Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Great Starbucks! I'm composting!!

If you have a garden, or compost on a regular basis, then you know that Coffee Grounds are a GREAT addition. They are full of nitrogen and encourage earthworms. Here in NC we have dense, clay soil and coffee grounds are a great way to help break them up.

But I am not a coffee drinker. I can get used Coffee grounds from friends, but it isnt enough.

Recently I discovered Starbucks Grounds For Your Garden Program.

You can go into any Starbucks Coffee and pick up a FREE bag of used coffee grounds. A huge 5LB whole bean coffee bag stuffed full of the used grounds, at least 10 pounds worth. They dump their grounds into coffee bags, and once they are filled up they tape them up, smack a label on them and set them out in designated bins for anyone to take.

The Starbucks near my house fills MANY of these bags on a daily basis, BUT they are hard to get and FAST out the door. The two I happened to snag yesterday were still warm! They add a new bag or two every few hours(it is one of the busiest Starbucks I have ever seen)

Things you can do with Coffee Grounds:(from THIS website)

  • Sprinkle used grounds around plants before rain or watering, for a slow-release nitrogen.

  • Add to compost piles to increase nitrogen balance. Coffee filters and tea bags break down rapidly during composting

  • Dilute with water for a gentle, fast-acting liquid fertilizer. Use about a half-pound can of wet grounds in a five-gallon bucket of water; let sit outdoors to achieve ambient temperature.

  • Mix into soil for houseplants or new vegetable beds.

  • Encircle the base of the plant with a coffee and eggshell barrier to repel pests.

  • If you are into vermi-posting, feed a little bit to your worms

I do compost on a daily basis, I use it in my gardens, my flower beds, anywhere It need it.It was orginally thought that coffee grounds are acidic, BUT if they are used or spent grounds, the brewing process takes out a lot of the acidity and leaves them a fairly neutral pH.

Certain plants like Azaleas, rhododendron, camellias, evergreens etc REALLY love coffee grounds. So try a few scoops around the base of your shrubs and azaleas and flower beds.

In composting, according to the Starbucks Website "Coffee grounds act as a green material with a carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. They make an excellent addition to your compost. Combined with browns such as leaves and straw, coffee grounds generate heat and will speed up the composting process."

So Thank you Starbucks for recycling your coffee grounds for us composters and gardeners! It is saving the landfills and trash dumps a TON of space and helping our soil be the best it can be.

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