You’ve got a new whiz-bang coffee machine at home and you want to put all the coffee grounds to good use rather than just chucking them in the garbage. Can you use them in the garden? Or even on the lawn?
The main reason people suggest adding coffee grinds to your lawn or garden is because they provide organic material. This includes nitrogen and phosphorous which are good for nutrient poor lawns and lawns on clay or sandy soil.
It’s also claimed coffee grounds contribute to better aeration and drainage, which leads to a healthier lawn – which is true.
The most important thing to consider is the residual caffeine that may be still present. You can cause harm to the micro fauna in the soil if this is too high. This is why applying coffee grinds directly onto your lawn is not a good idea.
Like any plant waste that is turned into compost, coffee grinds will have qualities making it beneficial to your soil. The best way to utilise them is to spread thin layers of your used coffee grinds amongst your compost.
A good aged compost material for top dressing your lawn will provide organic nutrients and moisture to your lawn. It will provide your lawn some of the key ingredients it needs to stay healthy and create a beneficial soil environment for microbial activity.
Compost for top dressing will also improve the ability for your soil to hold moisture, which is really important for drought proofing your lawn. By composting your coffee grounds at home, you can keep them out of landfill and do good for the environment.
Provided used coffee grinds are composted and make up less than 20% of total compost volume, they will not lower the pH of your soil making it acidic. The pH of the compost may show varying results and not be stable initially, in some cases even becoming alkaline.
But once the compost material is added to the garden soil any acidity that was initially measured decreases shortly after leaving a pH around 6.5, which is the perfect pH for growing grass.
If you would like to read about other organic materials you can add to your compost, click here.