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Repurposing coffee grounds in your garden

From the moment coffee seeds are sown into the soil, they go through a beautiful journey, which involves years of hard work to maintain the ecosystem at the farms these coffee plants call home. But their journey doesn’t have to end once the coffee reaches your cup. Used coffee grounds are a great way to give your plant babies the much needed nutrition in an easy, cost effective way. 

On World Soil Day, we wanted to highlight the beautiful process of repurposing coffee grounds and using them to nurture the very soil that coffee has its roots in! So, put your gardening gloves on and use coffee grounds to give your plants the much needed TLC, instead of tossing them away in the bin. 


Image via Unsplash

Coffee grounds as fertilizer

To use coffee grounds as fertilizer all you have to do is add the grounds directly to the soil — yes, it’s that simple! Sprinkle the grounds onto the soil surrounding the plant every few days. Coffee adds organic material to the soil, and helps in improving drainage, water retention as well as enables aeration. Adding used coffee grounds also helps microorganisms thrive, attract earthworms and provide nutrients for plant growth.

Composting coffee grounds

Coffee grounds are an easy way to add nitrogen to your compost pile. Keep in mind that coffee grounds are considered as green compost material, and it’s advised to balance this out with some brown compost material.  

Did you know that used filters can be composted as well? Everything you need to keep your plants healthy is in your kitchen already! 

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Understanding brown and green compost material

There are two types of compost material: brown and green. While your coffee grounds might look brown, they are in fact green material. Green material is simply an item that is rich in nitrogen. These are items that tend to heat the compost pile and allow microorganisms to multiply quickly. Coffee grounds are about 1.45% nitrogen and also contain other minerals. Some examples of green material are grass clipping, vegetable and fruit scraps, trimmings from perennial and annual plants, eggshells, animal manures.

Browns are carbohydrate rich material, and their main job is to be a food source for all the microorganisms and help allow air to filter through the pile. Some examples of brown material are fallen leaves, pine needles, twigs, chipped tree branches/bark, straw or hay, paper (newspaper, writing/printing paper, paper plates and napkins, coffee filters).

The ideal ratio of brown material to green material is 4:1. If you have too much green material, your compost pile will heat up and start to smell. And if you don’t have enough, the compost pile will not heat up. So, make sure when you’re adding coffee grounds to the compost pile, it must be balanced with brown compost material, which includes dry leaves and newspapers. 

If you want to get your hands on some used coffee grounds, we’re happy to tell you that select Blue Tokai coffee shops have coffee repurposing stations from where you can take as much used coffee grounds as you’d like! Our Vasant Kunj and Vasant Vihar cafes in Delhi have the stations and so does our cafe in Sikanderpur, Gurgaon. If you wish to get more information about these repurposing stations or understand how to collect used coffee for home, be sure to ask our baristas! 


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