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This cheap, chemical-free fertilizer should be your secret weapon in the garden: 'Surprising how easy it is to pick up bags for free'

Coffee contains many minerals that are beneficial to plants.

Coffee grounds garden

Photo Credit: iStock

A growing number of gardeners who are looking for a chemical-free solution to manage their plots are turning to used coffee grounds. The grounds are a natural fertilizer — they can be mixed into a compost heap or simply sprinkled into the soil.

Coffee contains many minerals that are beneficial to plants, including nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. 

What's more, coffee might be the cheapest fertilizer option out there. It's surprising how easy it is to pick up used bags for free.

Those living with a Starbucks nearby can take advantage of the company's Grounds for Your Garden program. You might have to arm wrestle a fellow gardener to get the most grounds from your local store, as anyone is welcome to pick up a free bag whenever they visit.

Alternatively, if you work in an office, why not bring a container to work, enlighten your colleagues as to the benefits, and ask if everyone would hand over their used grounds? 

Sites such as a cafe, diner, or gas station go through an immense amount of coffee on a daily basis. If you live in close proximity to one of these spots, perhaps you can have a quiet word with a staff member, reassure them you're not being weird, and most likely, they'll be more than happy to hand their waste over.

Natural fertilizers like coffee grounds can remove the need for the harmful chemicals found in many synthetic options. And there's less coffee waste going to the trash — which is a big deal, considering that almost 7 million tons of coffee waste end up in a landfill each year.

And unlike most other natural fertilizers, coffee grounds can also act as a deterrent to certain common garden pests. The likes of mosquitoes, fruit flies, and slugs will turn their noses up at the scent of coffee grounds and look for their fun elsewhere.

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