|Coffee grounds collected from coffee-shops.|
Coffee grounds provide generous amounts of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and copper. They also release nitrogen into the soil as they degrade. When we have it, we spread it about 1/4" thick on beds before we plant. We also layer it into our compost piles. Here's an informative article about "Using Coffee-Grounds in the Garden".
For some reason, worms love coffee grounds! By sprinkling grounds in your garden beds, you will attract worms to come into your soil and, since coffee grounds also contain many nutrients on their own, we also recommend adding them to your greenhouse paths and compost bins. They will attract worms and speed up the process of decomposition.
|We sift both our coffee grounds and wood-ashes. Here are students from OSU performing "service-learning" at the Sharing Gardens.|
Wood Ashes provide all necessary nutrients for plant growth except nitrogen and sulfur. We use ashes from our wood-stove (that heats our house). We use only newspaper to start the fires and burn pure wood. We don't burn anything with paint; no ply-wood or other man-made products so the chemicals in them don't get into our food-chain. We sift the ashes to remove any big chunks, and use a heavy-duty magnet to remove any screws or nails.
Be very careful not to use too much! We put just the lightest dusting in our beds. Do not use wood-ash to make a potting soil. It is caustic to worms and will alkalize your soil so use only a little, and wait 7-10 days before planting seeds or seedlings. Do not use around acid-loving plants (like blueberries, or in potato-beds). Article from our local University Extension Service: "Wood Ashes Can Benefit Lawns and Gardens". And, from SFGate's garden-site: About Enriching Soil With Ash
|Heating with wood has many benefits. Here's a wood-stove in one of our greenhouses we made from a barrel-kit.|
|Here's Caleb - our youngest coffee-spreader!|