How to Use Coffee in Planting Seeds


Recycling coffee grounds by incorporating them into a seedling garden represents an easy and cost-effective means of providing proper nutrients to spur healthy seed growth. With a carbon/nitrogen ratio equivalent to that of some commercial fertilizers, coffee grounds represent a viable alternative as a starting medium for certain vegetable and flower seeds.

Step 1

Plant seeds according to package directions. Most seeds for vegetables or flowers are planted in a shallow furrow or hole with a light covering of soil.

Step 2

Collect coffee grounds from your own home brewing, or from a nearby coffeehouse.

Step 3

Add about 1/2 lb. of coffee grounds to the 5 gallons of water.

Step 4

Swirl to mix, or use a stick to stir.

Step 5

Transfer some of the mixture into a sprinkling can. Sprinkling is a more gentle method of introducing the nutrients into the delicate soil covering the seeds. Add only enough of the mixture to thoroughly dampen the soil

Step 6

Stir or swirl the mixture frequently while watering to make certain the coffee grounds stay in suspension and that the correct amount of grounds get dispersed into the seed bed.

Step 7

Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until all seeds are watered.

Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable or flower seeds for planting
  • 1/2 lb. of coffee grounds
  • 5 gallons of water in bucket
  • Sprinkling can


  • Science Daily: Coffee Grounds Perk Up Compost Pile with Nitrogen
  • Sustainable Urban Homestead: Coffee Ground in your Compost?
Keywords: coffee grounds, seedlings, planting seeds

About this Author

Garrison Pence has been a midwest-based (ghost)writer for three decades, taught university-level literature, and has written articles and white papers in trade publications of the Material Handling Institute, Engineering Today, Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage Science, and Semiconductor. Pence holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Literature.