Coffee grounds compost is a compost composed, in part, of used coffee grounds. After coffee has been brewed, the grounds may be used to create the compost. The compost itself may be used to help grow everything from houseplants to vegetable gardens.
Grounds may be mixed with compost to facilitate nitrogen balance. Since coffee grounds are composed of about 2% nitrogen, the grounds can substitute for animal excrement that would typically be used in compost piles. Mixing extra nitrogen fertilizer into the compost may be beneficial to plants, as can adding another carbon source like leaves. Generally, one part coffee grounds should be added to four parts compost.
Some gardeners prefer to use coffee grounds compost to create their own liquid fertilizer. To do this, gardeners first gather .5 lbs (0.23 kg) of coffee grounds and 5 gal (18.92 l) of water. Then, they combine the two, set the mixture outside for a day and allow it to achieve a favorable temperature before applying it to their plants.
Coffee grounds may also be sprinkled over or around plants before imminent rain or a scheduled watering. This will result in the slow release of nitrogen. Coffee grounds should always be kept damp so to activate the properties that are beneficial to plants.
The benefits of using coffee grounds compost are numerous. Applying coffee grounds compost to plants may give them an extra boost of calcium and magnesium. Coffee grounds also keep soil temperature optimal which, in turn, helps combat pathogens, deter weed formation and structure soil. Though many gardeners express concern over the compost's acidic content, such concerns are usually unfounded since the coffee grounds' acidity is neutralized during brewing. Typically, used coffee grounds reach a neutral pH level of somewhere between 6.5 and 6.8, with most of its acidity transferring to the beverage.
When used in conjunction with eggshells, coffee grounds compost can even serve as a useful pest repellent. Ants, slugs and stray cats may find a garden undesirable if it contains coffee grounds. The compost can also be used to feed welcome earthworms.
Using coffee grounds compost reduces environmental impact by reducing greenhouse emissions. Those interested in using coffee grounds in their gardening projects can simply reach for old grounds in their own kitchens. However, coffee grounds can also be collected from restaurants or places of employment. In addition, coffee filters are broken down naturally and easily through the composting process. Coffee grounds should be utilized as compost no more than three weeks after their collection.