Often times after our routine dose of morning tea or coffee, we throw out the loose leaves or used grounds of coffee thinking they’ve served their only use. However, the leftover remains from your warm cup of joe or tea can serve some extra good in your garden.
You can save the leaves or grounds and put them into your soil for added texture and soil health. These grounds and fresh leaves will act as a fertilizer and help improve the overall plant’s growth, health and vigor.
When applying used tea leaves to improve plant growth, mix the loose tea leaves directly into the plant’s soil, or spread the tea leaves around the top soil like mulch. If you want to add the tea to your vegetable and edible garden plants, do so indirectly, with organic compost. Adding straight tea grounds to garden soil during periods of active growth may disturb your garden’s pH balance or affect the flavor of your crops!
Used coffee grounds act in a similar way. They work best for blueberries and other fruit trees. When piling it on, make sure to add a good half-inch thick layer on top of your soil; too much will become moldy mulch! It will break down quickly and when it does, you can add more. The grounds will help improve soil structure and nitrogen levels while also providing helpful minerals like phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and copper.
Be aware, though, that unused coffee grounds can be acidic and have affects on your soil’s acid levels, while used grounds have a near neutral pH. All the more reason to drink your coffee and make good use of what remains.
Good luck and get gardening!