What To Do With Coffee Grounds? Learn About Their Uses

What To Do With Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds serve as a good source of organic matter and can give your garden a happier and healthier look. This article explains various ways by which you can make use of coffee grounds.


Two types of compost material are available which are “brown” or “green”. Asides from coffee grounds containing nitrogen, they also contain calcium, magnesium, potassium, and other trace minerals.

The addition of coffee grounds and used paper coffee filters to compost will give a green compost material. This, however, must be balanced with brown compost material which includes dry leaves and newspapers.

The ratio of the brown compost material to the green compost material must be 2:1 or 4:1 in order to get a good result. Having too much coffee grounds and other green material in your compost pile will make it smell and likewise, having too little will make the compost pile not heat up.


Coffee grounds can be added to the soil by either applying it directly or by sprinkling it on the ground and leaving it as it is. In smaller amounts, particularly when the coffee grounds are mixed with dry materials, coffee grounds end up giving up their nitrogen.

Used coffee grounds are close to neutral in PH level. However, avoid making use of too many coffee grounds as the small particles can lock together, thus, creating a water-resistant barrier in the soil/garden.

You can also make coffee ground tea by adding 2 cups of used coffee grounds to a 5-gallon bucket of water. Allow the “tea” steep overnight or perhaps, a few hours and can proceed in making use of it as a liquid fertilizer for the garden. This “tea” can also be sprayed directly on the leaves and stems of your plants in the garden.


Coffee grounds possess a strong smell which helps to keep away pests and insects. Cats also dislike the smell of coffee grounds and may want to avoid using your garden as a litter box if the coffee grounds are mixed into the soil.

You can also create a slug and snail barrier. Coffee grounds are known to be abrasive and so, a barrier of grounds placed near slug-prone plants will help to prevent the garden pests from having an access to them and having an adverse effect on them.


This process can be carried out by adding coffee grounds to your worm bin. This can be done weekly. Worms are lovers of coffee grounds. However, avoid adding too many at once as the acidity of the coffee grounds might have an adverse effect on the worms.

You can decide to make use of a cup as a measurement per week. Also, earthworms present in the soil become more attracted to the garden when coffee grounds are mixed with the soil as a fertilizer.


Both fresh and used coffee grounds are acidic. However, fresh coffee grounds possess more acidity. Fresh coffee grounds give a boost to acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons, blueberries, radishes, carrots, azaleas, hydrangeas, e.t.c. Learn more about coffee grounds-loving plants here.

Note that tomatoes are not lovers of fresh coffee grounds and so, it is important to keep them out of that area of the garden. Fresh coffee grounds have higher acidity and contain most of their caffeine content. Thus, avoid making use of coffee grounds on very young plants/seedlings as the caffeine present in them can affect their growth.

Related: How To Use Coffee Grounds In The Vegetables Garden


I hope you find the article useful. I would like to hear from you. So, let me know what you are going to use with your coffee grounds. And if you have any questions, let me also know.