Coffee Chaff as compost

jolj(7b/8a)December 18, 2010

I have 6 dump truck loads of coffee bean chaff. Chaff is like the thin outer layer of an onion skin. I have a few tons of it.

It is like all composted material, it will rot to about 1/4 of it's weight & size.

Has anyone here used coffee chaff or beans /grounds?

There is some whole bean & ground coffee in some of the bags of chaff.The "bags" are called super-sacks, because they are 4' X4' X 6 feet tall & weight of 1000 to 1500 lbs.

It has to be better then nothing, have used leaves in the past, but the chaff is delivered.

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mustard_seeds(4 -Onalaska Wisconsin)

Wow, I have only dealt with small amounts of chaff from roasting beans on a small scale for the family. TONS of it? That sounds so fun. I would see getting moisture into it as the most important thing since it will try to blow away if you don't get it moist and blended with something. What other compostables will you be adding to it? I would consider it a brown even though coffee beans and grounds have more nitrogen and are considered greens. Do you have a way to keep these sacks dry until you are able to get stuff to mix it into?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 10:18PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Hi mustard seeds, The chaff comes out of a hot roaster near it's flash point, so it is wet with water to keep it from bursting in to flames. So it is wet when it goes into the super sack. I am cutting it under so I will not need a green for most of it. If I leave it in the sack & do nothing it will break down in about 6 months. But I want to get the most of it in the old garden & the new garden. The new garden is a 1/4 acre lot at the end of my garden, that I putting the chaff on. I have more then I can spread at this time & looks like I maybe getting 2-3 dump truck loads per week,until someone else helps me, by taking some.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2010 at 11:50PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

All organic matter will, eventually, get digested and return the nutrients it contains to the soil. Ma Nature practices composting somewhat and she always uses a variety of materials to be sure the nutrients are balanced. Piling a large quantity of one material could get the humus level of the soil up but will that provide the balance of nutrients needed?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 7:13AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

You are right,Kimmsr.
But it is free! I need the humus level up in my sandy soil, South Carolina is an old sea shore.
I can & will test the soil next summer, & add the nutrients needed. Their are like 20 of them,& they are in potash,cottonseed mill, green sand,dried manure,bone mill,Azomite rock. There are many organic nutrients supplies on the web, also.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2010 at 3:05PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

I have photos how do I up load them?

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 8:01PM
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sandhill_farms(10 NV)

jolj -

Upload your pictures to a free picture hosting site, (I use Photobucket for posting my Photos on forums - it's free), and then cut and paste the HTML Code in to your post and there's your picture. If you elect to use Photobucket I can walk you through it if you have any problems.

Greg
Southern Nevada

    Bookmark   December 22, 2010 at 8:44PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

    Bookmark   December 24, 2010 at 3:30AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Now it is covered with snow, I wish "Global Warming" was real, I could use some right now.
This is the second year we have had an old time winter.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 9:44PM
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bpgreen(5UT)

"Now it is covered with snow, I wish "Global Warming" was real, I could use some right now.
This is the second year we have had an old time winter."

global climate local weather

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 1:42AM
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captturbo

Yes Sir, if this global warming continues we will all freeze to death. Hard frost in coastal SW Florida last night. The inland farmers got wiped out again this year.

I sure wish I could get truck loads of that stuff! It looks wonderful steaming away under that snow. I'm sure it will make a fantastic addition to your garden plots.
Signed, Jealous in Frosty Florida.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 1:51PM
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oliveoyl3

Yes, to both.

We've used dry chaff as chicken coop bedding and then compost it with the manure. This is fly away light stuff and no water involved.

The beans are slow to compost. Better used as a pathway material.

Coffee grounds used all the time as mulch layer next to soil or lightly scratched in, as lasagna garden layer, as compost ingredient in large or small piles, in red worm bin, in plastic round composters. In open garden under fruit trees, around rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries. Attracts loads of worms, so keep using all I can pick up.

Large amounts of any one material might not be best for your new garden. Find some other sources of organic matter so that you have a more balanced finished compost for your soil.

My best compost is a mix of a lot of things not my big compost piles where I have huge amounts of leaves, manure, bedding, and coffee grounds.

