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Compost, eggshells, and coffee grounds............

Here's the deal, I keep trying to compost, but need to keep things simple since the rest of my life is not. Many posts refer to adding egg shells and coffee grounds to the compost. I added egg shells a few weeks ago and then realized that my Beagles were 'chewing' on them.

Is this going to hurt my Beagles? And what is it that 'eggshells' add to the compost?

Ditto the above with coffee grounds. 'Cept the Beagles weren't chewing on them, the cats were trying to 'bury' them.

Wondering if it's worth it.

Kitt
 
Eggshells add calcium. Coffee grounds add more organic matter. Eggshells will not hurt the dogs. Mine steal eggs all the time. It's no different than them chewing up a bone, except they aren't filling their belly with a massive clump of it like a bone.
 
[hr]Rockfish, deep in the Sand Hills of North Carolina
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Chuubacka,

Just a warning....The cats were probably "burying" the coffee grounds because they had just used them and/or the area for a "potty" & were burying the evidence!
Honestly!
First thing I thought of when I read your post!

What does everyone else think?
Vicki
 
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Read somewhere, possibly here, that you should only use cooked eggshells in compost. The Salmonella factor.

Right or wrong?
 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything that blooms and grows, the garden angel scatters and sows...in the land of corn and pigs...Iowa Zone 4-5

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Cool, thanks, and euwww all at the same time. Ya know for someone with as many cats as I have I can't believe I didn't think of 'covering the evidence'. Hah! Now I have an excuse for having 'crappy' compost Big Grin . So I think I'll keep going with the eggshells but I'm not sure about the coffee. I do not want to have to 'sift' through my compost. Yuk!

Kitt
 
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Hi Chewy, I don't own any cats, but one thing I've seen mentioned on these boards is to make a compost bin using a black plastic lawn/leaf bag. Just remember to poke some holes in it so the micro-herd can breathe. I save my coffee grounds, etc. in empty coffee cans, then bury them straight into the garden plot. Hasn't done anything for the clay yet, butat least I have more earthworms this year than I did last year. Jackie
 
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The egg shells won't hurt the dog, as long as the dog does not eat too many. An easy way to keep the dog from eating the shells is to smash them fairly small which will also help the bacteria that are digesting the rest of the stiff digest them as well.
An easy way to keep your critters out of your compost is to fence them out. Put a gate on your bin.
 
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Coffee grounds add acidity to the soil. My late M-I-L [a florist] always poured leftover coffee directly into her houseplants. I always thought that was weird, but now do it, myself.

Also, I heard somewhere that it repels snails...but someone will have to verify that, as I can't remember where I heard that.
 
What is essential, is invisible to the eye.
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"Also, I heard somewhere that it repels snails...but someone will have to verify that, as I can't remember where I heard that."

It is a tea made from the grounds that kills snails because of the caffeine a usda study from Hawaii.


yes I know that is funny thought.
 
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Gigi, you would need to add tons of coffee grounds before any kind of soil pH affect would be noticed, many tons. Coffee grounds donot have enough caffiene left to have much of any affect on slugs or snails, I have seen them crawl over the coffee grounds I put down with impunity. What does repel slugs and snails is spraying your plants (or the buggers themselves) with cold, caffienated coffee (it is already liquid so there is no need to make a "tea") and the does work even after the coffee drys.
 
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Kimm, it makes sense that the coffee grounds wouldn't have enough caffeine, left. Sometimes, I brew a cup of green tea and pour it out, only to brew another with the same bag. That process reduces the amount of caffeine by [somewhere around] 80% and is a truly natural way to do decaffeinate your beverage....of course, I do like my caffeine, so it's not often. Wink

I wasn't sure where I had read/heard that about the snails. I just thought it was worth mentioning, just in case.

So you directly spray the plants or the bugs with the first brewed, cold coffee?
 
What is essential, is invisible to the eye.
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KimmSr,
So, does the coffee kill them, or just repel them?
Slugs, I mean...I don't want the slimy, nasty, disgusting dead things I had last August all over the place after the "salt treatment"! ]Smiler
Never heard of the coffee thing...
Vicki
 
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When I have sprayed the slugs with coffee the squirm and squigle and writhe and wriggle and die. But spraying the plants themselves it appears the the coffee, even dried, is a repellent, the odor of the coffee seems to keep the buggers away.
 
