Coffee Grounds and the Garden

coffee grounds for garden use

If you are a daily coffee drinker, it’s amazing how quickly coffee grounds can add up.  Of course, most people know coffee grounds can be added to a garden compost pile, but there are many other ways coffee grounds can benefit your garden:

Add coffee grounds to a Worm Bin

Similar to a garden compost pile, coffee grounds can be beneficial to worm composting.  The texture of the grounds can provide a good “grit” for the worms digestive track just as egg shells can.  However, worms are still sensitive to the conditions of their environment, and daily coffee grounds can quickly make a worm bin too acidic so add sparingly.

Acidic Soil

Although worms may not be too fond of acidic soil, there are plenty of plants that are!  Blueberries, azaleas, and rhododendrons are the most common acid loving plants but many fruiting plants such as tomatoes also enjoy slightly acidic soils.  If you also prefer blue hydrangeas over pink hydrangeas, acidic soil is what causes the blue color!  (but if you prefer pink, egg shells can help neutralize the soil to achieve the pink color).  Of course, any of these acid loving plants also wouldn’t mind being watered with any leftover coffee from your pot- if you ever have any leftover coffee, that is.

Milking Aphids

Ever wonder how aphids seem to find every rose bush, pea plant, or tomato plant in your garden?  Well, some aphids are actually “milked” by ants.   The ants enjoy eating the honeydew some aphids produce and, as a result, some ants will protect and transplant aphids as they please.  But you know what ants don’t like?  Coffee grounds.  The coarseness of the grounds bother ants and can be used as a barrier.  Simply surround the plants you want to protect from aphids with coffee grounds and the ants will no longer “farm” there.  Without the help of the ants, you’ll have an upper hand in fighting an aphid infestation.  It also just so happens snails and slugs don’t like the texture of coffee grounds either, so the coffee ground barrier can do double duty.


Used coffee grounds are also an ideal growing bed for mushrooms- just ask these guys.  But if you are using your own coffee grounds, you’ll need to purchase your own mushrooms spores.

Do you need any more reasons to love coffee?