Starbucks: Grounds for Your Garden

I’ve known about Starbucks’ Grounds for Your Garden for about three years now. But a lot of people don’t know about it, so I thought I’d mention it because it’s such a great idea! Starbucks actually started this program back in 1995, offering customers complimentary five-pound bags of used coffee grounds that they could use for their gardens, as part of their corporate effort to recycle and reduce waste. And they’ve continued doing this each year since…when spring comes around, you’ll notice bins filled with free packages of used coffee grounds in most Starbucks coffee shops. Each bag of grounds has a sticker attached that gives directions on how to use them–either by adding directly in the garden or in a compost pile.

Coffee grounds add valuable nutrients like nitrogen and potassium to your garden (other nutrients include phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and copper). You can mix coffee grounds into the soil or sprinkle them around any flowers in your garden as an extra fertilizer; they work well especially with acid-loving plants like rhododendrons, azaleas, hydrangeas, and magnolias. Or you can sprinkle lightly around vegetables in your garden. Don’t apply too thickly; the grounds applied directly to the soil should be less than 1/4″ thick to avoid the growth of certain fungus.

I read on the About.com website that coffee grounds can help control some bugs. They say that, supposedly, ants hate coffee–so you can try spreading the grounds where you have ant problems.

If you want to start composting at home, you can fill a wooden or plastic bin in your yard with a mixture of leaves and other yard trimmings; then mix in coffee grounds and other kitchen scraps from fruits and vegetables (do not add any scraps from animal products–that will contaminate your compost pile). Keep the materials in the bin moist and mix every so often to encourage the composting process. The compost will be ready to use in your garden when it fully decomposes into a dark rich soil-like material. You can layer on compost about 1/2 thick in your garden beds–it’s a great fertilizer and it discourages weeds and helps keeps plants moist, so you don’t need to water as often.

So try using some used coffee grounds in your garden–your plants will love it, and it’s a great way to help the recycling effort! It’s also a good excuse to stop by Starbucks and treat yourself to a yummy Frappuccino® this summer!

(Frappuccinos® pictured above are from the Starbucks website)

Linked to Anything Related Tuesday and Outdoor Wednesday.

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7 thoughts on “Starbucks: Grounds for Your Garden

  1. Shirley Corwin

    Excellent post!! I didn’t know that Starbucks did that either. I knew I loved them!! : )) I will have to start using my grounds out there for my veggies!!

    Reply
  2. Paula

    I need to check into this. I don’t go to Starbucks, but I’d be happy to use some of their grounds in my garden.

    Reply
  3. LaVoice

    What a great idea. I will have to start saving my grounds as I drink coffee every morning. Guess they would work just as well.

    Reply
  4. Tracy

    My mother and aunt have been adding used coffee grounds to their compost piles for many years. I do not drink much coffee but when I do, I do the same thing. I did not know about the Starbucks’ Grounds for Your Garden. Thank you for sharing that information with us. There is one not too far from my office so I will check it out tomorrow to see if they participate.

    Reply

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