First Garden!

bczoom

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What effect will coffee grounds have on my strawberries and raspberry plants? I've got the living in 5-gallon buckets until the weather gets better. Will tossing the grounds on them benefit or hurt?
I'd apply in moderation. Basically, don't throw several pounds of grounds into a 5-gallon bucket. Coffee grounds are acidic and high in nitrogen (which are both good) but you don't want to get into "too much of a good thing".

I spread my grounds out in the garden and don't recall ever using them in a potting situation.
 

FrancSevin

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What effect will coffee grounds have on my strawberries and raspberry plants? I've got the living in 5-gallon buckets until the weather gets better. Will tossing the grounds on them benefit or hurt?

Coffee grounds are much like Pecan shells. Good for the soil as they help aerate it and do attract earthworms. Slightly acidic, they will improve the production of fruit on your berries. I recommend using them liberaly. especialy in your highly mineral soils.
Up to 35% by volume is Okay.

The nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium "guaranteed analyses" would be as follows for the coffee grounds:
Nitrogen: 2.28 percent
Phosphorus: 0.06 percent
Potassium: 0.6 percent
Available nutrient levels: The pH or reaction of the coffee grounds is considered slightly acidic and in a favorable range at 6.2 on the pH scale.

It might be a bit biased but Starbucks did a rather lengthy study.
http://www.sunset.com/garden/earth-friendly/starbucks-coffee-compost-test-00400000016986/
 

bczoom

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Nitrogen: 2.28 percent
Phosphorus: 0.06 percent
Potassium: 0.6 percent

I stand corrected. I thought it was higher.
 

FrancSevin

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Nitrogen: 2.28 percent
Phosphorus: 0.06 percent
Potassium: 0.6 percent

I stand corrected. I thought it was higher.

Yes but the Phosphurus and Potasium are very soluable where as the nitrogen is not. So these are good nutrient amounts without the Sslts associated with Chemical fertilizers.

If you read the article
Total nutrient levels: Each cubic yard of these coffee grounds contains a total of 10.31 lbs. nitrogen, of which 0.01 lb. (0.09%) are available. Thus, even though available nitrogen is considered deficient in this product, there still remains over 10 lbs. of total nitrogen per cubic yard of coffee grounds. Thus, nitrogen is primarily bound in the organic fraction and is unavailable to plants until soil microorganisms degrade the organic fraction. Through this process, the nitrogen is converted to plant available forms. Over the long term the coffee grounds will act like a slow release fertilizer providing long-term nitrogen input which can then be utilized by plants
http://www.sunset.com/garden/earth-friendly/starbucks-coffee-compost-test-00400000016986/

So, with micro organisms helping, the nitrogen is release over time and therefore provided long term. Meanwhile the Posphurous and Potasssium are ready now tohelp with bloom and therefore, fruits.

I throw all my grounds into the compost,,,,including the paper filters. They take about a year to break down but even if they didn't they help loosen clay soils and improve water absorption.

My kitchen cooks all from scratch. So with those scraps, and my coffee grounds from three daily pots,,,,we generate about 10 cubic feet of black gold compost every winter.
 

EastTexFrank

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I've been gardening for 30 years and am still on my 20-year quest for the no (low) work garden. It's been a lot of fun. I'm at the age now where I'm actually cutting back on the size of my garden but it's still big enough to supply our household.

Having laid out my credentials, I find that I've not got a lot to add. You've got some cracking advice here. Stuff that took me a lifetime to learn. Where the hell were you guys 30 years ago?

The main thing is to get out there and enjoy it. When you eat that first vine ripened tomato it'll make it all worthwhile. Those Romas are good eating tomatoes but also make excellent sauce.

Unlike Franc and Zoomer, I'm a composter. I never put "raw" anything directly into the garden. Cow manure, coffee grounds, grass clippings, ashes, some kitchen stuff, all of it goes on to the compost pile for at least two years. I have two stalls wide enough to be turned by the front end loader of the small tractor. It goes from one stall to the next stall and then into the garden.

If you want some fun build a worm box. They'll take care of all the kitchen waste and leave you with what can only be called "garden gold". Also, you never have to worry about bait for fishing. :biggrin:


Correction: I see that I'm not the only composter on here.
 

FrancSevin

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I've been gardening for 30 years and am still on my 20-year quest for the no (low) work garden. It's been a lot of fun. I'm at the age now where I'm actually cutting back on the size of my garden but it's still big enough to supply our household.

