Fab Frugal Friday: Coffee Ground Composting

Here’s a tip for those already engaged in one of the most frugal enterprises of all: gardening. Did you know you can save your coffee grounds to be used as compost? Here’s Kathy LaLiberte at Gardening.com with the full scoop:

When I go to my local coffee shop, I often come out with more than a cup of coffee. Near the door, they have a bin with free bags of used coffee grounds. Like most avid gardeners, I find it impossible to resist free food for my garden!

In the spring, I spread handfuls of coffee grounds around my acid-loving plants—azaleas, blueberries, rhododendrons. The grounds are slightly acidic and besides helping to lower the soil pH, they foster the humus-rich soil texture these plants really love.

In late summer and fall, I dig coffee grounds right into the vegetable garden after removing early-season crops such as peas and spinach. In the winter, I add the grounds to my compost pile. They’re a good source of nitrogen at a time of year when that can be a little difficult to come by.

And here, Science Daily explains that it’s the nitrogen that makes it so valuable. How To Do Things explains, well, how to do it. (It’s very easy, but there are a few key things to know.) Finally, as Kathy LaLiberte mentioned, the Slow Cook writes about how the coffee behemoth itself, Starbucks, makes a point of offering their used grounds to anyone.

So hang onto your own or head to your local coffee shop, or both – but make use of this trash-turned-true treasure!

— posted by Anne


  1. says

    I always wondered why coffee grounds were good for compost! Great post! I don’t know the history of the pudding cake… my mom said her grandma used to make it and we are from Utah… Maybe it was a pioneer thing. It is soooo good.

  2. says

    It also keeps cats out of your garden, which is awesome. Something about all that nice soft freshly-weeded dirt just screams “LITTERBOX” to the feline community, but they hate coffee grounds and won’t go near them. Big plus in my book – I love cats, but I hate those gross little surprises when I’m gardening.

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