Which plants are best to fertilize with coffee grounds.?
Question by Love of Truth: Which plants are best to fertilize with coffee grounds.?
I’ve been putting them on my tomato, fruit trees, and flowering plants but have heard it can be acidic and that some plants do better with coffee grounds as a fertilizer.
Answer by ANGEL
Coffee grounds are good for acid-loving plants, like tomatoes, roses, azaleas & blueberries, however …
you can also use coffee grounds on non-acid loving plants if you mix a tablespoon of garden lime into a five pound bag before you dig them into your garden or just put the grounds on the compost pile. This is the advice from “The Lawn and Garden Show with Walter Reeves” a source of weekly gardening information: “In the garden, mix at a rate of five pounds per three square feet. For composting, mix at a ratio of five pounds per three cubic feet of yard.”
“Old coffee grounds have been found by farmers to produce some of the biggest melons, tomatoes and carrots. Coffee grounds add minerals, vitamins and nitrogen to the soil so that the vegetables are stockier and less prone to insect infestation.”
Like any type of fertilizer, just don’t overdo it.
Information obtained by Sunset from the Soil and Plant Laboratory Inc., Bellevue, WA states:
“Based on the overall chemistry and physical properties of the coffee grounds, they can be utilized at rates similar to other organic amendments when used in amending mineral soils. Data indicate that 25-35 percent by volume coffee grounds can be blended with mineral soils of any type to improve structure of those soils.”
A lab test analysis showed that: the grounds provide generous amounts of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and copper. “Use of coffee grounds in amending mineral soils up to 35 percent by volume coffee grounds will improve soil structure… Use of the coffee grounds at the specified incorporation rates (rototilled into a 6- to 8-inch depth) will substantially improve availabilities of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper and will probably negate the need for chemical sources of these plant essential elements.”
They also release nitrogen into the soil as they degrade.
Nitrogen: 2.28 percent
Phosphorus: 0.06 percent
Potassium: 0.6 percent
Don Janssen, Extension Educator for the Lancanster Extension provides this advice:
“Coffee grounds are a low-level source of nitrogen, having a fertilizer value of around 2.0 N-0.3 P-0.2 K, as well as a minor source of calcium and magnesium. Post-brewed coffee grounds are reported to be slightly to highly acidic, depending on the source, but no more so than peat moss. So, you could apply them to the soil for acid-loving plants, such as rhododendrons, azaleas and blueberries. They might even help keep your bigleaf hydrangeas blue. Or, you could spread them out over a larger garden area to minimize the pH effect. It’s difficult to make a specific recommendation for an application rate, but it’s always better to err on the lighter side, since the pH can be variable. A rate of 10 pounds (dry weight) per 1000 square feet would be conservative.
Composting is an excellent method to recycle the grounds. They have a carbon-to-nitrogen ratio of around 20:1. Use the grounds as you would green, leafy material, mixing with some dry, brown plant materials in the compost. The Environmental Protection Agency suggests adding no more than 25 percent coffee grounds by volume. Vermicomposters can use coffee grounds but be sure to mix the grounds with dry brown materials before adding them to the bin.”
You can dilute coffee grounds with water for a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer. “Use about a half-pound can of wet grounds in a five-gallon bucket of water; let sit outdoors to achieve ambient temperature.
Sprinkle used grounds around plants before watering, for a slow-release nitrogen.”
P.S. I lightly sprinkle coffee grounds around the base of my plants (along with crushed eggshells) to deter slugs, also. You can scratch it into the soil once in a while, so it doesn’t compact. That also helps the soil retain moisture.
Good luck!!! Hope this helps.
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