Coffee grounds


Has anyone had any experience with using coffee grounds? We have a coffee factory near us so we’re thinking of spreading the spent grounds through a waste contractor.

Having searched the internet there are a few research papers looking at potential benefits and effects.

Has anyone had any experience with them?


DD Moderator
BASE UK Member
N Herts
Coffee grounds certainly make good compost. David Montgomery and Anne Bikle wrote in their book The Hidden Half of Nature about how they used a lot in Seattle and transformed their garden from no soil to deep and fertile soil in next to no time. Presumably spreading the grounds would feed the soil creatures and start the process. As you say, they should work double time
My experience in a garden situation it works. However some strange EU legislation makes it illegal to use coffee grounds for slug control.
Make sure your application reasons are for anything but slugs.
Also it could be classed as industrial waste so claim the caffene is a foliar feed. Should move it into a grey area where their rules are lost.


South West
I've seen it used, nothing spectacular at a field scale but typically a reasonable source of OM and some nutrients.

Full EA deployment and associated restrictions - all at the contractors expense of course. Should be delivered and spread FOC on this basis, maybe even paid to receive if you had year round artic tipping etc.


BASE UK Member
Chipping Norton
I believe @Jason and @Fred are referring to the material that comes out of the Kraft factory in Banbury. I have experience of this material and as mentioned its a useful source of OM and a bit of nutrient. It can be composted but why bother. It has a reasonably low C:N ratio so in low applications (20t/ha) it shouldn't cause too much concern (unless in a carbon building zero-till system). It has a bad rep in the past due to people applying it at rates that needed a bulldozer to spread!


New Member
Hello everyone, in my case I never throw the coffee grounds but I put it instantly on one of my plants. Now I started to find out a little more about coffee grounds and I have seen how several articles (for example this recommend that before applying them to the plants, the coffee should be left to dry under the rays of the sun.

Is it harmful to apply it directly without drying it? What is the need to dry it?

On the other hand, what is true that they serve to combat pests such as slugs, ants and other insects? In my case, I have an iris plant that I usually put coffee grounds on. And a few days ago I found her with several of her eaten leaves. I think it was an ant attack. :(

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