This weeks article and corresponding podcast are all about one of our favorite subjects : coffee grounds and egg shells – or more to the point, why it is so important to save your egg shells and coffee grounds over the winter to help power your garden and flowerbeds next spring and summer.
One of our favorite meals of every day is breakfast. Unless the weather is simply out of control, you can usually find us out quite early on the porch enjoying a cup or two of coffee to start our day. And when it comes to enjoying a few of our farm fresh eggs for a breakfast meal, I’m all in!
But those two breakfast staples also happen to be excellent for powering plants. Even more, they can be wonderful for building better soil strength and structure. And if that wasn’t enough, they can even help protect plants from some pretty common and destructive pests!
Listen in below to the podcast below in full, and be sure to check out the corresponding full length article below. We have included all of the additional reference links and product links at the end of this article for easy access.
Why You Should Save Eggs Shells And Coffee Grounds
We have been using coffee grounds for over 12 years now in our garden and flowerbeds. They really are one of the best all-natural ingredients you can find to power plants and soil.
Not only are they all natural, they are completely free for the taking! And even if you don’t drink coffee or eat eggs, you can certainly have your friends, family and neighbors save them for you to use. Even better, many local coffee shops and breakfast diners will save them for guests as well.
The point is, both egg shells and coffee grounds are easy to come by with a minimum of effort. But can they ever be a crucial in helping your plants to bigger and better growth!
Here is a breakdown of each, and how to use them in a myriad of ways to help you garden better than ever.
Using Coffee Grounds
We use coffee grounds right from the start in the spring, incorporating grounds into our seed starting soil. Coffee grounds can absorb and hold moisture incredibly well. And because of that, they are wonderful for adding to your seed starting mix to keep seedlings moist.
We actually make our own seed starting soil each year with the following recipe. (Find the entire article here : OWG Potting Soil Recipe)
- Compost – 6 cups
- Pulverized Top Soil – 6 cups
- Worm Castings – 2 cups
- Spent Coffee Grounds – 2 cups
- Perlite – 2 cups
More Uses For Coffee Grounds – Why To Save Eggs Shells And Coffee Grounds
But beyond using in our potting and seed starting soil, we also use coffee grounds when we plant our vegetable and flower transplants.
A few tablespoons in each planting hole helps to dose the plants with a slow release of nutrients. It also helps them retain moisture, which is important as young seedlings.
We also sprinkle a few tablespoons on top around the base of plants. This acts as a slow-release fertilizer, soaking down nutrients to the plants every time we water or it rains. That coating around the base can also help repel pests such as slugs from inching their way to the plants.
Egg Shells – Why To Save Eggs Shells And Coffee Grounds
When it come to egg shells, their benefits certainly rival coffee grounds. And for tomatoes and pepper plants, it may even surpass them!
One of the most devastating things that can occur to tomato and pepper plants is blossom end rot. This is when the fruit of the plants develops rot on one end, severely impacting the harvest. Blossom end rot is caused when a plant cannot get enough calcium from the soil.
It just so happens, one of the best ways to help rejuvenate calcium levels in the soil is with crushed egg shells. As the decompose, they release it back into the soil, where it can then be absorbed by plants.
Eggs shells also release additional trace nutrients as well, and it is one of the reasons we plant them in every planting hole in the spring. Not just with our tomato and pepper plants, but also with other vegetables and annual flowers as well.
Crushed egg shells can also be sprinkled on top of the soil around plants as a barrier for slugs. When slugs crawl across the sharp edges, their soft skin is unable to navigate well without being cut. Last but not least, any additional shells are great for the compost pile, adding valuable nutrients as they break down.
Common Misconceptions – Saving Egg Shells and Coffee Grounds
Unfortunately, when it comes to both egg shells and coffee grounds – there are a lot misconceptions about using them on plants and in the soil.
The first is about the acidity levels of coffee grounds. The fact is, spent coffee grounds will not drastically change or make your soil more acidic. The process of brewing takes nearly all of the acid out, and it would take mountain loads of grounds to make a difference.
But on that subject, fresh grounds should no be used as they do contain a higher level of acidity. Only brewed grounds (spent) should be used. On the same subject, avoid using flavored or altered coffee grounds as well. Unfortunately, many contain artificial additives and chemicals you simply don’t want around plants.
How To Best Save Them In The Winter Months
When it comes to storing each safely through the winter, freezing is the best method of all. You can also dry them out before storing if space in the freezer is an issue. Make sure they are completely dry and place in a tight container.
For egg shells, you can wash out and let them dry a bit and they crush and store. You can also crush and keep them in the freezer until ready to use. We like freezing as a better option because there is no worry of any smell. In addition, you can keep a lot of crushed egg shells in a gallon freezer bag!
Here is to saving egg shells and coffee grounds this year, and to powering your garden naturally this year!
LINKS FROM THE SHOW
How To Save Coffee Grounds In The Winter : https://thisismygarden.com/2021/11/save-coffee-grounds-in-the-winter/
Using Coffee Grounds On Houseplants : https://thisismygarden.com/2021/12/use-coffee-grounds-on-houseplants/
Simple Garden Life is a website dedicated to keeping gardening fun, simple and enjoyable! We publish two new articles each week along with a new garden podcast episode every two weeks. This article may contain affiliate links.