There is a free an accessible garden amendment right under your nose!
Here in Central California, many of us know much more about the best restaurant in our neighborhood than we do about the best local garden. We know which cafe has the best coffee roast more than the ins-and-outs of good soil biology. Fortunately, there are some easy to follow steps to enhance your backyard soil without breaking the bank. In fact, there is a natural and beneficial soil amendment right under your nose. That’s right, coffee grounds are a great natural food source for the soil. So follow these simple steps and stop throwing away your spent coffee grounds.
Step One: Separate coffee grounds from your other compost. Also remove paper sleeve if possible.
Step Two: Identify heavy feeders in your garden. Heavy feeders are plants that welcome regular nutrients. These include: Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Avocado, Tomato, Squash, Pumpkin, Corn, Roses, Camellias, Magnolias, and Azaleas
Note: Many California Native plants and Mediterranean plants (i.e.: Sages and Lavenders) do NOT want such rich nutrients regularly added to their roots. Please avoid such plants and stick to heavy feeding perennials and vegetables.
Step Three: “Sugar Shake” the grounds around heavy feeders, so that it is sprinkled around. Note: Avoid clumping a whole handful of grounds in any given area, as it is very acidic. Therefore, it is important to sprinkle the grounds around the plants.
Step Four: Repeat this application of coffee grounds once a month. This way you keep finding new destinations for your coffee grounds.
Don’t have a garden yet? Fret not! You can begin to feed and enhance the soil biology of empty plots as well with this coffee Sugar-Shaking Method.
Have a Large Project? Talk to your local coffee shop and arrange to pick up bags of spent grounds. They are usually very willing.
Want to learn more? Check out my You Tube Video showing how I go to Starbucks all over the Bay Area and glean free castings for all of my garden projects.
So Sugar Shake those Coffee Grounds out of your trash or compost and put it into your garden. Give your Central Coast Summer Crops a boost with coffee grounds!