replies requested.......................................

corgicorner(Mass 6/7)June 21, 2011

I do a lot of growing in LARGE plastic containers (20-30 gallon). however, I am running our of soil to put in the containers. I have a source of coffee grounds, and thought I would use coffee grounds, filling up the containers only half way, then using my own mix of garden soil, perlite, vermiculite, peat moss, and sand which has proven satisfactory as a growing medium for me.

Should I add the folowing to the coffee grounds:

incorporate some perlite, and in what proportion?

incorporate some Vermiculite, and in what proportion?

Incorporate some soil, and in what proportion?

Incorporate some peat moss, and in what proportion?

Incorporate some other item, or items, and in what proportion?

Incorporate any mix of the above, and in what proportions?

Add in some item(s) other than above?

I would appreciate your suggestions. THANK YOU!

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amanzed(10a Sunset 21)

To my knowledge, un-composted coffee grounds are not a good basic, container soil constituent. They make a fine organic, garden soil amendment or "hot" (green) ingredient for a composter. Using it to fill half a planter sounds like a recipe for disastrous bloom of mold or other fungus. You'd be much better off filling the bottom half of a planter with perlite or pumice, if you're looking for a neutral, fast-draining component.

(If you'll permit a tiny suggestion, you might want to choose subject lines which pertain to the subject of your new topic. This is more likely to spark discussion and inspire a timely response.)

Good luck with your container project and happy gardening.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 10:47PM
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dickiefickle(5B Dousman,Wi.)

why not mix up more of what works ?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 5:51PM
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The problem I see is what are you going to do a few years down the road, when all the organic matter in these large pots breaks down, and you're left with a soupy mess of decomposed compost? If it were me, I would be looking to make a 100% inorganic potting mix, so I would never have to dig it all out & start over. Sure, it'll be pricey to start, but you'll never have to replace it, so it'll cost less in the long run. Obviously you'd have to watch your fertilizing closely though. Just my thoughts, as I like to eliminate hard work in the future.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 7:21PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Forum discussions frequently center on the question of adding dilute coffee/tea or grounds to plants as a 'tonic', but Arabica (coffee) and Camellia (tea) are known for their toxic alkaloid (caffeine) content and their allelopathic affect on plants as well as autotoxic (poison to their own seedlings) effects on future generations. Caffeine interferes with root development by impairing protein metabolism. This affects activity of an important bio-compound (PPO) and lignification (the process of becoming woody), crucial steps for root formation.

We also know that the tannins in both coffee and tea are known allelopaths (growth inhibitors). There are ongoing experiments to develop herbicides using extracts from both coffee and tea that cause me to want to say they might serve better as a nonselective herbicide than as a tonic.

I would not use either (stale coffee or tea) by applying directly to my plants - especially containerized plants; nor would I add tea bags/coffee grounds to my container soils.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 8:57PM
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