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Are Coffee Grounds Good for my Garden?


May 3, 2014

We own a coffee shop and produce lots of grounds. Are they good for gardens or not? And if so, in what proportion? Thanks.


Answer by JZ: Here’s my opinion – others may respond to your questions. If your garden soil is in the high desert with high percentage of sand then (or any type of soil) adding organic material such as coffee grounds would be beneficial – copious amounts are OK. Then you need to provide moisture in the soil for decomposition to occur. As the soil bacteria and possibly worms (if you have them) will decompose the grounds to humus, which acts like a sponge to absorb water and then release it along with plant nutrients. This is very helpful in our drought condition. Decomposition of organics added to your garden soil will progress well with moisture present. You could spread the grounds on top of the soil and / or use a garden fork or spade to poke holes in the bed, then spread out the grounds, then rake over the holes, then water. Keep the bed well mulched with other organic material (shredded leaves, paper, cardboard, straw, etc.) to a depth of 3 inches. This will help keep moisture in the soil, thus decomposition of the grounds will occur over time. You could also add some the grounds to any composting operation, that you may have set up. Mix them with moisturized shredded (brown) leaves or shredded paper products. You have a valuable resource for your garden soil! Let us know, if we can be of further help.

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