Our hyper-caffeinated culture has resulted in a glut of coffee grounds choking our garbage pails. But before you toss out the stale remnants of yesterday’s bean brew, check out a few of these surprising and useful ways that you can re-purpose coffee grounds in and around your home.
1. Enrich Your Compost Pile.
Coffee grounds are chock-full of nitrogen, which helps speed decomposition by feeding the microorganisms that break down the biological material in the bin. Coffee grounds also contain other trace nutrients, including potassium and magnesium. Just pour in the grounds, mix, and walk away.
2. Attract Worms.
Everyone knows that worms are great for the lawn and garden, but what you may not know is that worms are attracted to coffee grounds. The grounds are gritty, and worms need that grit to aid in their digestive process. And if you are using worms as fishing bait, mixing coffee grounds into the soil in the bait box will help keep the worms fresh and wriggling all day long.
3. Repel Slugs And Snails.
The same gritty texture that attracts worms to coffee grounds acts as a natural repellent to slugs, snails, ants, and other creepy-crawly bugs that can’t stand the acidity of coffee. Sprinkling coffee grounds on the soil around sensitive plants or mounding up a ring of coffee grounds a few inches out from the base of those plants will keep these pests away.
4. Fertilize Flowers.
Coffee grounds are acidic and therefore can be a great natural fertilizer for roses, azaleas, evergreens, rhododendrons, blueberry bushes, camellias, and hydrangeas. Adding coffee grounds to the soil around hydrangeas can produce vibrant blue blossoms, because the extra acidity helps the flowers absorb aluminum, leading to a deep blue hue.
5. Produce A Nonskid Surface.
Salt is a commonly used de-icing product for winter walkways and driveways, but it can also damage sensitive plants and over time can even wear away cement or asphalt surfaces. Coffee grounds are a great alternative for making sidewalks and driveways less slippery; the acid in the grounds also helps melt the ice.