Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

If you would like advice from the Kitchen Garden editorial team, ask here. Steve, Emma or Tony will pop in with their best advice.

Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter

brian sharp
KG Regular
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:01 pm

Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby brian sharp » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:32 pm

Dear Team, I have heard that coffee grounds are good for the soil in gardens and allotments. I have also heard that the coffee grounds are good for the acid loving plants.
Can you please tell me if the coffee grounds are good for the plants I grow on my allotment ie: Potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, brussels broccoli, carrots, onions, garlic, sweetcorn runner - french - and broad beans.
Thank you for your time.
Brian Sharp
bsharp@uwclub.net
0 x
User avatar
KG Tony
KG Regular
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:22 am
x 1

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby KG Tony » Thu Oct 27, 2016 9:33 am

There is an argument that they are good (though keep dogs away from them) but there is an interesting article by James Wong where he found they were actually detrimental due to the caffeine in coffee which is designed to inhibit plant growth. https://t.co/2ky4KOEo7W
0 x
User avatar
KG Steve
KG Editor
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:35 pm
Location: Lincolnshire
x 37

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby KG Steve » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:03 am

I suspect it is like everything else - use it with caution and don't overdo it. Many years ago (and in another job!) an office plant died within days of someone pouring some dregs from a coffee cup into the pot! Not sure who the culprit may have been :oops: This suggested to me that black coffee itself is pretty lethal to plants and I remember being surprised that grounds were being recommended for wholesale use on garden plants.

I would recommend using it in sensible amounts around plants volnerable to slug attack as it does seem to be a good anti-slug and snail barrier and in small amounts on the soil surface there shoud be no problem. I'd advise against using it in large quantities to dig in as I think James probably raises some valid points. Mind you I'd say the same about adding too much of anything - ie manure, grass clippings etc. It's all about balance.

And just to second the advice about dogs - don't use it where they have access to the garden.
0 x
Steve Ott
Kitchen Garden Editor
User avatar
Tony Hague
KG Regular
Posts: 620
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 6:26 pm
Location: Bedfordshire
x 24
Contact:

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby Tony Hague » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:20 am

I think James Wong refered to a mulch 1" thick. Quite a lot of coffee !

You've got me curious now though. What happens to a dog on caffeine ?
0 x
User avatar
KG Steve
KG Editor
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:35 pm
Location: Lincolnshire
x 37

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby KG Steve » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:56 am

I'm sure there is a good joke there somewhere Tony - but I just can't think of one at the moment! If anyone else can feel free to post it (polite ones only of course) :D I guess the dog's fleas would be pretty wired!

Seriously though, it has much the same effect on dogs as on us - increased heart rate etc, but they are said to be far more sensitive to it, especially small dogs. Apparently there is no cure either. My lab would hoover up the lot so there is no way I could use it!
Decaff, I am told, is OK, but of course the stuff from a highstreet chain would be a mix of all sorts.
0 x
Steve Ott

Kitchen Garden Editor
User avatar
Pa Snip
KG Regular
Posts: 2872
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:20 pm
Location: Near the big house on the hill Berkshire
x 521

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby Pa Snip » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:15 am

Call me mad (what you mean, you already do !!) but wasn't there some talk a while back about that lovely organisation called the EU spouting on about wanting a directive banning the use of coffee grounds as a mulch.

I can't remember when it was, within last 3 or 4 years I think. Something is stirring the back of my mind on the subject.
0 x

The danger when people start to believe their own publicity is that they often fall off their own ego.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
User avatar
KG Steve
KG Editor
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2005 5:35 pm
Location: Lincolnshire
x 37

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby KG Steve » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:35 am

You're more sane than most of the rest of us Par Snip!

Actually since coffee grounds are not an approved pesticide under EU regulations it is already technically illegal to use them as a slug or snail killer. It wouldn't be illegal to use them as a mulch since you are not using them to kill anything then, only to improve the soil.

I wonder what might happen if anything given time after Brexit. We will keep you informed as it happens!
1 x
Steve Ott

Kitchen Garden Editor
User avatar
Pa Snip
KG Regular
Posts: 2872
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:20 pm
Location: Near the big house on the hill Berkshire
x 521

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby Pa Snip » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:41 am

Captain Carrot wrote:You're more sane than most of the rest of us Par Snip!
Actually since coffee grounds are not an approved pesticide under EU regulations it is already technically illegal to use them as a slug or snail killer.
I wonder what might happen if anything given time after Brexit. We will keep you informed as it happens!


Whhhheyy heyy, that's one I've suckered into thinking I'm sane. I can see this jacket coming off soon and me being out this padded room.


That was it, that's what I was trying to remember, a hoo hah over coffee grounds as a pesticide.

Can't quite describe it as a storm in a teacup
0 x

The danger when people start to believe their own publicity is that they often fall off their own ego.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
User avatar
Geoff
KG Regular
Posts: 4436
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:33 pm
Location: Forest of Bowland
x 311

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby Geoff » Thu Oct 27, 2016 12:43 pm

Did you see them using coffee grounds to grow mushrooms on yesterday's Springwatch Autumn Diary? http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0 ... -episode-3
0 x
User avatar
OscarSidcup
KG Regular
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 3:51 pm
Location: Sidcup, Kent
x 1

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby OscarSidcup » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:43 pm

Captain Carrot wrote:Actually since coffee grounds are not an approved pesticide under EU regulations it is already technically illegal to use them as a slug or snail killer. It wouldn't be illegal to use them as a mulch since you are not using them to kill anything then, only to improve the soil


It may not be on the approved list, but is it on the forbidden list? If not on there, then I would not think it would be an issue, no? Any way to get rid of slugs is a good way - in my own humble opinion... 8)
1 x
Nature is simply amazing
Instagram: @frankinkent
User avatar
Diane
KG Regular
Posts: 1344
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: Wimborne, Dorset.
x 179

Re: Spent Coffee Grounds on Allotments

Postby Diane » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:57 pm

Pouring coffee grounds ( over a period of a couple of months or so, in the Spring ) into the tub containing my holly tree certainly killed off the vine weevil larvae. The tree is fine still.
1 x
'Preserve wildlife - pickle a rat'

Return to “Ask the team”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests