Thursday, 7 February 2013

Coffee in the Garden

Besides enjoying a nice cup of coffee while assessing the garden, has anyone used coffee as part of their gardening arsenal? More specifically, have you found a use for yesterday's grounds?

This past summer a local cat was using an area of my bean patch as its litter box. I had heard that coffee grounds would deter this so, after saving a few days-worth of grounds (and composting the filters of course!), I gave it a try. I did the same in my tomatoes on the south side of the house. Happily, the local kitty found somewhere else to go and we didn't resort to Hubby's more violent suggestions!

While visiting friends I noticed a cookie sheet filled with used grounds. They were about to be used on ant hills in that yard. As I am the not-so-proud owner of a couple of those as well, I began saving my grounds again. It's worth a shot! Within days I had enough grounds to cover two of my three big ant hills with a thick layer of coffee. I watched day after day for weeks, throughout the summer, and the hill topped with coffee was never penetrated by ants. It was nice to be able to tell my curious two year old helper to avoid the pile of coffee rather than worry about him getting into some kind of toxic poison in the yard.

As a matter of fact, the two year old did end up knocking the top off the mound with a stick later in the summer. Under the coffee ground there still existed a nest of sorts...if only I had my camera outside that day, I do forget what it looked like. The main thing is that no new hills popped up in the yard, we were ant free, and although it may have taken AGES to eliminate the actual nest, we were ant-free immediately. So I would still recommend this method of ant control.

I'd rather enjoy my beans knowing that cats hadn't used them for a litter box!
Have you ever tried coffee grounds to deter cats or ants? Have you found other uses for them in your yard?


  1. I'm glad I went back to the beginning of your blog...I had no idea you could use coffee grounds to deter cats or ants. I will be giving this a try.

    1. I hope this works for you, Meggie. We have two new kitties and they were constantly digging in two of my flower beds. I put used grounds out and have not seen them digging since. Good luck!