UK member or Coffee Grounds

Kevin Topek ktopek at
Fri Dec 14 09:52:44 EST 2001

Andrew and Michelle,

Coffee grounds have about the same amount of available nitrogen as other
kitchen scraps. There is also a substantial portion of available bean oil
which breaks down slowly over time. Coffee grounds do acidify the soil, but
usually not to the detriment of most plants, unless they are acid intolerant
or the application of coffee grounds is too thick, over 2 inches in depth.
In my experience doing bioremediation experiments, coffee grounds are
miraculous. I half-heartedly included them in an experiment of breaking down
used automobile crankcase oil contaminated soil. The spent grounds were the
only sample to produce healthy bush bean growth at the end of the experiment
and had earthworms thriving in the formerly contaminated soil. Other compost
applications did not have as remarkable an effect. Do not extrapolate too
much from this, but I am a firm believer that coffee grounds are one of the
most fertile soil amendments available!

Kevin Topek

----- Original Message -----
From: <Tarliman2 at>
To: permaculture <permaculture at>
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 8:18 AM
Subject: Re: UK member

> In a message dated Fri, 14 Dec 2001  5:23:22 AM Eastern Standard Time,
"Michelle Bourke" <michelle at> writes:
> > I am interested in hearing an answer to Andrew's question about coffee
> > grounds.
> To repeat, I was wondering about their effect on nitrogen in the soil. I'm
also concerned, which I hadn't previously mentioned, about whether I'm
acidifying my soil beyond survivability, and if I need to correct my Ph
> Andrew Ragland
> tarliman2 at
> ---
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