The power of coffee

By: Sue Bradley

Spent coffee grounds is a wonderful material for the allotment.

It does wonders for the structure of soil, whether heavy clay or quick-drying sand, and in its unrotted state it’s said to deter carrot fly, which is confused by the smell, and slugs, which are purported to dislike the “caffeine hit” they get when sliding over it!

This year I’ve been using it to make barriers around my carrots and crops, such as salad leaves, that are particularly tempting to slugs.

Last year I sprinkled it over the soil in order to rot down over the winter and have noticed how the areas treated in this way had a lovely tilth when I came to dig them in the spring.

Look out for bags of spent coffee grounds in coffee shops and some supermarkets and, if they’re not already bagged up for gardeners to take them away, ask a member of staff if you can have some.

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