Coffee Arabica

Top tip – Recycle those beans!

Here at Roots we love to re-cycle. Lately, our enthusiasm for different ways to ‘make do and mend’ has led us to a new, plentiful source of plant fertiliser AND brought us new friends to boot!

Roasted coffee granules, already well known as a good addition to any compost heap, are increasingly being touted as plant fertiliser.  Direct from your coffee pot to the pot plant, so to speak.

There’s a few ‘buts:’ the main one being that of balance.

You don’t want to pile so much coffee sludge round the base that even air and water can’t get to the roots below.

But a thin layer of nitrogen rich granules not only fertilises the soil, it’s rich dark brown colour also contrasts nicely with many a plant, particularly something with light hues, like Basil.

An experiment, conducted with lettuces and coffee dregs in Portugal a few years ago, found that the plants growth improved, as long as the ratio of dregs to soil was no more than 10 per cent.

(For those of you who are particularly keen to improve the cartenoid and chlorophyll content of your Little Gems, the link to the full study is here https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/17/2/1535/pdf )

And there’s always the plants that love acidic soil. Dilute the acidic coffee grounds with a bit of good old alkaline Bristol tap water and Cyclamen, Begonia, Rose, Aloe Vera, Fern and loads more will see it as a treat.

A picture of Just Ground's Coffee kiosk in Bristol

Just Ground Coffee Kiosk | Bristol

As to coffee grounds, re-cycling and making new friends well, our favourite local hot drink supplier, Just Ground Coffee kiosk on St Augustines parade, began by serving us coffee, then became our friends and now supply us with as many used granules as we want – diverting them from landfill and keeping our plants happy too.

Written by Lilian McGroarty

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