How Coffee Grounds Work As DIY Garden Compost
Let’s talk about how amazing it is that one of the most popular wake-up beverages in the world can also wake up your garden to a fuller potential among other things.
It is no secret that America runs on Dunkin ‘, but it doesn’t just stop there. People have been drinking coffee for centuries, and the past few decades have been a boom for this caffeine-infused beverage. A majority of people in the United States drink at least one cup of coffee per day. Americans spend more money on coffee than they do some other household necessities such as milk and bread.
Coffee has become a huge industry, with a large market for all kinds of different products from companies big and small. In 2010, the specialty coffee industry made $9 billion alone. It is no surprise that there are so many brands trying to get into this profitable business.
Can you create DIY garden compost with used coffee grounds? Yes! Coffee is a high-quality fertilizer that can give any garden a great boost of nutrients and help jump-start the nitrogen cycle in organic gardens. It’s important, however, to use coffee that hasn’t been bleached or processed with chemicals, so stick to organic varieties that have been commercially roasted and sold whole rather than ground.
Keep reading to learn more about this interesting DIY use of coffee grounds!
Using Coffee Grounds as DIY Compost
That’s right. The grounds can also be used as compost. Yes, you heard correctly – compost. Coffee grounds are beneficial to the soil in which they’re planted.
Luckily, you don’t have to worry about buying bags of coffee from the store because there are plenty of ways for you to get your hands on some coffee grounds without having to break the bank. All you need to do is ask your local coffee shop if they can give you their spent grounds and save them for later use in your garden.
If that doesn’t sound like a feasible option, try finding a local roaster so you can get fresh, organic beans right from the source. It might be as simple as asking a neighbor or friend who frequents Starbucks, or it may take some research online. You could also check with other growers or specialty shops in your area that have been known to offer composting services free of charge.
How Do Coffee Grounds Work As Compost?
Coffee helps break down matter within a compost pile because its oils stimulate microbial activity. Coffee grounds are beneficial both before and after being added to a garden bed because they provide nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous as they decompose.
Coffee grounds also retain water better than many traditional soil amendments that are commonly used to boost moisture retention capacity in soils.
It can increase the capacity of sandy soils by up to 80 percent and provide a great buffer against drought conditions. The high pH level of coffee helps neutralize acidic soil so you don’t have to worry about the soil becoming too alkaline.
Coffee Grounds Compost Quickly
Hence, all you need is some coffee and time – not money – to start this project.
All organic materials eventually break down into rich soil full of natural nutrients for your garden, but there’s something special about how quickly coffee breaks down – just two weeks – compared with other items such as leaves or grass clippings that take months or years to decompose.
Use Coffee Grounds to Remove Weeds
You can use coffee grounds as an effective way to remove weeds, too. Simply lay down several sheets of wet newspaper over the area where you want to kill your weeds and cover them with coffee grounds. Put some soil on top of the mixture and make sure it stays moist for about a week until all signs of life are gone.
Carbon-rich materials like wood chips, grass clippings, and sawdust should be added in layers over the coffee ground layer until your compost pile is at least three feet high.
Using coffee as compost will not only boost your garden’s health by providing nutrients that help plants grow strong root systems, but it’ll also save money because you won’t have to buy traditional fertilizer. Just remember that it takes about six months for coffee grounds to turn into soil, so be patient and know that you’re giving your garden a great gift by composting with coffee.
Coffee Grounds for the Garden
What better way to give our gardens a boost of nutrients than adding nutrient-rich coffee grounds? Coffee can provide an excellent source of nitrogen needed for plant growth. Here are some other ways in which coffee grounds benefit our gardens:
- Helps boost microbial activity
- Great buffer against drought conditions
- High pH helps kill acidic weeds
- Provides nitrogen as it decomposes
- Increases moisture retention capacity in soils
- Can be used as an effective weed killer
Other DIY Uses for Coffee
In addition to using coffee grounds to create compost, some really interesting DIY coffee hacks can liven up all of your daily routines.
1. Coffee Face Scrub
If you’re looking for a way to wake yourself up, why not try this coffee face scrub? Mix 2 teaspoons of instant coffee, 1/4 cup white sugar, and enough olive oil to make a paste. Gently massage the scrub into your skin for a few minutes once every week to keep your face feeling refreshed and revitalized.
2. Coffee Soap
If you want an easy way to get rid of germs, this coffee soap couldn’t be more useful! Just mix together 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon each of ground coffee and olive oil. Let it simmer for 20 minutes before adding in 2 tablespoons powdered milk or coconut flakes if you’d like any exfoliation effects.
Once cooled, just use a bit on your face every morning to keep it looking fresh and clean! If you’re looking for something that smells even better, try adding some vanilla extract into the mixture instead – or don’t forget your favorite essential oils!
3. Coffee Candles
Now for something even prettier! If you have any leftover coffee grounds from the rest of these DIY projects, why not give them new life as candles?
Carefully pour a bit of wax into a container – one that’s fit for a wick – then sprinkle some coffee grounds on top. Before the wax solidifies, carefully place a tealight candle in the center before waiting for it to melt into something beautiful!
4. Coffee Jar Candles
Instead of simply throwing away those jars once you finish your morning cup of joe, why not turn them into DIY candles too? Just fill the bottom half with leftover coffee grounds and stick a tealight or battery-powered candle inside instead.
This is especially useful for outdoor trips where there isn’t much room for bulky lighting but you want warmth nonetheless! Alternatively, you can also try using a jar as a vase just as easily.
5. Coffee Sugar Scrub
Want to smell good and stay smooth at the same time? Make this coffee sugar scrub! Just mix 2 cups of white sugar, 1 cup of leftover ground coffee, and 3/4 cup oil (grapeseed or coconut) until you get a thick paste.
Use it to scrub your whole body before rinsing off with cool water – if you want to make this even more effective, try adding in some peppermint extract or honey for extra tingle power!
6. Face Mask
Looking to brighten up your face? This at-home coffee face mask can help! To make, just mix together two tablespoons of instant coffee, one tablespoon cocoa powder, three tablespoons of finely ground oats, one tablespoon of honey, and two tablespoons of hot water until you get a paste.
Apply to your face for ten minutes before washing off – don’t worry if it dries; this is normal! Just make sure not to leave it on for too long, as the caffeine can be bad for your skin…
Looking for an easy way to revitalize tired-looking skin? You’ll need 1/2 cup coffee (ground or instant), 2 tablespoons glycerin, and 1 tablespoon rosewater. Mix enough ground coffee to create a thick paste before adding in the other ingredients.
Apply carefully with cotton balls once every few days or so – just remember that less is more if you want to prevent irritation!
Enjoy Your Cup of Joe!
For yourself, your garden, and a lot of things that will give your DIY fix a little kick.