Coffee compost for jittery worms

Happy plants. Nervous worms.
Tom, sheesh. He's a Garden Walk gardener (and dedicated GW committee member) for many years. He's got a great garden, and one of the only swimming pools on the Garden Walk. He's also added about three tons of coffee grounds to his plant beds recently. That's not a typo -- three TONS! That makes for some very hepped-up worms, just boring through that soil. They never sleep.

Coffee grounds, compost & composted manure -- Mmmmm!
Tom has been collecting coffee grounds nearly every day, for a long time, from Spot Coffee on Elmwood Ave. One of their barristas, with a coffee blog, wrote a post about Tom's coffee compost, much better written, with more detail, than I ever could. Read it here. It's written by Jake Casella, Spot Coffee Elmwood Store Manager & Head Barista.

Tom's another Buffalo gardener who's been slowly eliminating the grass from his good-sized urban yard. (It's a trend here). He even quotes GardenRant / GardeningWhileIntoxicated's Elizabeth - "Grass is nothing but a big fat pain in the ass." I can just hear those carefully-rendered words spouting mellifluously from her.

Elimination of grass was the goal -- no more mowing!
On a hot day, when you're about three houses away from Tom's, you can start smelling the coffee. Once all the grounds have been mixed into the soil, he then mixes a 50/50 of two other composts -- Bumper Crop (organic compost) and Garden Magic (composted manure). Both are odor and weed free. I suggested he mix in some sugar and cream.

Other local coffee houses have plans for their used coffee grounds. Cafe Aroma on Bidwell Parkway donates their grounds to the Massachusetts Avenue Project; Sweetness 7 on Grant & Lafayette sends theirs across the street to the Grassroots Gardens greenhouse. Starbucks on Elmwood said that they bag their coffee grounds and are happy to reserve a bag for any gardener who asks. Do coffee houses in your area do anything useful with their grounds that you know of?


  1. Yea to no more mowing!
    Love the coffee grounds idea. I wonder if I could get that much from the office where I work. I don't drink coffee but some people sure do!

  2. Great post. Love the coffee grounds idea and the contributors too.

  3. Woww, really nice and attractive garden. The coffee ground ideas are well written, and I will surely try them , when my garden will be free from potatoes :)

  4. I am a coffee lover, and it is a great idea to plant coffee in my own home, but I think it requires some cold environment?? Like I live in Pakistan, and I don't think that the environment would allow coffee. Can I plant that??

  5. Jim, thanks for the shout-out, trying to get some more followers on my blog.

    @business answering service:

    Coffee, particularly Coffea arabica,is a notoriously fickle plant. I have heard that it cannot survive even one day of below-freezing temperatures, and it mainly grows in a narrow band near the equator. I know that there is at least one coffee plant greenhouse-grown in Buffalo. I haven't heard of any coffee in Pakistan, but you might want to check out Coffea canophora "robusta", it has a much inferior bean but it's a far hardier plant.

  6. Sherlock Street,
    I should think any amount of coffee grounds is good. Better than having them go to waste.

    You have so many long posts and post so often, I'm glad you found time to comment here! I, too, lie the number of coffee houses recycling their coffee grounds. And also that the manager of Spot Coffee was the one to call the competitor's coffee houses to see what they do!

    Glass Floors,
    I don't know. Adding coffee ground to the soil and then growing potatoes would make for some interesting-tasting potatoes.

    Thanks for answering the comment/question above. I would not have had any idea of even where to start to answer that question. From now on you are my go-to guy for anything coffee. A substance, of which, I do not partake. Sorry.

  7. @ business answering
    jdc has given very elaborate and nice reply. Coffee is a plant, which always grows in cold wethered countries, that is why I don't think that there is any coffee export from asia.. If I am not wrong..


Post a Comment

Popular Posts