I learned something new today at Starbucks of all places. I swung in with the kids to pick up a treat for myself before spending the afternoon watching the kids jump on inflatables at the Jump In play place. Anyways to get to the point on my way out the door I noticed a bin filled with large bags of used coffee grounds labeled "Grounds for Your Garden". I asked about it and apparently Starbucks bags their used grounds and gives them away to be used in your garden or compost. I never knew that coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen! So I grabbed my bag and of we went. Here are the recommendations for the use of coffee grounds as fertilizer from the Starbucks website (http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/compost.asp):
Coffee grounds can provide a valuable source of nutrition for your garden. The proper amount to be used depends on the condition of your soil and what you are growing. Check with a local gardening expert or your local parks to see what is best for your garden. Here are a few general tips:
Applying coffee grinds directly to your garden:Coffee grounds can be applied directly as a top dressing to acid loving plants like blueberries, hydrangeas, and azaleas (acid loving plants thrive in areas where rainfall is common in the warm season). Adding brown material such as leaves and dried grass to the mulch will help keep a balanced soil pH.
Mixing coffee grounds in your compost:Coffee grounds act as a green material with a carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. Combined with browns such as leaves and straw, coffee grounds generate heat and will speed up the compost process. Don’t make your coffee grounds more than 25% of any one pile’s content. To counter the acidity of the coffee grounds, consider adding 1 teaspoon of lime or wood ash for every 5 pounds of coffee grounds in your pile.
Using coffee grounds in your worm bin:Worms fed with coffee grounds and other vegetarian materials will flourish.