How to Compost FREE Starbucks Coffee Grounds

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A new Saturday morning tradition! Starbucks coffee for you and FREE Used Starbucks coffee grounds for your garden!

Test the ph of your garden soil. You can buy a probe that can do this at your local garden center or nursery. Speak to the nurseryman, or nurserywoman. They are easy to use when you follow the directions. Optimal soil pH is about 6.0 and 7.0 for vegetables, 5.0 to 6.0 for flowers and 5.5 to 6.8 for herbs.

You are not the only one in your household who craves Starbucks. Your acid loving plants will want to have it applied directly to the soil over their root zone. If the soil is already very acidic (lower number) then you may want to put down a layer of brown leaves to compost under the coffee grounds, this will adjust the acidity to a more basic mulch.

Always add Starbucks coffee ground to your compost. In your compost you are already mixing green and brown materials to accelerate the decomposition and to create a balanced compost for your garden. Starbucks Coffee Grounds act as ‘green’ materials. This is critically important in the fall and winter after you have stopped mowing the lawn but have voluminous amounts of brown leaves! Use Starbucks Coffee Grounds (up to 25% of total material) to layer in the leaves in the compost bin.

Other ways to use Starbucks Coffee Grounds is in your worm bin or if you are contiainer gardening on a patio garden or balcony garden, mixing a handful of leaves and coffee grounds in a 3:1 ratio and mix it into the edge of the soil between the rootball and the edge of the container.

Starbucks has additional information about the primary and secondary nutrients that are in the coffee grounds. Essentailly, your garden will get a magnificent boost of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper but you will need to continue to amend the soil for other nutrients that are needed.

For gardeners in the East where the soil is naturally acidic, monitor your pH and use appropriately. For gardners in the West where your soil trends towards the higher, more basic, pH levels – go for it! Your plants will enjoy and you will divert one more thing from the landfills. In the East, think of this as a compostbin amendment. In the West, till directly into the soil. Happy recycling and composting.


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