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Coffee grounds

Muskegon, MI(Zone 5a)

I just posted a question on what mixture of soil should go in my new raised beds..and idea came to me and thought to ask if I should be collecting a large amount of coffee grounds to add to the mixture...I can call the starbucks around here and see if they would give me what they have...any thoughts?....Judy

Danielsville, GA(Zone 7b)

Great for acid loving plants.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Starbucks is usually great about donating their grounds.

Aurora, CO(Zone 5b)

My gf just brought me two 5 lb bags from them. Happy compost!!!!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

my son walked in this morning with a #5 bag for me to!! what a great kid.

Akron, PA(Zone 6b)

In my area, all the Starbucks are doing it a little different. Check with each one. Some save them for you and you pick the up. Some have them in a copper bucket in the foil packaging and it is first come first serve. One did not even save them, so I was speaking with the manager to talk to the other stores and see what works for her. It is great that most are recycling them for we, the gardeners. My garden smells like a Starbucks now!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I'd think if you contacted your local starbucks and let them know you are interested... they would save them.
My son worked at a kiosk for 2.5 yrs and they didnt save them... but he would on occasion on days he worked and brought them home for me.

Our local one is first come first serve.... though you can call to "reserve" them.

Long Island, NY(Zone 7a)

How exactly do you use the grounds?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Hi mqiq77,
Which are the acid loving plants in the garden? Do you just mix the grinds up into the top layer of potting mix? I have all sorts of ferns, caladiums, Sago Palms, geraniums, zinnias, marigolds. Any of them want grinds? Let me know. Thanks!

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I dump'em in my composter & spread them into my flower beds and just work it into the soil. I also use it around the small evergreen in my back yard.

more info i found ==>

Spent coffee grounds are the perfect compost input:

* They smell good.
* They absorb and hold moisture which is so critical to the compost pile.
* They are one of the few sources of nitrogen that is widely available year-round to people in urban and suburban areas.
* They are easily stored for days in a closed plastic bag.
* They are free.
* They are available in large quantities.

more info -->



Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

can a garden or compost bin have too much coffee grounds?

my kid seems to be bringing home a bag a week. I have about 8 pounds on my counter that i have yet to get outside.

Tucson, AZ

the only problem with coffee grounds is they lose potency within a very short time (days) so don't just depend on that alone.

Indianapolis, IN(Zone 5b)


You'd better get them outside, they mold after not too long.

I get coffee grounds by the half-garbage bagful. They are so heavy, I have to take Mr. Clean to carry them (oh, yeah, taking trash out of Starbucks in his pressed pants is just up his alley! LOL!) I have a fairly big pile -- not as big as a lot of people's on here, but still pretty big -- and I add them there.

You could use them right on top of the soil, I imagine. There was a chemist-guy who did the pH test on them and they were almost neutral, and certainly not as acidic as you'd think. I can't find the thread, and am not even 100% sure it was DG, tho.


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Thanks Suzy.

and yea -- i know they mold. He brought me home a HUGE bag last year, probably 10# or more, and i just pushed it under the sink til i was gonna use it, and forgot about it.... whole thing molded. I felt bad, but he can get me about 100# a week if i needed it.

Chapel Hill, NC(Zone 7b)

What does it mean "they lose potency", wineaux? Are the useless after a few days?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

on the starbucks bag, it says something about using them in 2-3 weeks.

sometimes, i spread them right in the garden (flowerbeds) but since i'm really not working in them yet - due to the cold - i'm dumping them in the compost.

Chapel Hill, NC(Zone 7b)

Right, I have seen that on the Starbuck's bag, but did not pay attention to it. I usually want to know WHY. Most of the time I put them on/in beds or in the compost anyway. But other times I have so much that I "save" it up for a project. So, what happens - for argument's sake - after those three weeks?

Olympia, WA(Zone 7b)

They're totally useless, so mail them all pre-paid to me (smile).

I'm not sure what was meant by losing potency, unless they were referring to water leaching some of the nutrients out of very wet grounds. If that were the case, using the diluted leachate (coffee) as a liquid fertilizer would preserve the nutrients. The biggest loss concern would be nitrogen, but if the grounds don't smell like ammonia, you're should be OK.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

more info on the grounds

>>So, what happens - for argument's sake - after those three weeks?

I'll see if i can figure that one out.

this morning my son said "Mom, I've got something for you" (I was like "It's not chocolate is it?" he knows better)

he said, "I collected ALL the grounds for the day, i think it's about 70 pounds"

holy cow!! I'm gonna have to share with my neighbor.

Chapel Hill, NC(Zone 7b)

johnsonjrbm, sorry I can't part with mine, can't you drink more coffee to produce the amount you need???? As for the idea of good stuff leaching out, actually quite often when I put grounds on a bed or in the compost I rinse out the bag in which they came and pour it on too.

tcs, that site is good. What I thought was particularyl interesting was the amount and depth (6-8") that they recommend. I usually just sprinkle it heavily on top of layer on the bed. Nice son you have, tcs!!

