Coffee grounds can be used as a mulch, a fertilizer, a bug deterrent and as an addition to the compost pile. Coffee grounds add valuable nitrogen to soil and compost piles or bins. The grounds also contain trace amounts of potassium, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium that are required for healthy plant growth and healthy soils. Over time, coffee grounds can even actually lower the pH in the garden soil! All that and it's free! Many coffee houses will give used grounds to anyone who asks for them. Some places even prepackage them for quick and easy pick up. So, what exactly are you supposed to do with them? Here are just a few ways to use the used coffee grounds.

Things You Will Need

Coffee grounds

Compost bin or pile

Garden spade

5 gallon bucket

Add coffee grounds, coffee filter included, to the compost bin or compost pile. Microbes responsible for composting will get rid of the acid and neutralize the acidity in coffee grounds. The used grounds are rich in nitrogen and raise the levels in compost. They are considered a green material when composting. They will also help the compost to retain moisture.

Sprinkle coffee grounds around the garden before watering or before it rains. They will then act as a slow release fertilizing nitrogen source. Sprinkle them around plants in your yard to deter pests. Slugs and snails don't like the gritty feel of coffee grounds or the caffeine! The smell of these magic leftovers also confuses the sense of smell in some pests, masking the smell of their real target. Mixing coffee grounds into the soil deters root maggots.Toads also like to bury themselves into mounds of the gritty leftovers or settle into bowls full of them that are left throughout the garden. The toads will in turn eat some of the pests that wander withing reach.

Mix coffee grounds directly into the soil as a soil amendment and to attract worms. Worms love coffee grounds. Mix them into the soil around acid loving plants like tomatoes. Your tomatoes will be brighter in color and the plants will thrive. Mix them into the soil around roses for bigger and brighter blooms.

Soak 1/2 pounds of them in 5 gallons of water for a quick fertilizer. Coffee ground tea is a good foliar fertilizer.

Coffee grounds will also work as a mulch. The dark color also attracts the sun and warms the soil which will help in early spring planting of acid loving plants. When using as a mulch, be sure to watch to see that it hasn't formed a hard crust. If it has, simply use a garden spade to break up the crust.