Coffee Ground Compost: Spice It Up!

July 8, 2008 at 3:07 pm 1 comment

Writer James Geneau wrote about “Used Coffee Grinds” as a resource on Gremolata. What makes coffee grounds useful for your garden? According to James, “coffee grounds are an ideal way to slowly boost nitrogen levels in the garden due to its carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1.”


Using my science knowledge I can tell you that carbon is the building block of all living life – animal or plant. That it has has 20 carbon blocks for every 1 nitrogen is a good thing. You need the nitrogen to build proteins. In the human body, 80% of your body is made of protein (it’s the workhorse). For a plant, carbon is the biggest thing and yet they still need nitrogen to work the carbon into their plant bodies.

Too much nitrogen can be a bad thing because it can change the acidity of a soil (which is why 20:1 carbon to nitrogen is a good thing). Acidity or too much base can burn your plant to a cinder (just kidding – not quite that).

James article talks about getting grounds from Starbucks however you might consider getting your grounds from another business that gets more of their beans fair trade or ethically. Perhaps ask Merchants of Green Coffee?

James ends his article off with some tips:
You should mix coffee grounds with the soil around acid-loving plants.

Add brown leaves and grass clippings with coffee into a mulch to help balance the pH levels of the soil. The grounds help to accelerate the composting process of the mulch.

When composting, coffee grounds should not be more than 25% of any organic material. You can add one teaspoon of lime or wood for every five pounds of coffee grounds to balance the acidity in your compost.

Well feel free to add your 2 cents to the whole composting business! Maybe you know some tips and tricks no else has heard of when it comes to composting!

Original article:

Originally Posted:
Ffenyx Rising


Entry filed under: Compost, Environment & Sustainability, Gardening. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Alex  |  January 27, 2009 at 5:53 am

    tried to get the original writer…james geneau…but only your article has an email link.
    He mentions “compost [coffee]with other organic matter with a bit of lemon or lime juice. ” as a way to neutralize the PH but what I believe he has missed is the Lime they are recommending would be garden lime powder not lime juice from the fruit…
    he is obviously mssing some gardening expertise in his article. Send it forward is you can.


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