Having laid out my credentials, I find that I've not got a lot to add. You've got some cracking advice here. Stuff that took me a lifetime to learn. Where the hell were you guys 30 years ago?

The main thing is to get out there and enjoy it. When you eat that first vine ripened tomato it'll make it all worthwhile. Those Romas are good eating tomatoes but also make excellent sauce.

Unlike Franc and Zoomer, I'm a composter. I never put "raw" anything directly into the garden. Cow manure, coffee grounds, grass clippings, ashes, some kitchen stuff, all of it goes on to the compost pile for at least two years. I have two stalls wide enough to be turned by the front end loader of the small tractor. It goes from one stall to the next stall and then into the garden.

If you want some fun build a worm box. They'll take care of all the kitchen waste and leave you with what can only be called "garden gold". Also, you never have to worry about bait for fishing. :biggrin:


Correction: I see that I'm not the only composter on here.

Thirty years ago most of us were still learning . And you may have missunderstood my posts, I too am a composter.

However, it has been my experience that grass clippings make a great mulch right out of the mower bags. What they add to the compost process is mostly water, not nutrients. They will lay under your tomatoes all summer and hold moisture, keep the weeds down, cool the soil, and turn light brown. In the fall, just turn them under, they will compost over winter. Just be careful about using clippings with weed killers.

A good compost is made of dead pulverized trimmings, leaves, branches and wood sawdusts. Mix it 50/50 with green materials, like grass clippings, weeds and stem cuttings.

My neighbors pour tons of money into their lawns, cut the lush green grass and throw it away. They waste the very nutrition, they paid for dearly, in the trash. Several of them just dump their bags on my place and I incorporate that material into my composts. I also bring home ground tree trimings from tree service guys. That and all my fall leaves which I gather with the mower so they break down faster.

Properly aerated, a good compost can be made in 6 months. Three months during the summer.
Composters are crazy and extreme. I am proud to claim membership in that club.
 
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bczoom

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I have a question for y'all. I have some leftover geotextile cloth I used when building the driveway. It's a lot heavier then normal landscape fabric. Will that work any better or worse then the normal landscape fabric for weed protection between the rows?
 

FrancSevin

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I have a question for y'all. I have some leftover geotextile cloth I used when building the driveway. It's a lot heavier then normal landscape fabric. Will that work any better or worse then the normal landscape fabric for weed protection between the rows?

So long as water and air will pass thru it is fine.
 

bczoom

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Letting water through is what concerns me. I'll dig out the roll once it warms up (it's snowing right now) and take a hose to it and see what happens.
 

Leni

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I save my coffee grounds for my garden. The worms love it.

One thing that has not been mentioned. Corn is wind pollenated so you want to grow that in a square or short rows across the prevailing wind. One or two long rows will not produce nearly as much corn.
 

FrancSevin

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I save my coffee grounds for my garden. The worms love it.

One thing that has not been mentioned. Corn is wind pollenated so you want to grow that in a square or short rows across the prevailing wind. One or two long rows will not produce nearly as much corn.

I always plant two seeds in the hole to insure pollination. Smaller ears but fuller.
 

bczoom

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Yea, I grew my corn in a square but mine sucks compared to what I buy from the Amish. My plot wasn't enough for us so I'd be buying anyway so now I use that space for other things. I buy 30 dozen ears each year and we do a family production line and process all of them in 1 or 2 evenings.
 

bczoom

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This is my first year living full time on the mountain here in NC, and along with everything else I'm turning farmer! Went to Tractor Supply yesterday and got seeds for my latest adventure. We have:

  • Onions (Yellow)
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Tomato (Roma)
  • Pea's
  • Radish's
  • Cucumber's
  • Hot Peppers
  • Sweet Corn
  • Carrot's
  • Strawberries (Everbearing)
  • Raspberries

I know nothing abut gardening so I hope these vegies will co-exist in the same area. Any suggestions or advice will be appreciated!

Squerly - I didn't re-read all the posts but did we discuss (or do you know) what you're going to do with these at harvest time? I see a lot of frozen veggies but are you going to can any sauces or pickles?
 

Aklian

New member
I think he want to grow these whole vegetables and fruits to make his garden an attractive place and it is a very good thinking because these all plants grow well and provide us good rewards in the shape of fruits and vegetables.
 
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