Are coffee grounds good for herbs?

bucket of coffee grounds

QUESTION: Are coffee grounds good for herbs? I was thinking that maybe I could add them to my herb containers. – Lisa A

ANSWER: To put it bluntly, no—coffee grounds are not good for herbs, and they should be used with care around the plants that do benefit from them. It’s true that generations of gardeners have amended their soil with coffee grounds or sprinkled them around plants because they believe the nitrogen in coffee grounds helps plants to flourish. Because coffee has been used this way so long, you’ll see it recommended as a fertilizer, mulch, and composting ingredient all over the web. However, coffee grounds are extremely acidic, so they’re best used around plants that thrive in acidic soil, like blueberries, rhododendrons and azaleas — if you use them at all. Take care if you choose to use them this way, though, and use a light hand, because coffee is so acidic that the pH level of some grounds have tested as even more acidic than acid-loving plants can stand. 

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Our Top Tips for a Weed Free Garden

weeding in the garden

By Erin Marissa Russell

The struggle to keep the garden clear of weeds is a tale as old as time. What makes this task so frustrating for some gardeners is that it seems like once you’ve finally pulled up the last weed, the next generation has started to sprout. Weeding the garden is a never-ending cycle, and it can be backbreaking work. 

However, the reason gardeners continue to pull up the weeds in their fields and flower beds despite these hassles is that it’s simply worthwhile. Weeds can choke out smaller, younger plants, and those they don’t choke out will be forced to vie for nutrients with the sturdier, more prolific weeds. 

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How to Best Water Houseplants to Keep Them Alive

hanging houseplants

By Erin Marissa Russell

Keeping your houseplants well hydrated can be a more complicated proposition than it seems in many ways. There’s more to watering the indoor garden than simply taking a watering can to your plants every so often. As a matter of fact, caring for indoor plants can be more of a challenge than maintaining an outdoor garden, if only because most of us are accustomed to the way gardening works outdoors and must adjust our techniques to apply to houseplants.

When you’re cultivating an indoor garden, the water you provide won’t evaporate as quickly, the garden hose isn’t exactly practical, there’s no wind or breeze to help with air circulation, and the hydration needs of your plants won’t fluctuate as widely with the seasons. Even the most experienced gardeners can use some tips on how to best water their houseplants—so we’ve rounded up the best techniques and most vital information you need to hydrate the plants in your indoor garden.

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5 Ways To Keep A Dog Out Of Your Garden

dogs in the garden

There are any number of reasons why you might want to keep your dog out of your garden.

Many avid gardeners want to protect your young seedlings from being dug up and trampled. However, it may also be to protect your pet. If you have a diverse garden, it’s likely that at least one of the flowers or plants you’re growing may be harmful to your dog.

John Woods of All Things Dogs says that eating toxic plants such as tomatoes, tulips, and daffodils can pose a serious threat for your four-legged friend.

For the well-being of your pets and your plants, it’s often best to keep your dog out of your garden. But what’s the best method? In this article, we take you through 5 of the best ways to separate Fido from your flowers. 

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Garden Watering Frequency: Best Practices

watering the garden

By Erin Marissa Russell

Let’s talk about garden watering frequency. Everyone knows that plants need water, but when it comes to keeping your garden well hydrated, things get a little complicated. Plants need to get just the right amount of water, which must get to their root systems without keeping foliage and soil too wet. The soil needs to retain moisture to keep it available for plants while still draining well. So how often should you water, and for how long? Here’s a guide that should help you figure out your needs.

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Growing Hot Peppers at Home

Tiny hot peppers growing in a garden

By Erin Marissa Russell

Hot peppers are much more pungent, powerful, and exciting to grow and put to use in the kitchen than sweet peppers. Though sweet peppers are good for adding crunch and a small bit of subtle flavor to a variety of dishes, hot peppers can turn a boring dish into an adventure. Growing hot peppers in a container garden or directly in your garden beds can be a whole lot of fun. Hot peppers are easy to grow and relatively carefree. 

Hot peppers come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, colors, and intensity levels. Hot peppers can provide just a slight kick of heat, or make a full grown adult cry like a baby. If you love spicy food, you probably enjoy the tears. If you hate spicy food, perhaps sweet peppers are a better plan, as growing hot peppers is probably not in your wheelhouse. 

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Selecting Healthy Plants: What to Look For at the Garden Center

plants at the garden center

By Erin Marissa Russell

When you’re admiring the rows of plants at your local nursery or garden center, take the time to consider your choices carefully. Call on your gardening know-how as well as the tips for selecting healthy plants you’ll find in this article, because which flower, baby vegetable, sapling, or herb you choose has a lot to do with the long term health of your garden. However, your selection won’t only determine how well that individual plant will thrive. 

In the greenhouses where nursery and garden center plants are raised, diseases and insects can spread like wildfire. The symptoms of a plant disease, as well as the insects that could hitch a ride home with you, may be as tiny as the period at the end of this sentence. Introducing a diseased or pest-infested plant into your garden could cause an outbreak that takes months to conquer—and in the process, the threat could even kill off some of your collection. 

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Debunked: Despite NASA Clean Air Study Claims, Houseplants Don’t Effectively Purify Air

Do houseplants really purify the air?

By Erin Marissa Russell

As someone who loves plants and is enthusiastic about gardening, you’ve probably heard people say that houseplants promote a healthy environment by cleaning the air, reducing toxins and pollutants. In fact, if you’ve heard the claim once, you’ve probably heard it a thousand times. We’ve even covered it in the past! Despite how frequently people proclaim that plants clean the air, the reality is this statement just isn’t quite true—at least, not to the extent that we previously thought. (To be honest, you’d be better off simply opening a window to purify the air in your home.)

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