Grounds for …
I’ve been wanting to experiment with coffee grounds to grow vegetables and now Waitrose in Eaton is offering customers free coffee grounds.
The consensus is that coffee grounds provide phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and copper. You can find out more about physical properties and carbon/nitrogen ratio on websites, but the overall verdict is: coffee grounds provide short- and long-term soil improvement. They act as a slow-release fertiliser by either blending as ‘green’ compost on your heap and left to ripen there with everything else, or made into ‘tea’ by putting two cups of grounds into 20 litres of water, leaving overnight and then using around your veges on in containers. You can also dig them into the soil to a depth of 15-20 cm.
Some say they’re slightly acidic at a range of 6.2 on the pH scale, or 6.9 depending which website you look at.
They can also create a slug and snail barrier – and don’t we all want an effective deterrent to those? Coffee grounds are both abrasive as well as acidic, so a barrier of grounds placed near slug-prone plants may just save them from these garden pests.
If you want to get some from Waitrose, they’re in a galvanised dustbin near the ‘horticultural area’. Take your own bags and a scoop or take a box from near the drinks department. It’s probably best to use them when they’re still slightly fresh.
Last Sunday I spread 2 Kg of used coffee grounds (from a motorway Starbucks) on Moira’s strawberry bed at Bluebell South. I have tried them as a slug deterrent to little effect, but we’ll see if it improves the strawberries (or the snails!)Jim