GARDENING: Coffee Grounds make Great Fertilizer

I discovered last year that coffee grounds are a great, natural compost for plants. What is nice about this is that you aren't filling landfills with it. I was told by a gardening friend that coffee grounds tend to make the ground slightly more acidic, so I laid the grounds around my hydrangea, azaleas and rhododendron. Then another gardening friend told me that most of the acidity gets washed away during coffee making, and it is generally good to use on all plants in your garden. So I gave it a try and it worked really well. I laid a cup or two depending on plant size around their drip lines. Then I lightly mixed it in with the soil with my trowel. I found if I did not mix it in with the soil, the coffee grounds started to get a little moldy.
What we do at our home is that we keep a big bowl hidden where we dump our used grounds. I also asked my office to do the same. Another place to get used coffee grounds is through your local coffee shops-even Starbucks®. Starbucks has a program (http://freebies.about.com/cs/free/l/blstarbucks.htm) where you can get a bag of grounds from them free. They pack them in special bags. If your local Starbucks doesn't package them, all you have to do is ask and they will give them to you if they have some. I am sure any local coffee shop would be more than willing to help. Its good for the earth, and it saves them money on waste costs (coffee grounds are extremely heavy in bulk and take up a lot of space). If you live in an urban environment, like me, and you can't make room for a compost bin, coffee grounds are the next best thing!

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