The USA consumes in excess of 400 million cups of coffee per day, include the rest of the world and you have a huge amount of coffee being drunk each day. You also have a huge amount of coffee grounds to be thrown away.
In lots of cases, these grounds are binned, tossed in the garbage or washed down the sink.
Why not use them as fertilizer?
Lab tests show that the grounds contain useful amounts of phosphorus and potassium, are a low-level source of nitrogen and also contain minor amounts of calcium, magnesium, copper, and other trace minerals, carbohydrates, sugars, some vitamins, and some caffeine.
Coffee grounds are particularly good for acid-loving plants, like tomatoes, roses, azaleas & blueberries, evergreens, camellias, avocados, and some fruit trees.
But you can use coffee grounds for most plants as the acid level is not as high as you would think as a substantial amount of the ‘acid’ is cooked out of the coffee and drunk. Just reduce the amount used for other plants.
Mix 250g ( half a pound) of damp grounds in a five-gallon bucket of water; let sit outdoors to get to air temperature and you have a liquid fertilizer.
Dry in an oven and apart from getting that great coffee smell around the house you get a fertilizer you can sprinkle around the base of plants.
Or dig it in damp into heavy alkali soil to break it down and encourage earthworms who then aerates the soil as well. Avoid dumping them in clumps as the can get a bit moldy sitting in lumps on the top.
Finally mix them into your compost heap or add crushed eggshells to deter slugs. My grandfather use to use eggshells to change the colour of his rhododendrons, but that is another story.
Like any type of fertilizer, just don’t overdo it.
As a home experiment, sprinkle some around some of your tomato plants, and taste the difference between the tomatoes from the treated and those from the untreated plants.
Old coffee grounds have been found by farmers to produce some of the biggest melons, tomatoes and carrots. Vegetables are healthier and less prone to insect infestation.”
Kick start that old tired looking Poinsetta, you will end up with a lush new plant.
We know from producing our own Liquid fertilizer that fruit from a mineral and nutrient rich fertilizer taste better.
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So it’s a win all round …. Starbucks, Costa or your local coffee shop will love to reduce their waste (which they pay to dispose of). Suggest that they bag it and sell it with the proceeds going to charity. And you get healthy plants and great tasting food.
PS. For some young or not so young entrepreneur.. collect the grounds and tea leaves from as many coffee shops and businesses as possible… dry them to keep down the weight….bag them and sell them on the home of ‘you can sell anything here’ .. ebay.
For the more sophisticated you can neutralize the ph and market a more general product…
Remember Starbuck, alone, in the USA apparently produce coffee waste to the equivalent to the weight of 4 x 747 planes a year..What a waste, in more ways than one.
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