Grounds in the Garden

Coffee grounds are a quick, easy way to add nutrients and organic matter to your soil.  They are a great source of nitrogen that your plants will love!   Add grounds directly to the soil – dig them in a couple inches or just sprinkle on top.  Or, put grounds into your compost bin – they’ll heat everything up in no time!

You can also drop off grounds for your local park, community garden, or farmer.

Did you know that:*
  • Coffee grounds contain the three major nutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, & potassium—that flowering and edible plants need to thrive!
  • Grounds also contribute important micronutrients—magnesium, copper, and calcium— not typically found in synthetic fertilizers.
  • Coffee grounds won’t burn plants, pollute groundwater, or kill soil organisms that are part of a healthy ecosystem.
  • Adding grounds (up to 25% the volume of your soil) will improve soil structure in the short and long term.
  • Only a small percent of the nitrogen found in coffee grounds can be used by plants immediately. Over time, microorganisms break down the organic matter, converting suspended nitrogen into a useable form. This creates a steady, slow release fertilizer that plants love!
  • Coffee grounds neutralize odor, discourage visits from mischievous cats, and repel garden pests such as ants, snails, and slugs.
  • Grounds have a slightly acidic pH (6.2-6.8), which many plants appreciate in Austin’s alkaline soil.
  • With a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 24:1, grounds are compostable without any other additives.
Get more grounds today at these locations…

*Sunset Magazine: The Starbucks coffee compost test (, accessed 07/01/12). Research conducted by Soil and Plant Laboratory Inc., Bellevue, WA.


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