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Coffee as Fertilizer

Ryan wanted to find something extra for his garden.  Principally using manure for his garden, he noticed that his plants weren't growing as much as he liked.  A bit chagrined, Ryan was contemplating what he could possibly do to help his garden.  He was discussing his quandary with his friend Sean at a coffee shop in a dialogue that went a bit like this:

Ryan - Man, I don't know what to do about my garden.  The plants don't look like they're growing very healthy.

Sean - I don't know, have you considered changing your fertilizer?

Ryan - Yeah, but nothing seems to be working right now.  Wow, this is a delicious espresso.

Sean - It certainly has a kick to it.

Ryan (with a light turning on his head) - Wait a second, this might be the answer.

While Sean may have been a bit confused about Ryan's sudden change of heart, Ryan had just remembered something that he had read a couple of years.  While coffee is best known for its social benefits and its stimulating effect, there's another underrated positive to coffee.  This is its role as a fertilizer.

For those who don't know what a fertilizer is, it is a chemical or chemicals that are given to plants to promote growth.  Either through foliar spraying or by applying it to the soil, fertilizers are instrumental in plant growth.  This is because fertilizers generally provide in varying proportions nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium, which are the three major plant nutrients.  Additionally, fertilizers contain the secondary plant nutrients of calcium, sulfur, and magnesium to some degree.  Fertilizers tend to contain trace elements like boron, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum that play a positive role in plant nutrition.

Studies have shown the effective role that spent coffee grounds can have in a garden as a fertilizer.  Due to its high nitrogen content, spent coffee grounds contain properties that is excellent in plant health.  As nitrogen is a crucial component of DNA, RNA, and proteins that plants need to build themselves, coffee is becoming increasingly used as a fertilizer.  Additionally, recent studies have shown that spent coffee grounds also contain potassium, phosphorous, and other trace elements that only assist the development process for a plant.  It is particularly effective for roses, as many gardeners swear that roses love coffee grounds as a fertilizer.

If you are interested in obtaining spent coffee grounds to use as a fertilizer, it's actually easier than you probably thought to obtain.  Most local coffee shops will provide coffee grounds for a small price or for free.  Large coffee shop chains tend to have a policy of composting coffee grounds, but often give them away to those who ask.