beautiful balance starting to appear. With all that I have personal experience as well
I always showed good growth from my garden and better soil quality after I started putting coffee grounds in it. The slow release fertilizer I would make for my house plants also seemed to greatly improve there over all quality. So over and over again I have evidence to show that it is indeed beneficial. What was up with this research?
So my thoughts are that this study was flawed in someway. It didn’t look at the over all balance of things. It didn’t look at long term use. It was simply short term results published for who knows what reason. I didn’t bother to look at who funded it, that takes a lot of time and I just didn’t feel like back tracking the money. A lot of times research like that is funded by some company looking to sell a product.
Anyway so my suggestion is that you use the coffee grounds in your gardens. Let your plants tell you what they need and run with it.