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Gardening Update

Gardening 101

Who knew that those coffee grounds from your cuppa (or several) could have a second life in your garden, whether flower or vegetable beds? Many of us toss our coffee grounds and coffee filters in to the yard waste bin (a good thing), but a recent article by Melissa McGinn (Madison Park Times, November 2015) suggests an even better solution for home gardeners. Coffee grounds are a rich source of nitrogen with a ph that is essentially neutral. This is a good thing to add to our acidic Northwest soil. If you have a worm bin, those red wrigglers just “adore coffee grounds.” The rough texture of the grounds sprinkled around veggie and flower plants helps deter slugs and snails from feasting on your crops. Adding crushed eggshells to the mix is even more effective. Cats usually dislike the texture and aroma of coffee grounds, so they may not use our garden as a litter box.

Other uses for coffee grounds by non-gardeners suggested by Jennifer Simpson in This Old House magazine:

  • Deodorize your refrigerator

  • Clean tools and dishware

  • Hide scratches on dark furniture

  • Give paper an “antique” look

  • Exfoliate hands when washing after handling garlic or fish

  • Reduce dust from fireplace ash

~Diane Morris

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