If you’re looking for a great pick-me-up for plants, consider putting used coffee grounds to work in your garden…

The power of your breakfast java goes beyond being a morning boost.

“Coffee grounds act as a natural fertiliser to improve soil’s drainage, water retention, aeration, and ultimately boost crop health and food security,” says Jonathan Robinson, founder of Bean There Coffee Company, South Africa’s first roaster of Certified Fairtrade coffee.

“In order to protect the planet, we need to start thinking sustainably. Putting your grounds to good use in your garden is a practical waste solution and it’s an easy way to give back to the earth too”.

Ways to use coffee grounds in the garden

  1. Put coffee grounds in your compost bin. It adds a valuable source of nitrogen.
  2. Keep the slugs and snails away by scattering grounds around your garden, the caffeine in the grinds acts as a natural deterrent for pests.
  3. Make your own mulch. Add thin layers of ground coffee to your flowerbeds to help retain moisture, keep the soil cool and suppress weeds.
  4. Make coffee ground “tea”. Add two cups of used coffee grounds to a bucket of water. Let the “tea” steep for a few hours or overnight. You can use this concoction as a liquid fertiliser for garden and container plants, it also makes a great foliar feed.
  5. Add coffee grounds to your worm bin every week. Worms love it, but just don’t add too many at once, because the acidity could bother your worms, a cup or so of grounds per week for a small worm bin is perfect.

Recycling coffee grounds

To mark Environment Month this June, Bean There Coffee Company, will be recycling their used coffee grounds.

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Fans of the local roastery can opt to take their ground beans home with them to use in their gardens, or donate the beans back to Bean There who will then distribute them to local organic farmers – Quirki Organic garlic farm in Magaliesburg and Soil For Life, a non-profit in Cape Town that helps people learn to grow healthy, organic food.