Used, dried coffee grounds are a nutrient rich mulch for a vegetable garden. Because coffee grinds are acidic, with a pH between 3.0 and 5.0, only vegetable plants that can handle highly acidic nutrients will benefit from the used beans. Greens tend to benefit from the mulching agent most because of the coffee's nutrient and because the coffee grounds ward of slugs and snails that often attack and chew leafy green vegetables.
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Lettuce & Cabbage
Lettuce and cabbage, more than any other vegetable, tend to benefit from coffee ground mulching. The green leafy vegetables soaks up the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium and other micronutrients in the grounds. Adding the coffee grinds when they're dry is healthier for the plant. Tossing the grinds around the base of the lettuce and cabbage plants helps them get to the roots faster.
Peas, when planted in full sun, enjoy the effects of a highly acidic coffee. Pea roots grow close to the surface so they can quickly soak up coffee dusting. Coffee grounds, according to the University of Vermont extension, decrease weed growth and detract garden slugs and snails.
According to the University of Washington extension, coffee ground composting mulches have enhanced sugar beet seed germination. Sugar beets benefit from the increased soil nitrogen coffee grounds produce. The coffee mulch also boosts soil water retention, keep the plants moist longer.
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