Grounds to Go Garden

A cup of coffee enjoyed in the garden can make for a relaxing morning. However, that java can also be a pick-me-up for your landscape.

Coffee and tea byproducts can be used in and around the garden to act as a slow-release fertilizer and a main component of compost.

Like leaves left to decompose in the garden, coffee grounds when dispersed thinly in the soil, can be an amendment and add nutrients back into the ground.

Consider these uses for grounds.

* Add to compost piles (filters and all) along with tea bags to make an all-natural, rich source of energy for plants.

* Dilute with water to make a fast-acting fertilizer.

* Use in soil for houseplants or in vegetable beds.

* Some people believe that coffee grounds can help repel pests, such as snails and slugs.

* If your garden needs more nitrogen, definitely turn to coffee. Nitrogen is essential for plant leaf development.

* Plants that thrive in acidic soil, such as pines, evergreens, blueberries, raspberries, roses, azaleas, gardenias, ferns, rhododendrons, lily-of-the-valley, and even marigolds, can benefit from coffee grounds which slightly lower the pH of the soil.

* Feed the coffee grounds to garden worms. It seems they love to consume them. Worm excrement in the garden is beneficial, as is the aeration provided by tunnelling worms.

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