Using Starbucks Coffee Grounds In Your Garden
Starbucks Grounds For Your Garden Program
Grounds For Your Garden
Did you ever wonder what Starbucks does with all of the grounds they consume producing great coffee every day? Well if you guessed that they throw it out, well you would have been correct many years ago. In 1995, Starbucks began offering bags of their used grounds free for the taking by customers or sending them to commercial composting programs in places where they are available in order to reduce waste.
Now, in most stores you will find a small bin or bucket with bags of used coffee grounds. They’re typically packaged in the same bags that the coffee beans came in, and sealed up with a sticker indicating that they are “Grounds for Your Garden.” However, sometimes you might just find bags filled with several unsealed coffee ground packages. They are absolutely free for the taking and the baristas love it when someone takes all of them off their hands, obviously because they would have to store them for a composting service or throw them away.
Starbucks Coffee Grounds
Plant Nutrition Of Starbucks Used Coffee Grounds
Starbucks used coffee grounds contain low levels of the three macronutrients that plants use to grow. In comparison to some chemical fertilizer with a balanced ratio of nutrients with a label of 5-5-5 or 10-10-10, used coffee grounds would have a rating of 2.28-.06-.6, meaning it contains 2.28 percent nitrogen, 0.06 percent phosphorus and 0.6 percent potassium. More information about the nutrient contents of Starbucks used coffee grounds is available from the source of this information at Sunset.com.
This means that it is relatively high in nitrogen as compared to the other two macronutrients, phosphorus and potassium. Coffee grounds won’t provide nutrients like a chemical based fertilizer will, however they will provide nutrients over time as they are broken down in the soil by microbes, acting more like a slow-release fertilizer. There is also no risk of burning your plants with too much nitrogen. By incorporating coffee grounds into your garden soil, or potting soil if you garden in containers, you can improve the drainage of poor soil or potting mix as coffee grounds are very granular, similar to sand. They can also improve poor soil and potting mix by providing nutrients over time to plants.
Starbucks Coffee Grounds
Getting Used Grounds From Starbucks
If you frequent Starbucks, simply look for the bin that holds the packages of coffee grounds or ask a barista if they have any available for the taking. If you don’t visit Starbucks that often, simply call the nearest shop and ask them if they have any available (that way you don’t make a trip for nothing if they don’t have any available).
Seeing as how used coffee grounds are generally wet and the fact that bags can leak, I highly recommend that you either bring a large bucket, plastic tote or some other sealable container that can hold the bags of grounds and catch any leaking coffee, which smells delicious, but most people don’t want staining the inside of their car, trunk or truck bed. At home, unless you are planning to use them immediately or spread them around your garden, you can keep them in a sealed bin or other container. Try to use them when possible as they can mold with time.
Using Starbucks Coffee Grounds
The used coffee grounds you collect from Starbucks can be tilled into your garden soil in the spring, spread around the top of the soil layer, composted with other compostable materials, or mixed with potting soil for container gardens (they are a great potting mix amendment and tomatoes just thrive off of them). For potting soil, mix generally 1 to 2 parts used coffee grounds with 3 to 4 parts potting soil. When tilling used coffee grounds into your garden soil, till them into the first 6” or so. Over time, coffee grounds can improve the structure of poor soils and add nutrients.