The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How to use coffee grounds in the garden

Coffee ground topdressing

Blog reader Tami wrote in last week to share her success with coffee grounds in her Mississippi garden. When she moved to her new home in the suburbs, she resolved to only buy plants if they were productive in some way. This was made more difficult due to her "standard Mississippi dirt with two inches of topsoil over clay."

Luckily, Tami was ingenious. She wrote:

"I made a deal with my local coffee shop and pick up 2 five gallon buckets of used coffee grounds and filters every other day. They were throwing it in a landfill in plastic garbage bags and complaining about how heavy their garbage was."

Coffee ground compost pile

With her source of organic matter taken care of, the only question was how to manage the bounty that flowed into her small yard. Tami explained:

"There is magic in the compost pile. I have put over 100 gallons of coffee grounds straight under my river birch to make a soft meditation spot in front of the buddha, and the grounds are brown and spent looking and kind of lifeless. But the coffee that goes into the compost pile is dark rich and teeming with life.

"This pile is about a year old and I think the best thing I did for it was get some mushrooms started in it. They fruit often because I love to go out and water it in the evenings. (If you haven't caught the Joe Rogan podcast with Paul Stamets - drop everything and go listen. It is riveting.)"

Coffee ground garden

With the help of her thrice-weekly coffee-grounds pickup, Tami's edibles are now thriving and filling her plate. "I have an amazing little productive back yard," she told me, "with herbs, vegetables, and fruit, including bananas, figs, and muscadine grapes."

Doesn't that make you want to go out and make a deal with the local coffee shop? I know it does for me! Thanks for sharing, Tami. You are my inspiration for the week.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Great! Only negative I've found is that coffee grinds till worked in /decomposed can stink fast.
Comment by JIm Thu Aug 16 10:55:31 2018

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