How to Repurpose Coffee Grounds in Your Garden

A woman taking a coffee break in her garden.

According to the National Coffee Association's 2013 online survey, 83 percent of adults in the U.S. drink coffee. That's a lot of coffee! That's also a lot of coffee grounds.

If you're someone who likes to brew their own coffee each morning, you might be wondering if there's a good way to repurpose your used coffee grounds instead of dumping in the trash each day. Fortunately, there are a bunch of ways you can repurpose coffee grounds, but if you're a coffee drinker and a gardener, you need to repurpose coffee grounds in your garden!

Stabilize Compost pH Level

If you keep a compost pile in your yard, make sure to toss any of your used coffee grounds into the pile with the rest of the kitchen scraps. Coffee grounds can help stabilize the pH level in your compost, which will help those other kitchen scraps break down faster and more evenly.

Homemade Fertilizer

Colorful flowers in a garden.

Fertilizers are food for your plants and they help keep your garden growing healthy, ensuring your crops get an adequate amount of nutrients. Amazingly, coffee grounds make great homemade fertilizer! Instead of going out and buying store-bought fertilizer, you can save used coffee grounds instead. Simply sprinkle coffee grounds in the soil around your flowers and plants. Alternatively, you can mix some of the grounds with warm water in a spray bottle to use as a fertilizer mist for the leaves.

Boost Seed Harvest

You can mix coffee grounds with various seeds before sowing to boost their harvest. By mixing the two, the teeny seeds become bulkier and easier to manage. The coffee grounds also encourage growth because it nourishes the soil, while also helping to repel various pests.

Create a Bug Repellent

A mosquito against a green background.

Although coffee lovers most likely love the scent of fresh brewed coffee, bugs do not. Your coffee grounds will have a really strong scent that will repel any creepy crawlies passing by your garden. This will help save your plants from becoming bug food, as they help repel snails and slugs, as well as ants.

Even mosquitoes hate the smell of coffee! Not only do coffee grounds work as a mosquito repellent, but they can also be used as an effective natural insecticide. Just pour used coffee grounds in any stagnant water around your yard to make any possible breeding grounds uninhabitable, while also killing any larvae already growing there. You can also put little trays of coffee grounds around your patio to keep bugs away from where you're sitting.

Compost Deodorizer

Adding coffee grounds to your compost is a great way to help control the smell that rotting food can give off. Not only are coffee grounds great for absorbing strong, stinky odors, but they also release a much more pleasant scent.

Worm Food

A pair of hands holding soil with worms in it.

One bug you do want in your garden actually enjoys coffee grounds, and those are worms. As any avid gardener knows, worms are good for your garden because the little tunnels they create allow water to get to the roots of your plants, and the worms themselves help break down plant debris and increase nutrient availability. Worms can eat coffee grounds without it causing them any harm, and the grounds can actually help them live longer and attract even more worms to your garden.

Keep Cats Away

If you have a cat, or if one of your neighbors has a cat, that likes to use your garden as its litter box, you can use coffee grounds to deter them from going there. Simply mix coffee grounds with orange peels and place them around your plants. The combined smells will help rid your garden of the kitty's scent and they'll eventually go somewhere else. If it doesn't work with the first batch of coffee grounds and orange peels, put down a second patch and spray it with a bit of water to enhance the smell.