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coffee grinds (usesd) and chips ? Toplef10coffee grinds (usesd) and chips ? 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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coffee grinds (usesd) and chips ?

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Post  jimmy cee 5/26/2014, 9:46 pm

Any ideas on mixing coffee grinds and wood chips together ?
I have an abundance of both and was thinking of this.
jimmy cee
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Post  camprn 5/26/2014, 9:53 pm

Why do you want to mix them? Do you have more coffee than you need for your compost pile??

I typically use the coffee grounds as a mulch around my hostas. Feeds the plant and keeps away slugs, sorta.

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coffee grinds (usesd) and chips ? WxBanner?bannertype=wu_clean2day_cond&airportcode=KEEN&ForcedCity=Keene&ForcedState=NH&zipcode=03431&language=EN
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Post  Marc Iverson 5/27/2014, 2:19 am

Coffee grounds makes me think worms. Is there much green in your wood chips, and are they shredded very well? If so, what do you think about combining them along with your coffee grounds, kitchen and garden scraps, and maybe the occasional bit of newspaper or cardboard to make an in-the-wild, zero-maintenance worm bin?

Last year I dug a hole in a heavily wood-chipped area in the ground, stuck a few-gallon pot in it that had water holes open in the bottom, and loosely covered the top. I buried it so that about an inch stuck out of the ground, to keep it from getting flooded and to make it easy to remove. Then regularly tossed kitchen scraps and used coffee grounds and occasional shreds of newspaper in it. The idea was to make a zero-maintenance worm farm. But I added no worms and had never seen any in that area -- "Build it and they will come." Through the bottom of the pot. Well, I guess they found it. From fall until after over-wintering, I wound up with a pot full of worm poop. And the pot kept out our many worm predators long enough for the worms to do their job. It was never disturbed by either moles or gophers, which we have aplenty.

If you have that much in the way of raw materials and like the idea of free worm poop, you might consider a similar type of zero-maintenance worm bin(s). But with 5-gallon buckets, perhaps, or similarly large containers. Or just a bunch of small ones. It's got laziness going for it anyway, one of my favorite things, and worm poop, so two of my favorite things.

The containers being in the ground takes a way a lot of the temperature and moisture concerns people worry about with worms. Once you're a few inches down into the soil, temps and moisture are much more stable, and if the worms don't like it, they can always escape through the holes in the bottom of the container, or sides, if you want to drill those too. And then come back when conditions are better. My pot made it through the coldest winter we've had in 30 years, down to about 15 degrees and in the low 20's for a week.

Couldn't hurt to try it with a single pot, anyway. The roughness of the material would mean you need a longer time horizon to to work with than the usual worm farm. But even if your chips never rot down enough to become worm poop, their mixture with everything else the worms are eating and pooping will make them the worm poopiest, most nutritional mulch you could hope for, and well-primed to break down into super soil.
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Post  jimmy cee 5/27/2014, 7:59 am

I wanted to mix them because I looked at my wood chips laying on the ground, I saw all my coffee grounds laying around and just thought it would be a fun thing to do....LOL....

How about wood chips and coffee grinds mixed together as mulch for the bed plants ?
jimmy cee
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Post  camprn 5/27/2014, 9:15 am

The wood chips would likely use up any available nitrogen in the coffee grounds so this mix would not nutritionally benefit the  plants. However it will probably to a degree accelerate the decomposition process of the wood chips.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Post  Marc Iverson 5/27/2014, 4:00 pm

If stuff starts to break down too rapidly around your plants, it could create a need for nitrogen so great that nitrogen is pulled from the rest of your soil, too.
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Post  jimmy cee 5/27/2014, 9:55 pm

ok compost piles get it all......thanks
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