Now maybe I'm the only one who didn't know this, but yesterday, Chile (of Chile Chews) included a segment on getting free coffee grounds from Starbucks. Really? Immediately, I was on the phone to the Starbucks just a few blocks from my house. I wasn't expecting much since it's just a counter and a couple tables inside the Kroger grocery store. But they said, YES! In fact, they did have a coffee ground bin for gardeners and that I was welcome to stop by. Five minutes later, I was at the Starbucks counter, eager and just a little bit sweaty (geez, what happened to the cooler September temperatures???).
Anyway, they had 3 grocery sacks full just waiting for the next gardener to come along. I was going to leave some for the next person, but the attendant encouraged me to take all 3. They'd just make more, after all.
Next time, I'll be sure to take my bike, because three grocery sacks full of coffee grounds is a little heavy, even for the short 5 minute walk home. But I made it!
After a little research, I decided to put the bulk of the three bags in the compost bin, which adds nitrogen to the compost as well as assists in keeping the bin hot, thus speeding up the composting process. Sweet! I did save just a little of the grounds out to sprinkle at the base of one of the tomato plants just to see if it makes any difference. Stay tuned...
Ok. Seriously. How cool is this? I really think it's neat that you can pick up coffee grounds from from any Starbucks in North America. Not only are they reducing waste by giving those grounds an opportunity to fertilize the Earth (and out of the landfill), but gardeners can get this resource for free. Very cool! Thanks for sharing, Chile!
So how about all you out there... Have you used coffee grounds in your compost bin or directly in the garden? Have you noticed a difference in results? If you apply it directly to the garden, on what plants does it work best? How often do you apply?
For more information on the Starbucks "Grounds for your Garden" as well as nutrient content of the grounds and general tips, visit the Starbucks website here.