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

Clementine ,
When I have gotten grounds and not planned on using them for a while, I pop them in my freezer.

Olympia, WA(Zone 7b)

Clementine, I was just joking about sending me grounds. My gym has a snack bar where they make smoothies and espresso, so I get lots of banana peels and grounds.

I think the 2-3 week consumption period recommended by Starbucks is due to the "yuck" factor of moldy coffee grounds.



Rockford, IL(Zone 5a)

Hey tcs1366,

Can I borrow your son for awhile? So he can gather all those coffee grounds all round town?



Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Linda -- sure , no problem!!


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I read on another thread that the mold won't hurt anything. After all, there's an element of "mold" once the detritis begins breaking down.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Will moldy coffee grinds hurt anything?

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

I dont think so.... i've used'em

Rockford, IL(Zone 5a)

Last year, I have been gathering Starbuck coffee grounds and dumped them in several areas in my garden. There was a particular spot that was hard to grow, and I mostly put it there. Boy, what an amazing results, my plants looks great. My mother was impressed and wanted to know what I did. I just smiled, and said, "That was Starbuck coffee grounds!" Now, we both go and get some from time to time and haul them home for our gardens.

So, if you're a lucky gardener that goes to their local mall, near home. Pop-in, and asked if you can take home some Starbuck coffee grounds for your garden. They'll be glad to give them to you. I tell them that I'll be shopping and be back for them, so it gives them time between customers and preparing the grounds for me to haul home.

Happy hunting for Starbuck coffee grounds!




Helena, MT

The sunset.com hyperlink posted by tsc1366 got my attention while making a quick review of this thread. I recently potted up several hundred hot pepper seedlings using a scoup of coffee grounds in the potting mix. I was going strictly on several previoius DG comments about using coffee grounds in their pepper potting media. It surprised me to see how low the PKN concentrations were. Looks to me like the coffee grounds are a pretty safe media addition for potting up new pepper seedlings.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Just a suggestion- if you're shy like me, maybe print out a page from the SB website about saving grounds , to show them when you ask. I have gotten blank stares so far.
Composters unite- if we all start asking maybe they'll notice!

Merrimac, WI(Zone 4b)

Maybe calling ahead and talking to the manager would be helpful, too.

Here's the link to the SB page sallyg mentioned: http://www.starbucks.com/aboutus/compost.asp

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

My kid works there.. .and they gladly give them away. I was at one once and a lady walked in and asked for them, they told her they were already gone for the day.

I'd probably call in the AM to say when you would be in to pick them up.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

I pick up the grounds whenever I can and freeze them. I take them to plant swaps to trade. We drink coffee and use what we make in my compost and extra from Starbucks when I run out of room.

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Do they have filters in with the grounds? Do you just leave them? I make one pot of coffee per day at home, and was trying to save the grounds - but putting them on my flower bed seemed futile since it was just a small amount in a huge space..... how does everyone else handle this??


Merrimac, WI(Zone 4b)

I throw the grounds and filters into my compost pile.

Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

gen -- Starbucks does not add the filters in with their grounds.

I sometimes will add the filters to my compost ...

Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

Thanks. Do you have any trouble with them breaking down? I guess I need to get me some type of official bin to put my things in... A friend just told me to start piling it on the ground - but it just seems to be a "mound" of stuff and doesn't seem to be doing anything except getting covered with grass and weeds. Is there a thread on here for newbies to look at different composting "products" or containers?? I could sure use some help figuring out what to use - because I obviously need LOTS of compost!! LOL


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

Geena -- I really have only been composting for a lil over a year i think.

I purchased a "tumbler" and was finally getting some good compost ... but my neighbor was adding too much "wet" [green] stuff, and pretty much ruined it ... i actually dumped it out and will have to start over.

I did read a lot of the threads in here and googled Composting, and found some pretty good sites.

you need a balance between "greens" and "browns" to make good compost.

I dont feel i am knowledgeable enough to explain it all.

but what i did with my filters is rip them into smaller pieces.

Last year when my compost was very wet, i posted a message in here and was told to add 'browns' ... so what i ended up doing was putting an old phone books, less the glossy pages, thru our paper shredder... yes that too a long time and i had to unjam it a few times.... but that added a lot of paper to my compost ... in the spring i had some pretty decent compost.

hope this helps a lil bit,


Camden, AR(Zone 8a)

can I ask what type of "tumbler" you purchased? How long does it take to produce compost....a month, 6 mos, a year?? I have NO IDEA....
Thank you for the ideas. I have plenty of newspaper and junk mail that I had considered using as well, but my compost pile is "not" working as is and I need to modify something......


Leesburg, FL(Zone 9b)

here is a thread on Tumblers.... look for my post, where i added a link to the one i bought... there may be some other good into for you in there.


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