Condo Blues: Can't Compost? Use Coffee and Eggs Instead!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can't Compost? Use Coffee and Eggs Instead!

In Central Ohio Mother’s Day is the unofficial frost date. Plant anything before Mother’s Day and an April frost or two or three will most surely kill it. Plant after Mother’s Day and your plants should live.

Mother’s Day is several weeks away and after looking at this dirt patch for the last 6 months or so, I’ve been jonesing for some flowers.

“This is pathetic.”
I don’t want to spend a lot of time or cash on spring flowers because I’m going to turn the dirt patch into a raised garden bed. Any spring flowers I plant now will soon be sacrificed when we rent the jackhammer (yes, I said jackhammer -yahoo!) and start chipping away at the cement in the garden bed. What’s a gal to do?

I found my answer when I was rooting around in the napkin drawer the other day. I found a packet of wildflower seeds from an Earth Day event.

Free wildflowers? Yeah, I can do that!

I planted the seeds in this painted terra cotta pot. A friend painted this pot for me with outdoor paints and gave it to me as a Christmas present along with some books on herbs. Isn’t she talented?


My dirt looked a little spent.


I didn’t have any compost quite ready to go yet so I made another natural houseplant fertilizer. I mixed coffee grounds and crushed eggshells in a bowl and sprinkled them on top of the dirt. The coffee grounds add nitrogen to the soil. The eggshells add calcium to the soil. You can use either item or both on your houseplants. This is a good solution if you have potted plants or a garden and don’t have the room for a formal compost pile or giant worm bin.


I watered everything and put the pot on the patio in sun for the day. In the evening I bring the pot inside to keep it from freezing.

As a finishing touch, I added a small garden gnome to the pot because every garden needs at least one tacky lawn ornament, err, architectural focal point, right?

Looking for more composting ideas? Check out the following options - and more! - below!

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This post is part of Thrifty Green Thursday.


Cathy said...

love the gnome! we throw eggshells and coffee grounds and tea bags in our compost bin.

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

Oh, I'm glad to hear this tip! I definitely feel like I'm in the "Composting: Impossible" group right now, so an alternative method to perk up my plants is great! Besides, I single-handedly produce a rather impressive amount of coffee grounds lol, so its nice to know there's a way of putting some of them to good use :P

PS The jackhammer sounds exciting!! And I unabashedly love garden gnomes hehehe

Unknown said...

that is a great alternative!

love the gnome!

sandy said...

Used coffee grounds a lot back when I composted. I've tapered off cause my soil is super rich currently and you can go over board.

I think the ferry statue is adorable and that should make anything grow. lol


Greenbaby said...

What a great tip! We have a compost bin but our soil is especially horrid and any extra ingredients we can throw in will really help. Neither my husband or I drink coffee but several shops in our area give away their used coffee grounds for free. I love free, eco-friendly tips for fertilizer! Thanks for joining us with yet another brilliant Thrifty Green Thursday tip.

Kristin - The Goat said...

I've always used the Mother's Day rule when I lived in Michigan. I never realized that anyone else used that as a guide. I guess my mother didn't invent it, as I had thought! LOL

Morgan said...

"In Central Ohio Mother’s Day is the unofficial frost date." <-- This is why I love reading your blog! I can relate to the references that you bring up. :)

You are such a Thrifty Green Thumb, well, a thrifty green everything! I wish that I could plant something this year, but we're moving soon so it wouldn't be worth it. :(

I'm just going to live vicariously through your planting this year, okay?!

P.s.- I love your dog, oh my gosh.


Rebecca said...

I have heard that coffee is especially good for acid-loving plants like rhododendrons (sp?), blueberries, and . . . others. I am not a very skilled gardener, so I may not know what I'm talking about.

I already planted my garden last week, so let's hope Oregon's last frost date is earlier than Ohio's!

Funny about Money said...

That's a good idea, to put them on potted plants! I've always tossed coffee grounds and spent tea leaves on the ground in the garden. One thing's for sure: after a few months or a year, commercial potting soil gets "used up." If you replenished it by adding compostable materials a little at a time, it'd last longer.

Now, which one is the cutest garden gnome: the one with the fur or the one with the hat? :-)

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

This post was part of the Money Hacks Carnival #64 - As American As Apple Pie edition

Linda said...

Composting is a great idea, I just started with it! Thanks for the lovely article!

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