Category Archives: Cash

Coffee to Wake Up …The Garden

Coffee grounds are a great addition to the home garden and the growing plans around the entire yard. If you have discovered a local coffee shop with a supply of grounds ( larger than average family making 1 or 2 pots of coffee a day) and can bring them to your house and garden you now need to know how to use them.

The most obvious is COMPOST. Add the grounds to the pile(they tend to be 2% nitrogen and <1% phosphorous and potassium) and thoroughly mix with leaves, grass, paper, kitchen scraps and seedless weeds from the garden.

This post will be a list and attached articles will fill in some information.

COFFEE GROUNDS from a shop:

1. Add grounds to the compost pile, bin or container. {different blend percentages are suggested- look some up}

  1. Raise your own worms for casings, and the grounds mix well with other food scraps s food for the worms= they love them.
  2. Spread on the lawn, under trees and bushes(heavier for acid loving plants)
  3. Top dress the garden , especially in the offseason, with the grounds. They will break down and add nutrients to the soil
  4. Slugs and snails hate coffee grounds – protect susceptible plants with the grounds
  5. squirrels and rabbits can also be deterred by the grounds underfoot
  6. Acid loving plants will love a ring of grounds that are worked into the ground/soil around the base of the plant .

The following articles address some of these ideas.

The most obvious and simple use is as compost, but The amounts can be important:

More than compost- other uses for the grounds:

Some plants love the grounds directly on them:


Thoughts ideas- borrowed from the web/brain of others

I am dying to jump into the garden- tomorrows morning run will include a 30 minute visit to the garden plot and some work…..(CROSS-TRAINING anyone? )


Helping friends with a garden and have a few stumps to play with so the following may be good idea.

Also concerned with heavy rain/flooding that we dealt with last year. I have added a 2nd layer of wooden pallets to raised the beds even more- here are some more ideas.


Always glad to find pallet ideas for garden and home-


Some pallets for double decker raised bed(burlap bags for weed control)

Compost Tumbler

Compost Tumbler.

via Compost Tumbler.

I love this and found it when liked my blog. This is a tremendous idea and thanks ! for doing the groundwork- on the double reel idea.

Now I ned to find some reels and get “working”. This will work great in combo with regualr old school Compost bin system-

Jump start the goodies in bin #1. Maybe paint in dark green or black for heat…


Recycle / Reuse Free Buckets for Grow Containers

Recycle / Reuse Free Buckets for Grow Containers

     I live in an apartment and have a rented garden space in the city gardens and a small deck/patio. I saw some cool grow towers at local garden store and began thinking of how to do the same thing BUT for FREE!!!

    I have been reading about several different ways to use old containers as garden “plots”. Now that there are several commercially available self-watering containers that provide some great guidance for  creating the same for free or next to nothing. This video shows the standard method of using old containers to grow new food.

    I am getting buckets this week from a friend who goes through buckets pretty quickly so I hope to have greens and some herbs by Christmas dinner.

– Cabbage, kale, collards, dandelion, thyme, mint and a few others for the new Farm 

Real Cheapskate- Forage for Wild Greens- FREE !!!

I collected a nice bag of wild plantain (plantago major) yesterday. I have used it in the past as base for green smoothie, shredded greens in soup and of course in a salad with fruit and nuts to balance the sour bite.  Image

I have not harvested or eaten the seeds yet- though they are edible cooked or raw- the challenge will be harvesting the tiny seeds from the tough stalk.


Plantain is very high in beta carotene(Vitamin A precursor) plus vitamins B1, C and K.
It has a lot of calcium as well as : allantion, apigenin, aucubin, baicalein, linoleic acid, oleanolic acid, sorbitol, and tannins. Allantoin promotes wound healing; Acubin is a powerful anti-toxin.
These substances together give plantain exceptional antioxidant, antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and expectorant properties.

Medical research show its usefulness for asthma,bladder problems,blood sugar control bronchitis, emphysema, fever, hypertension, rheumatism.
Plantain is a powerful detoxifier.  Plantain can be used as a poultice on the skin to draw out venom from snake bites and bee or hornet stings. Use a poultice of mashed leaves, in an emergency chew with saliva, and place on infected area.
It has antibacterial properties and a poultice will also draw out thorns or splinters.
It has some use as a tobacco control aid. It causes an aversion to tobacco and has been used in blend to help smokers quit.

The only cost is time- and maybe a pair of scissors…..

Recycle- ReUse Pallets for Garden raised Beds- Free Lumber

I have been collecting and using old wooden pallets (HT-heat treated) for the garden this year and so far it has made it easier to build raised beds and in the garden THIS year the extensive rains have made the beds helpful and safe.

As i bring the new pallet in I like to create/set a weed barrier with newsprint or cardboard and then place the pallet, and make sure it is level.


The next step is to start filling/loading the frame with growing medium- I like coffee grounds from local coffee shop. Shenandoah Joe Coffee Roasters [ ] is my source for buckets of coffee grounds.   Image

After I spread the grounds and mulch I top it all with a soil blend and prepare for planting.


This pallet is now planted with- spinach, yarrow, Milk thistle, and oregano.  Updates and pictures to follow.

othe pallets planted this season- cucumbers, spinach, herbs and onions/chives.

might use for covered winter planters…

Growing my Own Fertilizer {very cheap} – Comfrey

I have planted and relocated a few Comfrey plants in my new garden this year. I hope to be able to use them for “fertile-i-tea” late in the season and then really use next year for mulch etc.

They can be used as mulch or a powerful tea( uses-below). Image

Comfrey  – Symphytum officinale- grows to about 2 feet and is deep rooting and the leaves have a broad spectrum fertilizer in the blend of N-P-K and are useful in the following ways.

A) Spread the leaves  as a mulch to control weeds and protect the soil.

B) Fill a bucket (w/lid) with water and 1/2 filled with comfrey leaves- allow the mix to “brew” for 3-5 weeks and can then be used full/half strength as a feed or water amendment

C) Compost “energizer” – add leaves to a slow “processing” compost pile to give it a kickstart

D) Add chopped leaves to soil while planting/transplanting as a safe/gentle food.


This is perfect for cheapskate gardeners as it provides a full spectrum fertilizer, a mulch and also a good looking plant in the garden.

In future posts we can look at herbalist uses of comfrey in repairing broken bones and healing injuries.