Another thought is to add some red worms from a composting manure pile. Once the worms process your pile the compost will be better. Especially, for vegetables you might still need a complete organic fertilizer.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 11:47AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

How much chaff,leaves,manure,& grounds do you use?
What kind of leaves & manure do you use?
Do you add red worms to the chaff before or after you compost it?
Sorry for the questions, but I have much the same mix, but no red worms. I use some horse manure. I use hard wood leaves, mostly oak. I have more coffee waste than I can compost in a year.Lucky, it will go though a heat with out turning, it is slower, but it will compost.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 6:18PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

On another post I read that it takes 50% to 75% sand to work clay in to a drain able/ drainage-usable garden.
Anyone out there have real garden in clay & can tell me how true this is?
I live in sand to about 36 inches & have too much drainage.
But people often ask me about the slow drainage problem.
I grow plants, so I must know how to solve their problems in the garden. I say add sand & humus, but have never had this problem & would like a real life answer to tell them.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 7:00PM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

Obviously a heavy clay soil is very difficult to initially dig. Heavy clay soils can be improved considerably by adding a lot of mason's sand. DO NOT use beach or river sand! Mason's sand, being crushed granite, has sharp edges and actually loosens the soil.

I have natural clay soil and I dig it out at least 2' deep and mix in 25% Pumice, 25% Decomposed Granite, 50% Compost to equal amounts of my natural clay. Because I have an excavator it is very easy work. I thoroughly mix it up and then fill in my beds. It is the same mixture top to bottom, it is so perfectly blended ,I can stick my arm down into my beds (land or raised), all the way to my elbow, wonderful mix, and grows like crazy. Check out the video link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jon's Wonderful Soil 2010

    Bookmark   January 4, 2011 at 8:33PM
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terry_upstate_ny(5)

Jon,
Where do you get the crushed granite from? Your garden looks really nice.
Terry

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 2:37AM
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jonhughes(So.Oregon)

about a mile from my house is a Decomposed Granite Mountain,
I'm assuming their is one or more in every town,decomposed Granite is such an awesome resource, surely someone is mining it for resale somewhere in your vicinity. It is also the cheapest "fill" that is mined around here, 3.00 a yard

I have lived here for over 20 years and he has had trucks going out of that mountain for 50 years and it hasn't barely made a dent in that mountain (I'll take a Pic today)

Besides being cheap Decomposed Granite is sooooo valuable, Decomposed granite is a rock powder and is an excellent amendment for clay soils. All rock powders are great sources of minerals and micronutrients. All growing soils need them. As the microbes and macrobes like earthworms, digest the insoluble minerals, they break down into the various soluble micronutrients that all forms of plants need.

For example, limestone rocks are rich in calcium. Granite rocks are rich in potassium, etc. Seaweeds of course are the king of micronutrient fertilizers and soil amendments. There can be up to 70+ trace elements in seaweed. In locations where seaweed is not readily available; rock powders is one answer to the problem.

Research continues to reveal that insoluble tiny particles like rock powder minerals, can be easily digested or absorbed via microbial activity, over time, into the anatomy of growing plants, thriving in the presence of rich organic compost, and other forms of powerful biostimulants like aerobic compost teas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jon's Wonderful Garden 2010

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:55AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Thank you for the quick & whole answer.Thank you for the photos too.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 9:01PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

I need humus for my Asparagus beds, so I think I will see if the city wants to dump some leaves & grass clipping on my land to go with the Coffee waste.
I am out side of the city, so maybe not.
Will not hurt to ask.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 9:02PM
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Lloyd

...and if you are looking for the nutrients in grass clippings or leaves, close to the bottom of this thread are some links to Rutgers that have some data.

Lloyd

    Bookmark   January 9, 2011 at 9:36PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Will redworms do good in coffee waste after it has cooled down to a finish compost?

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 1:27AM
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Shane_Genziuk

Yes jolj, redworms will love it along with everything else. Once the heap has cooled a whole range of organisms will start to feed from it, and/or each other. Earthworms will do just fine in there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ground to Ground site

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 2:57AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

I now have over 200 bags of coffee waste.
I am going to need a lot more red worms.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2011 at 8:43PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

This will answer most of your Questions.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2011 at 7:35AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Well now I will have some greens to add to the coffee waste.
Hopefully It will break down unto compost for the asparagus beds.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 7:18PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

AJsmama,
This is for you.
Post any Question you do not find answers to, on this thread & I will try to answer them.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 10:13PM
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toxcrusadr

Interesting thread. Alas, I have clay but no granite mountain nearby. Our bedrock is all limestone here except for a granite plateau a hundred miles away.

I can get sand, but it's river sand dredged out of the Big Muddy (Missouri). Maybe that's why my clay gets hard when I add the local sand. Drat!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:53AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

I have sand, but I can not say anything about Jon'garden, but WOW.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 6:59PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

Compost from 2010 coffee waste.

IMG_2392.jpg
IMG_2406.jpg

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 11:59PM
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joule(z7SC)

Hey jolj where are you in SC? Im in the midlands.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 8:54AM
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jolj(7b/8a)

I live in midlands in Richland county, my garden & land is not, it is near Doby Mills.
I was trying to down load finished compost, but have forgot the Potobucket's correct link.
Joule email me.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2012 at 10:48AM
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