Coffee Grounds?

How about it? Just dug a bed and thought I'd load it with coffee grounds. The lawn too. Been saving them for years. How much is over doing it? Dan
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snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Sure. Mix it with dirt. We through our coffee grounds on the compost pile every day. Next Spring and Summer, the compost will be used for planting.
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On Sun, 27 Aug 2006 06:38:44 -0400, Stubby

..heard it keeps the worms up at night though....
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Makes 'em kinda nervous mmmm hmmmm. ($1 sling-blade Carl)
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Dan, who the heck knows. I have not seen any analysis that says how much is too much. Here are a few top of the head considerations however. I am talking here about used coffee grounds.
Some reference I read a while back on the net said they had an NPK content of 3-1-2 (although various claims differ this seems around the most often quoted). This is about the same as pelletised organic poop based lawn fertilisers (chicken or sheep) although the poop fertilisers may have a slightly higher phosphate mix. I have made a big batch of compost using alot of grounds and it heated up quickly which suggests there was a good amount of nitrogen available.
If it is 3-1-2 then I suggest you apply it much the same as any other fertiliser with that same mix. That is, if a pelletised poop fertiliser with that npk mix says spread so much by weight across so much a square metre of grass do the same for the coffee grounds. IfIt also may depend what you are trying to put in to your soil. Blood and bone has a NP (no K) mix of about 6:6 or there abouts. If you want the same addition of N from coffee grounds you would need about twice the amount as B&B. If you want the same amount of P that B&B has you would need about 6 times the amount of coffee grounds. For the lawn best dry the grounds, that way they will not lump together.
Similar to you I have just built a raised garden and thrown some coffee grounds on it as a fertiliser/soil conditioner. The bed will be lying fallow for some time so I am not too worried about whether I added too much or too little. Weathering and worms will take care of a lot of that. If I was close to planting I would be a little more careful and treat it like any other fertiliser. I know roughly what my soil ph is so maybe I will test it closer to planting to see if there has been any change in ph.
I also use the grounds as a mulch. Some directly to beds and other times mixed in with wood mulches to add some nitrogen in to the soil. The mulch is only about 2-3 cm deep at most so it is not super heavy and I have not noticed any adverse reaction so far in the planys. The wood mulches are there to keep down weeds so I am not too worried about whether I have gotten the coffee grounds in exactly the right proportion.
So, if in doubt I guess use as a benchmark against other types of fertilisers. If applying to a bed that may be fallow for some time it should not be a big issue. If using as a mulch maybe mix it with other things like sawdust or dried leaves.
There are different claims that coffee grounds are acidic (see below), if you subscribe to that theory you may want to use it sparingly. Maybe you may like to do a ph test. Maybe that is something I should do as well.
http://www.ibiblio.org/london/permaculture/mailarchives/sanet2/msg00090.html An old Rodale book - Complete Book of Composting gives the following:
coffee grounds, fresh - Moisture - 62.9%, Ash .5%, N 1.84%, P2O5 .03%, K2O .12% composted 58% -- 1.65% .22% 3.0%
As always, adding high levels of uncomposted (fresh) organic matter can "distract" the microorganisms normally relied upon for making N available to the vege crops. Usually, N needs to be added to make up for the temporary shortage. Same is true for "green" sawdust, leaves, etc.
If adding N isn't desirable, sounds as if the person might be better off composting the material. If there's enough garden area available the person could sheet compost in an area not to be planted this year. Otherwise I'm guessing that a regular compost pile, with plans to use for late season crops or for plants next year, might be better.
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On 27 Aug 2006 03:05:08 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Saving them for years? hmm....
Well I kinda just take mine out and spread them in one swoop to empty the basket into the yard. I've seen nothing detrimental to adding coffee grounds directly to the yard.
later,
tom @ www.WorkAtHomePlans.com
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RE:Tom The Great wrote:

I'm a real foot dragger. Only this year have I had sufficient grounds to spread the remains of my coffee brewing. I hope I'm not in trouble. The contents of some bags showed mold and had gone from black to brown. Dan
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On 1 Sep 2006 03:17:24 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

I belive molds is ok, as long as the mold isn't the same type that attacks your lawn. Molds are 'our friends' when breaking down 'old stuff'. ;)
imho,
tom @ www.Japanese-Beetles.com
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Penicillin is on line one looking for kudos. :)
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If they were saved damp or wet in a sealed container, there may boogers in there you don't want in the soil.
Just save the stuff in an open container. You can seal it when its dried out. Or just dump it immediately where you want it. Burial is preferred by mixing with the soil during the process.
--
Jonny



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can you explain in more detail what you mean Jonny?
rob
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Anaerobic bacteria makes poisons (chemicals). These can be absorbed by edible plants and passed on to whatever or whomever consumes these. One commonly recognized is trichinosis occurring on flesh in a sealed container. The bacteria itself isn't the problem, its what it produces.
Can't happen in an open storage container, or a sealed container lacking moisture. Can't happen viably in the soil.
--
Jonny



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Jonny said:

When has there even been ONE case of trichinosis from COFFEE GROUNDS? That just topped the most absurd thing I've ever read on the USENET.
--
Eggs

-A little bit of pain never hurt anyone
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Exotoxins. They are the poisonous substance not the bacteria. Like in Botulism. You can cook a contaminated food to kill the bacteria, but the poison has already been released and the heat will not kill it. Do what I do. Test it first, or as it is called in the trade "TIF". Usually late at night and on a neighbors yard to be my best area for TIF'ing. Oh wait. I'm posting in the wrong group. I thought this was Alt.Soil.Microbes.MicroBiochemistry. My bad.
But wait. Contrary to popular opinion, Trichinosis is not a bacteria, and it doesn't produce a problem, it is a problem. It is a parasitic worm that has a life cycle that at one time was common to pigs and humans. First generation is in the pig and the second generation is in the human (from eating under cooked pork.) It is my belief that this may have been why the Jews don't eat pork, people got sick from it in the old days and no one knew why.
Oh well, I'm just trying to keep the group alive, don' t kill filter me.
Ron
Keep on TIF'ing!

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