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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Let's Talk Used Coffee Grounds and Egg Shells...

I posted earlier in the fall that I would be asking some gardening questions throughout the Winter to help me prepare for Spring and become a more informed gardener. I do google quite a bit, I have found conflicting information when it comes to gardening. What better way to get accurate information than to ask 'real' gardeners.

My first questions were about Hollyhocks and Foxglove. The information that I received was quite helpful.

Today's questions are about used coffee grounds and egg shells as fertilizer in the garden. I am a terrible composter so, I am trying to find food items that I can directly or almost directly apply to the gardens.

Apparently used coffee grounds are 1.45% nitrogen, with magnesium, calcium, potassium and other trace minerals with an average PH of 6.9 (neutral).

Deters cats, slugs, snails and maybe ants? Worms love it!

Coffee Tea--two cups of used grounds per 5 gallon bucket of water, steep for several hours or overnight..

Over roasted coffee beans in your garden paths?

Egg Shells--crush in your hand or run through a blender to make a fine dust? (I do put these out early spring to help the mommy birds remain healthy through pregnancy)

Do you have any experience in using coffee grounds and/or egg shells in your gardens or houseplants? How do you prepare them and when do you apply them.


Dorothy said...

Hi Darla,
I didn't know about coffee grounds having nitrogen, but I do know they help the consistancy of the soil. My dear grandmother, who could grow a dead stick, always put unsed tea leaves around her plants. Egg shell should give calcium to the soil. I don't do much gardening now, but I used to had a compose bin that I put all this stuff in. It's slow, but that good rich soil is so good to have for potting. Wishing you the many joys of gardening!

bennie and patsy said...

My mother and grandmother did the same with coffee grounds and egg shells. I read that banana skins buried around roses do them good,so I have been doing that and my rose this past summer did great.
Happy Gardening

marmee said...

i am an avid composter. i took my biggest cooking pot and line it with a small trash bag....in it goes all egg shells, coffee grounds with filter, tea bags, peels from veggies & fruits. then have a pile behind my barn...it just makes sense with the large family and amount of things that make the soil rich.
even if you don't want the composting bin inside you should invest in the barrel type for outside. you would be so happy with the results.
happy january.
thanks for visiting my second blog.

Meems said...

I have heard of putting coffee grounds and crushed egg shells directly in the garden with the results you listed. Like Marmee, I am convinced that once you get started with a pile of composted soil you will never want to be without it again. My piles are not scientific or pretty or overly thought out. I keep two piles going all the time. One I'm using and the other I'm 'cooking'. In Florida our compost breaks down so quickly we don't have to necessarily buy anything. Start by finding and out of the way place where you can begin piling up all your grass clippings, pruned and pulled up plants, AND your coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shells and other kitchen clippings.

Anyway, you won't be sorry you made the extra effort to collect your fruit and veggie scraps. Your kids will even get involved. Before you know it you will have some scrumptious compost to add to your pretty gardens.

Hope you are feeling better... sorry for rambling on and on... such a firm believer in composting.

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

I use egg shells around my hosta to deter slugs. Wood ashes will do the same thing, and they act like garden lime, raising the ph of my acidic soil. No treated or painted wood is burned, so it's also safe for the veggie patch. Too much can change the soil in ways you don't want to. I also compost egg shells tossing them into the container I keep in the kitchen for scraps. It gets emptied about once a week into the bin out back.

Coffee grounds get applied directly to the soil in warmer weather. It's great fertilizer for gardenias, camellias, tea olives, etc. Anything that likes acidic soil can be fertilized directly. Just toss them around and water them in. They can also be composted. It's a great source of nitrogen that won't burn your plants.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Darla: We used to feed our worms coffee grounds, they loved it.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Looks like you have gotten alot of great ideas and thoughts, Darla. We have a huge compost pile in our back yard (near the woodpile). George feeds it all of our leftover veggies, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc.. It 'cooks' ---and he uses that rich 'dirt' on his roses and other flowerbeds.

Ours is not in a container--but is just on the ground... George adds grass from the yard when he mows and in fall, he adds some of the mulched leaves. It works well...

Good Luck!!!

Marsha said...

Hi Darla,

Love that you are doing the research and I can just read it here :) I love my coffee and have been putting the grounds in the garden for years. I started out by spreading them around the hydrangeas but now I dump them anywhere that has easy access at the time I empty the container (which is often or it molds). Haven't tried the eggshells yet but then we don't use many eggs either. Good Luck.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

I use egg shells crushed around my hosta's too.I have read that coffee grounds are wonderful for roses but we do not drink coffee. I will have to check on tea grounds to see if it can be used because we drink a lot of tea made from teabags. I tried putting banana peels around my roses,we always have some go to waste before they are eaten,but something came along and took or ate them ever ytime I tried it.LOL! Maybe I should have hidden them under the mulch or buried them.
I do hope you are feeling better Darla. Take care, stay warm and eat lots of chicken noodle soup.;-)

Anonymous said...

Both are great, straight from the kitchen to the garden. The eggshells are wonderful, I put them in the hole when planting nearly anything, just crush them in gloved hands and sprinkle in. One year I poked holes in the bottom added potting mix and grew seeds in them. When time to plant in the ground, crushed the shell and the plants, tomatoes as I recall were amazing.

Kate and Crew said...

I add egg shells to the compost - along with coffee grounds, but I've never applied either directly to the garden. Hmmm... must look into this.

Valerie said...

My sweet hubbys grandmother always put these in the garden along with potatoe peelings and really just about anything except meat. She just threw them in the vege garden.

Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

I've been composting both. I actually have a bucket in the garage for used coffee grinds. In the spring I'll mix in a little sand and run it through a spreader over my grass. I don't know how much it will improve the soil so I may add in some compost to help also.

Arija said...

Been browsing the comments you got and coffee grounds and egshells seem pretty well covered. A note on tea leaves, they are acidic and therefore good for many acid loving plants and not lime lovers such as peonies. Banana peel is high in potassium which stimulates flowering and is therore greaat in the garden. You don't even have to dig it in as they turn brown to match the soil within a couple of days abd will decompose hapily with normal amounts of rain.

Happy gardening.

George said...

I have sometimes put coffee grounds directly onto the garden soil, but I usually put it, tea leaves and egg shells in our compost pile. The roses seem to appreciate the result.

Becca's Dirt said...

I have not used them directly on the soil before but I compost. I have a nice amount of soil from last year that I composted. I am starting a new one for this year so I'll have 2 piles.

I have heard of others doing this and have had great results.

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Rachel said...

Delete anonymous please lol!
Btw, I read about the eggshells over the winter researching my garden and have been throwing them into a grocery bag in the freezer. I'm pulling them out today to bake, then crush. Is it better to add crushed shells to the soil dry or should I mix them in water first?

Rachel said...

Delete anonymous please lol!
Btw, I read about the eggshells over the winter researching my garden and have been throwing them into a grocery bag in the freezer. I'm pulling them out today to bake, then crush. Is it better to add crushed shells to the soil dry or should I mix them in water first?

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