Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Coffee Grounds for your Garden?

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer,recycle coffee pods, composting coffee grounds, coffee in the garden, making hydrangea blue

Hello fellow readers,

I’m not quite sure what inspired me to start collecting coffee grounds from the pods I once was resistant to use. Coffee grounds are terrific for your compost pile, but I don’t have one because of our resident bear. A while back, I considered worm composting indoors, but my stomach grew queasy when I learned about separating the worms from their castings.

A pod coffee machine moved in with Curt, and I must say, its super convenient. It came at the peak of the rant about coffee pods though. You may recall the YouTube video with the scary attack of a sci-fi creature bulleting k-cups. It ends with ‘Kill the K-cup before they kill our planet.’ At the time, disposed of cups in our landfills could circle our planet 10.5 times. Whoa!Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer,recycle coffee pods, composting coffee grounds, coffee in the garden, making hydrangea blue

Thankfully now there are earth-friendly alternatives. San Francisco Bay’s Fog Chaser has become our brew of choice. The name touts its wake-up benefits, but more important is the lid and ring of each pod are compostable. And, the mesh filter is made of food-grade material with a compostable mesh version coming soon.

Lucille of Bangor wrote in that her Nikko Blue Hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla, bloom pink and she heard if she starts in spring with coffee grounds around her plants, they’ll be blue by bloom time.

Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer,recycle coffee pods, composting coffee grounds, coffee in the garden, making hydrangea blue

How to keep hydrangea blue? Read on… and keep your coffee to yourself :^)

Blue flowers on hydrangea are a result of sufficient aluminum in the soil. Acidic soil indeed helps make aluminum more available to plants, but most of the acidity is flushed out of used coffee grounds. In fact, they are close to neutral in pH. You’d be better off pouring cooled coffee around your plants to increase acidity. That is if it weren’t so pricey at about forty cents a pod when you buy in bulk. Maybe I need a 12-step program.

To encourage blue flowers on your hydrangea, try liquid aluminum sulfate, also known as ‘Hydrangea Bluing’ and keep the coffee to yourself; while putting the grounds to good use.

According to Oregon State University Extension Service, you can spread coffee grounds directly on soil then cover them with leaves, compost or bark mulch before lightly digging them in. If left on top, they’ll repel water when they dry out. Or, add grounds to your compost pile by layering 1/3 leaves, 1/3 fresh grass clippings, and 1/3 coffee grounds. Garden dilemmas? askmarystone@gmail.com

Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

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