En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
2 ratings

Thursday - February 05, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Compost and Mulch, Soils
Title: Coffee grounds as mulch into vegetable beds
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Can you put too much coffee grounds as mulch into vegetable beds?


Good grief! How much coffee do you drink? Seriously, we have used coffee grounds as a top dressing for rose bushes and added them to compost. We have no experience with using them on vegetables and just about all vegetables are heavily hybridized and/or non-native to North America, so out of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center area of expertise. We found this article from simplegiftsfarm.com on Coffee Grounds and Gardening. The fact is, coffee grounds are slightly acidic, and in our alkaline Austin soil, that is always a plus. 

From Seattlepi.com we found this site Give your garden a jolt with coffee grounds, which specifically says that you can't have too much coffee grounds mulch. And, it says that ground coffee is high in nitrogen, making it a very good mulch for fast-growing vegetables.That would appear to answer your question so, go on, have another cup of coffee.



More Compost and Mulch Questions

Brown leaves on possumhaw holly in Grandview TX
July 02, 2009 - What would be likely causes for brown leaves on possumhaw holly? We have 2, one was planted in spring 2008, and a slightly larger one planted late winter/early spring this year. Most of the leaves a...
view the full question and answer

Submerged paving under lawn
September 07, 2008 - I had 4 patches of rectangular areas (about 4'x6'or more) in my lawn where the grass is fine in spring but totally dies in summer. I decided to till these bare patches so that grass may grow better...
view the full question and answer

Native plants to provide nitrogen for compost in Houston
March 27, 2010 - I leave my clippings on the lawn so I don't have enough 'green' for my compost. I'd like to plant an unobtrusive area with some native that I can mow on a monthly basis. The area is in partial...
view the full question and answer

Foundation garden in shade in Durham, NC
April 29, 2009 - I'm trying to replant a 3'x8' garden near the foundation of our house in Durham, NC. This part of the yard gets little, if any, sun and is mostly clay. I've tried adding compost and soil conditi...
view the full question and answer

Xeriscape demonstration garden
October 30, 2007 - I am working with the city of Schertz to rejuvenate a xeriscape demonstration garden. We want to plant a hummingbird/butterfly garden using native plants. The current bed is currently overrun with ber...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center