Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In the Garden—Don't Throw Out Those Coffee Grounds!

Gardening tip: Add those coffee grounds to your garden after you've had your morning cup.

You've probably heard coffee grounds are good for the soil and a good ingredient in compost. I'd already mixed grounds into my soil in the fall before I planted my bulbs, and now I'm putting little piles of my used grounds around my strawberries. Coffee grounds contain nitrogen, calcium, and magnesium.

But wait, there's more! Turns out slugs hate caffeine. Who knew? If you have a slug problem, make little coffee borders around your garden or scatter the grounds over the plot. I'd heard that the coarse grounds aggravate the slugs' slimy underbellies, but caffeine in high enough concentrations can kill the little guys. Coffee grounds probably won't kill the slugs, but it'll deter them. Also, when it comes to adding coffee, moderation is advised. But the reason for that I do not know.

Have any gardening tips you'd like to share? Suggestions for keeping the slugs away, or more information on the many fabulous uses of coffee?

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