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If your lawn is a little patchy in places or has a tinge of yellow to it, coffee could be just the thing to perk it up.

Coffee grounds are organic matter and can add vital nutrients to the soil. They act like any other fertiliser adding essential compounds that can be depleted through annual growth cycles. Grounds can be worked into the soil to improve drainage and aeration. This process can be especially effective on compacted clay soil, neglected or scalped lawns.

Ground espresso beans will also help to improve the absorbency of nutrients, air and water by loosening the soil.

Free Fertiliser

If you have a coffee machine at home then you have a free source of fertiliser – you can add the grounds to your compost bin or save them up in the shed until you have a garbage bin full (enough to cover your entire lawn).

While extremely popular for a lot of at-home uses, you can also approach your local café and see if they have coffee grounds they are happy for you to take off their hands.

While cafes all handle their waste in various ways, one thing remains the same—they all need to dispose of grounds. If your local cafe isn’t recycling this valuable organic material, guilt-trip them into allowing you to place a new collection bin behind their counter for that purpose. No extra effort is required of their employees. Owners will be recycling and can then advertise that they are environmentally friendly. Also, they’ll have less garbage to remove and pay for.

Filled to the top

Standard fertiliser distribution can be used with coffee grounds. A spread rate of one cubic metre per 120 square meters of lawn is sufficient, although common practice varies. It can be applied in a very thin layer or more thickly, as you see fit.

While it’s very difficult to apply too much, don’t layer it on so thick that grass is covered or water is repelled. That could encourage a fungi bloom that could become problematic. Also, earthworms go crazy for coffee grounds. Some people think they even become addicted to coffee for the same reasons people do. Worms tear through coffee grounds like any compost. They will eat through the equivalent of their own body weight every 24 hours. The end result is worm castings that are considered one of the best soil amendments in the world.

Good to the last drop

Coffee grounds can be applied directly to the base of shrubs and trees, or worked into the top layers of flower and garden beds. When it comes to the lawn you will quickly adopt a personalised method of spreading the grounds on your lawn.

You might like the pile-and-sling method. Empty bags of coffee grounds in piles around your lawn, grab a shovel full and sling the grounds to all corners of your lawn. You can also use a traditional fertiliser spreader to ensure you get good coverage.

Once the coffee grounds are spread over your grass, you can brush them in using a broom or a rake. You can also water the treated area. Don’t let coffee grounds completely cover up sprigs of grass since your lawn must be reached by the sun to remain green and plush.

For about a week after application, you will enjoy the energising aroma of coffee in the heat of the day. Soon after, you’ll probably notice the colour of your lawn deepen to a rich green as the grass soaks up the popular breakfast brew. Reapply coffee grounds every month or two to your lawn or any plant that needs a pick-me-up.

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