Home >> Tips From The Backyard >> How to Compost Coffee Grounds to Perk Up Your Garden

How to Compost Coffee Grounds to Perk Up Your Garden

Posted September 20, 2023
cup of coffee and green grass

Coffee grounds can be a secret weapon for your garden. Discover how these leftovers from your brew can be transformative for your plants and compost, all while promoting sustainability.

U.S. Coffee Consumption Hits Two-Decade High

As of March 2022, coffee consumption in the U.S. has reached a twenty-year peak, with 66% of Americans drinking coffee daily, according to a National Coffee Association (NCA) poll. This number has seen a nearly 14% increase since January 2021, making coffee the most consumed beverage in the U.S., surpassing even tap water.

Coffee Grounds: A Rich Addition to Compost

With coffee consumption at an all-time high, using the used coffee grounds in compost is a smart and environmentally friendly solution to waste. Coffee grounds are a rich source of nitrogen and can balance the compost mix, enhancing its quality and benefits.

Coffee grounds, while brown, are classified as “green” compost material due to their high nitrogen content. Balancing them with “browns” like dry leaves and paper is key to a healthy compost ratio. For the GEOBIN® Composter, we recommend a browns to greens ratio of 3:1. 

Enrich Your Garden Soil with Coffee Grounds

Adding coffee grounds to your compost pile will result in nutrient-rich soil that can significantly benefit plant growth and seed germination. Contrary to popular belief, the acidity of coffee grounds can be managed effectively in compost, provided it’s limited to 20% of the total composition.

keyhole garden in yard

A Boost for Acid-Loving Plants

Certain plants such as hydrangeas and daffodils thrive in acidic soils. Using coffee grounds around these plants can be particularly beneficial. The pH level can also influence bloom colors in some plants.

Application Tips

  • Incorporate coffee grounds directly into the soil.
  • Maintain a thin layer of ½-inch or less when applying on top of the soil.
  • Keep coffee grounds separate from leaves and other yard waste to ensure optimal soil integration.

Coffee Grounds: A Treat for Earthworms

In vermicomposting setups, coffee grounds attract and nourish earthworms, improving soil structure and fertility over time.

Utilizing coffee grounds is a simple and effective way to enhance your garden and contribute to sustainability. As coffee consumption continues to rise, let’s make the most out of our daily brew to nurture our gardens and reduce waste.