More and more people are becoming fans of coffee. Waking up each morning to brew yourself a cup of joe, then taking that first, warm sip, is needed by some of us to help start the day off on the right foot. After you’ve enjoyed a few cups, and helped provide your mind with a bit of alertness, you may begin to think about what you can do with your used coffee grounds that are just waiting inside your maker to be thrown in the trash.
Coffee lovers who love gardening and yard work have most likely heard people talk about or read articles concerning the uses of coffee grounds outside. Placing them in a compost pile, sprinkling them on plants, or even using them as a fertilizer for grass is a hot topic of discussion for coffee enthusiasts with a green thumb. But are coffee grounds really good for your grass? The answer to that question is yes, but like with so many things in life, only in moderation. Let’s learn more about your used coffee grounds and what the pros and cons are of using them on your grass.
What’s So Special About Coffee Grounds?
While most of us who enjoy coffee keep ourselves informed of the health benefits it provides, there are quite a few good things left behind in our brewed grounds we aren’t aware of. Did you know coffee grounds are full of trace materials like phosphorus, nitrogen, copper, and magnesium? These nutrients are there, in the grounds most of us toss into the trash each morning when we clean our coffee pots after use.
Those same materials are great for your lawn due to how they are released. Instead of being released into your turf quickly like some fertilizers, the nutrients in coffee grounds break down slowly, allowing them more time to absorb into your lawn and benefit your grass.
The Pros of Coffee Grounds on Your Grass
Now that you know about the hidden nutrients in your coffee grounds, let’s take a look at a few benefits your lawn will experience if you decide to use your leftovers on your grass.
Coffee Grounds and Worms
Using your coffee grounds on your lawn can also help with the biological activity taking place that you aren’t even aware is going on. Outside, in your soil, are earthworms. Now, don’t freak out about the idea of worms wiggling around in your yard’s soil. Earthworms are actually good for your lawn. They don’t eat your grass. Instead, they eat the soil and then leave their castings behind. These castings then aerate the soil and aid in breaking down the nutrients needed for a healthy lawn.
When you use coffee grounds on your lawn, the earthworms help get the nutrients inside to not only your grass but the soil below. As they eat the soil, they also spread the potential clumps of used coffee grounds. This allows your grass to get proper moisture if you’ve accidentally used grounds and allowed them to clump in one area.
Coffee Grounds Can Kill Weeds
I know, it sounds a bit strange to suggest used coffee grounds are safe for your lawn and then say they’ll kill weeds, but it’s true. The trick when killing weeds with your coffee grounds is the amount you use. When coffee grounds are used to fertilize your lawn, you sprinkle them around and try to avoid clumps that can block moisture. When using them to kill weeds, that clumping is exactly what you want. By clumping coffee grounds around unwanted weeds, the moisture needed to keep them alive can’t reach the roots, thus slowly killing the weed in your yard or garden.
Fewer Unwanted Animals and Insects
While the earthworms are great for your lawn, other insects aren’t very beneficial. The caffeine in coffee is great at repelling unwanted slugs and snails. Some people even take things a step farther and use coffee grounds on their lawn when they are planning an outdoor function or fun outside activities. The aroma is too much for some critters and allows the family a chance at pest-free fun.
Coffee grounds may also help keep the neighborhood cats from using your lawn as their personal litter box. The last thing you want to find when you step out on your grass is a gift from kitties who aren’t even yours. By using used coffee grounds as a border around your lawn you can deter this kind of activity. Cats and a few other animals aren’t fans of the smell and will avoid the area if possible.
No matter how hard you work to keep your lawn looking beautiful, fungi can attack. This can leave your grass looking yellow and unsightly. Used coffee grounds can help with this too. By taking your grounds outside, sprinkling them where the fungus is an issue, and raking them into the soil, you can combat this problem without needing to reach out to professionals for assistance.
The Cons of Using Coffee Grounds on Your Grass
You can’t look at the positives of coffee grounds on your lawn without knowing the negative side of things. Let’s take a look at a few of the dangers related to coffee grounds on your grass.
Coffee Grounds Can Dry Out Your Grass
Do you remember when we said using coffee grounds on your grass is good if done in moderation? This is where that comes into play. Tons of coffee grounds tossed around your lawn can cause clamping. Clamping is when a layer block is created on top of your soil by the coffee grounds. The grounds then absorb all the moisture trying to get to your soil and cause your grass to turn color.
If you want to get the benefits of coffee grounds on your grass but avoid this issue, moderation is the key. Don’t go outside and sprinkle coffee grounds onto your lawn daily. Instead, consider making yourself a compost pile.
Compost is organic materials around your home like food waste that can be broken down and used to help your soil. Coffee grounds are an excellent addition to a compost pile. You can even avoid the compost pile every few weeks so you can step outside to sprinkle the grounds for added nutrients for your grass. Just make sure to spread evenly so clamping doesn’t take place.
Coffee Grounds and pH Levels
Coffee is quite acidic which can change the pH levels of your soil if used too often. This is one of the reasons many people use composting instead of direct application of used grounds. It is also why tossing fresh coffee grounds onto your soil is so bad. The pH level inside your coffee can be too much for your grass. Only use used, brewed coffee grounds on your lawn, and avoid using them all the time as they can raise your pH levels too much.
Final Thoughts on Coffee Grounds & Your Grass
As you can clearly see, there are both pros and cons to using coffee grounds on your grass. If you want to keep your grass looking healthy, while finding a good use for your spent grounds, work in moderation. Too many grounds can have adverse effects on your grass but if you compost, or use sparingly, your lawn can benefit from the many nutrients left behind after you enjoy a nice pot of coffee each morning.
Featured Image Credit: Janet Worg, Shutterstock
Table of Contents
- What’s So Special About Coffee Grounds?
- The Pros of Coffee Grounds on Your Grass
- The Cons of Using Coffee Grounds on Your Grass
- Final Thoughts on Coffee Grounds & Your Grass