Monday, 9 May 2011

Breakfast time composting..

What did you have with your porridge/toast/cereals/eggs this morning?

Think about it for one second.

Tea or Coffee?

Whilst making coffee today it reminded me of the likelihood of large volumes of valuable fertilizer and composting components that are being thrown away each day in the world.

Did you know that coffee grounds are actually a magnificent fertilizer.?You can use them to create a liquid feed which slowly releases nitrogen in to the soil or you can add them the composter to neutralise imbalances between acids and alkalines in the heap.

Teabags also do the same thing. But instead of making a liquid feed (I find coffee is most effective for this) I just throw them on the compost heap, don't worry about the actual bag the tea leaves are in, this will bio-degrade rapidly and will add fibre to the heap which is of course particularly good if you own a wormery. The tea leaves will add Nitrogen to the compost heap just like the coffee grounds do.

So instead of throwing away tea bags and coffee grounds, compost them instead! Not only will you save quantities of these items mounting up at landfill but you will also see the benefit to your own crops. Tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers etc will thrive from the extra fertilization.

If you do not have access to coffee grounds from your own coffee maker or from the by-product of the caffetierre, you can pop in to your nearest high street coffee retailer such as Starbucks or Costa and they will be only too happy to give you their used coffee grounds for free! Sometimes they are already displayed by the counter saying 'Free to composters'.

They should look a bit like this..

From my own experience I find that courgette plants tend to benefit from the coffee grounds being placed on top of the soil. If you place the cold wet grounds around the plant and then water the plant as usual you will allow the fertilizer to slowly filter down to the roots.

 This method also saves your watering can from getting dirty, because the other way to do it is to put 500g of coffee grounds directly in to a standard watering can and then fill the rest up with water and then apply to the plants as usual, but you may find that coffee grounds get stuck to the sides and dry on to the side which just looks plain untidy and may block the spout too!

So next time you go to throw them teabags away..

Happy Coffee Composting!



  1. WOW...I did know know you could use it practically neat, the courgettes must get that caffeine buzz too then!
    I've been putting our grounds in with the worms, apparently it's one of their favourite foods, along with cake...can you tell I'm spoiling them, much to Andy's disgust as he doesn't like sharing his cake at the best of times!!

  2. Just what I have been doing for years - lovel to see that you youngsters are composting too. Mr Lottie says that he is scared to sit still for too long in case he ends up on the heap - or in the wormery!

  3. I use coffee grounds to mulch my blueberry plants with. There's no tea drinkers in our house so no tea bags for the compost heap.

  4. I'm glad that others do this too! It works great for me!

    Can't wait to get our wormery either!!

    Martin :)


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