Research team touts vegetable benefits for used coffee grounds

03/21/2022 11:15 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
Compost mixed with used coffee grounds, CNA photo March 21, 2022
Compost mixed with used coffee grounds, CNA photo March 21, 2022

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) A study has found that used coffee grounds offer several benefits such as being able to boost vegetable growth when added to compost or fertilizer and as an insect repellent to protect citrus fruit, a researcher who was part of the study said Monday.

The use of a compost pile with 10 percent of it consisting of coffee grounds to grow water spinach in its initial growing period produced water spinach whose weight was larger than regular ones by 105 percent, Lin Shu-i (林淑怡), an associate professor at National Taiwan University's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, said at an event to present research findings on the use of spent coffee grounds.

Lin Shu-i, an associate professor at National Taiwan University
Lin Shu-i, an associate professor at National Taiwan University's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, CNA photo March 21, 2022

After using a compost pile with two percent of it being spent coffee grounds (SCG) to grow bok choy, the length of the vegetable's leaves increased by 13 percent and the weight by 22 percent, Lin said.

Adding coffee grounds to compost helps build a nutrient-rich, fertile compost soil but it will take about at least three months before the coffee grounds start decomposing as organic fertilizer, according to Lin.

Field experiments showed that coffee grounds are good for growing 30 to 40 popular leafy green vegetables, Lin noted.

However, she added that when adding untreated spent coffee grounds to a compost pile, the volume of the grounds should not exceed 2 percent of the pile because untreated SCGs have detrimental agronomic effects due to a high amount of noxious compounds produced during the fermentation process.

Lin also said that by mixing a certain quantity of used coffee grounds with water and stirring and letting this sit for about three days, a soaking solution can be produced, which can be used as a spray for citrus trees.

This spray can reduce the damage to citrus leaves by insects by 53 percent, she said.

In addition, a diluted SCG solution can be used as a spray to kill bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax.

The study's research team was composed of representatives from the university and Nespresso, a coffee industry giant, while 40 organic farmers were recruited to participate in the research program over the past two years.

Currently, 10 organic farms have used SCGs for growing plants and the team aims to raise the number of these farms to 15.

CNA photo March 21, 2022
CNA photo March 21, 2022

(By Chen Ching-feng and Evelyn Kao)

Enditem/HY

> Chinese Version
    0:00
    /
    0:00
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.