Coffee Grounds and Veggie Garden... Do They Mix!?

Just like every other coffee shop in Melbourne, we end the day dumping a literal TON of used coffee grounds into empty buckets to be whisked away by… well, we’re not really sure to be honest!


So, this got us at The Alleyway Cartel thinking about uses for this inevitable waste and how the grounds can be recycled. There’s the ever-popular face and body scrubs that took the skin care industry by storm all those years ago, but this is not for everyone. However, with health, well-being, and us humans becoming more aware of our impact on the environment some of us have started gardening and composting.




Now, I’ll admit had we not been restricted to the confines of our homes for the past year it may not have been on my radar, but starting a vegetable garden, composting, and creating my own soil has been an excellent and therapeutic way to while away the lockdown hours.


So, what does any of this have to do with coffee grounds you ask!? There are many benefits to scooping some old coffee grounds and chucking them into your compost bin or sprinkling them directly over your garden (ideally you want to mix it into your soil).




Here a list of uses and benefits in your garden!


Nitrogen and Other Nutrients

Coffee grounds contain roughly 2% nitrogen which can act as a slow release agent if tilled into the soil. This consequently improves the availability of copper, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorous – all vital nutrients for your vegetables! This also promotes the growth of various microorganisms within your soil.


Pest Control

The coarseness of the coffee grounds can act as a barrier for snails and slugs. Sprinkling a line of grounds around your plants or garden bed will deter these critters as they are not too fond of the grittiness. Crushed eggshells will have the same effect!



Mixing a cup of coffee grounds with 10 litres of water and left to sit overnight will result in a nice liquid fertilizer you can pour on your houseplants or garden!



Used coffee grounds are useful in your compost bin as an additional carbon source. Throw a cup in once a week as a little carbon top up. If you have a worm farm and/or add worms to your compost the coffee grounds actual aid with their digestion making it easier for them to churn through your food scraps!


So come on down with your container and scoop up some of these free coffee grounds!