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Re-using your coffee: Making your own garden products

Re-using your coffee: Making your own garden products

With Spring here and summer not far off, there’s not a better time to get the garden ready for the hot weather to come. Your used coffee grounds can be a great addition to your garden, providing you with beneficial alternatives to your regular garden-boosting bits. Take a look at some of these coffee ground substitutes you can try today.

Plant in coffee cup

Coffee Grounds Fertiliser

One of the best ways to boost your plants growth is to give it a sprinkling of fertiliser. Using your old coffee grounds for fertiliser is a great option thanks to their rich nutrient contents even after you’ve made a coffee with them: nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other micronutrients. Take a palmful of your grounds and evenly sprinkle them to ensure there is a thin layer around your plants. The grounds nutrients will naturally seep into the soil to provide your plants with all that they need for strong growth.

Natural Pesticide

Pests are a recurring problem when growing plants, and methods to prevent them can often do more harm than good. As an alternative to chemical pesticides, you can use your coffee grounds to deter pests from your plants. Due to their abrasive texture and the caffeine leftover in used grounds, pests like slugs or ants are off-put and will steer clear of your plants, leaving them in one piece. Similar to the fertiliser, all you need is a thin sprinkling around the plants that need protecting. The grounds can also be spread around areas the pests may be coming from to keep them from entering your garden at all.

Plant sprouting from soil


If you’re looking for some extra bits to add to your compost bin, your used coffee grounds can be a great addition. The grounds are packed with nutrients to support healthy growth for your plants. By using in compost, it creates a strong mix of different compost materials that act as a slow-release nutrient provider. You’ll want to stick to a ratio of 4:1 brown compost material to green compost material (despite coffee’s brown colour, it is actually a green material, so don’t go overboard mixing your grounds in your compost).

Wood staining

If you’ve got any wooden garden furniture, you can use your spent grounds to refurbish and stain the wood to give it a darker, richer look. Sand down the wood you want to stain to remove its sealer layer and original staining, then mix 2 cups of grounds with 2 or 3 cups of hot water. Leave it to sit until its cool, and apply with a rag or brush. Repeat making the mix as necessary to thoroughly cover all areas. Leave the wood and mix to let the staining work. For darker stains, repeat the process. you can use some soft grit paper to keep the wood smooth without removing the staining too. Make sure to apply a sealer to keep the colour at its best.

man holding wooden container filled with coffee grounds

Barbeque Cleaner

Barbeques are one of the best parts about hotter weather, but the mess left inside can be tricky to clean. Using a steel brush or harsh chemicals can cause some serious wear and tear, but you can use your leftover grounds, as their abrasive texture will help for removing deeper build-up on your barbeque. Mix your grounds in a bowl with hot water in a ratio of 3:1 grounds to water. You should end up with a gritty mixture that is not too runny. Take an old rag or sponge, dip into the mixture and apply with good pressure in circular to remove any build-up. If there are some bits that won’t budge, you can try the mix with steel wool or a steel brush but avoid prolonged periods of application to prevent damaging your barbeque.

Seed Spreader Mix

Some seeds require a wide spread for them to grow effectively, which can be difficult to just by hand. Seeds like carrot seeds being too close to each other can even prevent them from growing at all. Coffee grounds density pairs well with small seeds to give them an even spread so they have the space they need in the soil. Take a small handful of your used grounds and mix with about half the amount in seeds. Spread the mix as normal and lightly cover with soil if the seeds need to be buried. Not only will the grounds have helped keep the seeds separated, you’ll also be helping them to grow thanks to the nutrients they provide.

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