If you are a coffee lover like me, and you wouldn’t want to throw coffee grounds away,
You can make the most out of them by use them in your garden as well.
Zucchini is a great plant for even the most inexperienced of gardeners.
They are easy to grow, when they have enough room, and with the right care you can usually get a large crop from one plant.
But getting a good-sized crop depends heavily on the health of the plant and if they have room to grow.
When it comes to the health of the plant, you might be wondering what you can put in the soil to help it grow.
Coffee grounds are commonly added to compost piles, worm bins, and even directly to the soil. But do zucchinis like coffee grounds? Keep reading to find out.
Does Zucchini Like Coffee Grounds?
Zucchini is a hearty and easy growing plant.
In fact it can be grown in most hardiness zones, as long as the plant three continuous warm months without a frost.
And once it is established, you will often have an overabundance of zucchini to enjoy. But getting to that requires a healthy plant.
Many gardeners add to the soil to help their plants get what they need and often these additions are things you already have around the house, like egg shells and coffee grounds.
If you are looking for places to use your coffee grounds, zucchini might be something you’re thinking about, but do they even like it?
Coffee grounds are good for Zucchini, and other vegetables as well because they are Nitrogen-rich and slightly acidic.
Zucchini does best in a soil that is between 6.0 and 7.5 on the pH scale. On the scale which ranges from 0 to 14, materials with lower numbers are more acidic and items that register higher numbers, are on the basic side. Zucchini sits at a more neutral area, but leans slightly acidic.
We often think of coffee as being acidic, but the spent grounds actually sit at a pH that is more neutral, right where zucchini like to be.
The pH of the grounds has been found to sit between 6.5 and 6.8 on the scale. Again, this is for the grounds you have already used to make your morning brew.
Fresh, unused grounds are another story, and they bring the acidity.
Once you run water through the grounds, most of the acidity goes into the stuff you drink, essentially washed away from the grounds.
But even still too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing, so be sure you don’t over do it on the grounds. With unused grounds, the acidity will run off and leech into the soil when you water it or when it rains.
Zucchini benefit from having some coffee grounds added to the soil Essential nutrients zucchini plants need, like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, are easily accessible when the pH is between 6.5 and 7.
When it comes to coffee, the grounds actually release nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and some other nutrients into the soil as the grounds break down.
Sounds like just what the zucchini’s need and like. These nutrients are broken down slowly, making coffee grounds a great slow-releasing fertilizer.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having a healthy plant one day and coming out the next to see it completely destroyed by garden pest.
Coffee grounds are also thought to be a great repellant for certain insects that might cause damage to your zucchini plant.
If you’re having trouble with bugs, a small sprinkling of coffee grounds around the plants might be just what you need to stop the invaders in their tracks.
Others make a kind of weak tea from the grounds and spray the plants to repel the insects.
Which Vegetables Like Coffee Grounds?
There are many benefits to putting coffee grounds in your soil, but you have to apply it to the right plants.
With gardens full of so many different things, it might be hard to know which plants like coffee grounds and which might not, especially when it comes to vegetables.
Coffee grounds are great for plants that love a more acidic soil.
Here’s a list of some vegetables that like having coffee grounds added to the soil around them.
Using coffee grounds isn’t just limited to vegetables. You probably have several other plants already in your garden that will benefit from an application of coffee grounds.
Blueberries and hydrangeas famously like the addition of coffee grounds.
The herb dill, actually benefits from a sprinkling of coffee grounds as well.
You will probably be surprised how many plants you have that would like a little coffee.
Which Vegetables Do Not Like Coffee Grounds?
Even though there are many benefits to be had by adding coffee grounds to plants, it isn’t always the case.
Coffee grounds are not beneficial for every plant you might have in your garden or flowerbeds. Some do not like coffee grounds and even have their growth inhibited by a direct application to the soil.
Most vegetables like a soil that is closer to neutral on the pH scale, and as we discussed above, unused coffee brings the acidity.
For the most part, when it comes to vegetables, used coffee grounds are ok for them, because they are more neutral. Again, this isn’t something to overdo, but a little won’t hurt most vegetables.
There are vegetables who like a more alkaline soil, so coffee grounds and the acidity they can bring aren’t ideal for them.
Some of these vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Pole beans
There are many vegetables, shrubs, flowers, trees and bushes who cannot tolerate them. If you aren’t sure about whether a certain variety or vegetable likes coffee grounds, it is best to do some research to make sure, before adding the grounds to the soil.
How Else Can I Use Coffee Grounds In My Garden?
Coffee grounds aren’t just beneficial in a direct application situation. If you hate to see your used coffee grounds heading out in the garbage can, you have other options.
There are many other uses for your recycled coffee grounds, besides just adding them directly to a plant.
Composting is a popular use for coffee grounds. They are often added to both hot composting bins or piles, and to worm bins.
Similarly to how the grounds release nutrients into the soil when applied to your veggies, coffee grounds in composting releases those same nutrients into the nutrient rich organic compost you are creating.
The coffee grounds bring not only the phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium we discussed above, but also fatty acids and essential oils.
Worms are also thought to really like the coffee grounds when added to their bin. Again, too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing.
Coffee grounds should be limited to about one cup per week. Don’t add too much to the worm bin or you will end up harming your worms.
We touched on adding coffee grounds as an insect repellant, but it really is a great natural option.
When it comes to slugs and snails, they don’t like to travel through abrasive materials and the coffee grounds naturally create that type of feeling when sprinkled on the ground.
The barrier created by the grounds will help ward off the slugs and snails that can do some serious damage in your garden.
A weak liquid coffee mixture can also be created using your spent grounds. This infusion is used by gardeners as a fertilizer and as an insect repellant. To make the mixture, simply steep the grounds in water.
Where can I get free coffee grounds?
Let’s say you aren’t really into drinking coffee or maybe you just don’t produce enough to apply on our plants if you have a large garden.
Others might not want to open up a tiny individual coffee pod to get the relatively tiny amount of grounds inside.
If you can relate to any of these issues, you might be wondering where you can find the coffee grounds you need and want.
Turn to your local coffee shop.
They go through large amounts of coffee grounds each day. They might just give you the large quantities you need.
Other coffee shops are aware of the demand for used coffee grounds and have bags ready for gardeners to pick up already.
If you are an avid coffee drinker and have spent grounds hanging around, it might be hard to see them just tossed out in the garbage.
Adding them to your garden is often beneficial, but you need to have a sense of which plants do like them and which don’t see any benefit.
Zucchini plants are one of those plants that benefit and even like having small amounts of coffee grounds to the soil.
When you are planning your garden, check on specific varieties of plants to make sure you are adding the right nutrients they need.
Also check on your soil to see what it needs. Soils in different locations will be made up of different components. They will differ in pH levels, nutrients and minerals.
Once you understand the makeup of your soil, you will have a better idea of what will grow and what you might want to add to make the soil richer for your plants.