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Thanks for the info, KimmSr.
It seems, for some reason, that the coffee might be just as painful a death as the salt...Hmmmmm....
Spraying the plants might not make me feel so guilty!
Vicki
 
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The benefit of adding coffee grounds to your compost/garden is that coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Eugenian:
The benefit of adding coffee grounds to your compost/garden is that coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen.


Hmmmmmm! Wayne?

Dirt
 
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I just take the cold leftover coffee and put it in a spray bottle. Slugs hate it. After I crack an egg, I rinse the shells then I hand crush them and plop them into the kitchen bin. Then I cover them in the compost pile with shreaded paper or grass clippings or dirt.
 
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I rinse and save all of my eggshells in a paper lunch bag. When the bag is half full I lay it down on the kitchen counter and roll over it with my rolling pin. This gives me crushed eggshells to add to the chicken feed to give them extra calcium for strong shells and I also add a handful to each hole where I plant a tomato plant. It is supposed to attract calcium loving beneficial nematodes to the vicinity of the tomato roots (this is a tip from a Rodale Press free pamphlet that I got with my OG subscription). I can't prove whether it works or not but I did this last year and had more tomatoes than we could ever use.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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I have one of those fancy little counter top compost crocks that I paid $40 for that promptly went down in price to $25 (after I got mine). All my raw veggies scraps, eggs shells (cooked or not), coffee grounds + filter & tea bags goes into it and then it goes to the compost barrell. My eggs shells get crushed when I push something else down in there! I don't put any meat or dairy products in it since that would draw critters out here in the boonies! I've got enough of them without trying to attract them.

Anyone want an armadillo or a possum? How about some WILD cats? Or another neighbor's theiving dog? (he will pick up something he takes a shine to & run home with it!) Big Grin
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

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I've never even seen an armadillo. Must be a weird critter to have in the yard.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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I've only seen armadillios on the roadside in rural texas. Seems odd to try to think of them as garden pests..lol.
 
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How often can I spray with coffee to keep the slugs out. What veggies and plants can I use it on.
 

Live, Love & Garden, veggie gal

Coastal Newport Beach, CA, Zone 10b

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Armadillos are nocturnal...they come out at night especially...they like to "root" in my flower beds like hogs looking for worms & grubs! They can really tear up a bed if you have lots of worms!
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

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VG- you put the coffee in a spray bottle and take it with you and your early am coffee walk. Spray the suckers directly they react like it's acid.
(just a little bit of retaliation vengence, take that! and that! and that!)
 
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I think that I'm going to do the rolling pin thing..that sounds like a good idea.
 
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Eggshells do lots more than just offer calcium, turns out! Recent studies have found that the lining of eggshells can absorb carbon dioxide and hold it under the soil, a huge help for the environment.

"Basab Chaudhuri of the University of Calcutta and colleagues have demonstrated that the membrane that lines an eggshell can absorb almost seven times its own weight of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.../10/101026111607.htm

And carbon dioxide is crucial to plant roots and growth:

"Carbon Dioxide (CO2) contributes to plant growth as part of the miracle of nature known as photosynthesis. This enables plants to combine Carbon Dioxide and water with the aid of light energy to form sugar. Some of these sugars are converted into complex compounds that increase dry solid plant substances for continued growth to final maturity. "

http://homeharvest.com/carbondioxideenrichment.htm

Years ago when I found unbroken half egg shells in my compost pile, where I thought after several years they would break down, had me pretty discouraged about them. I added them to the paths for the heck of it, but now this new study has me excited again Smiler
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
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brownrexx - I do something similar, I have an old coffee grinder that I put my egg shells in and grind them up (after they have had a chance to dry) and then mix them in with the feed. Helps keep the egg shells hard and a lot cheaper then crushed oyster shells. I'll have try putting son in with my tomatoes this year and see how that works.
 
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Coffee grinder sounds like a good idea. I was originally going to use my blender but the jar is made of plastic and the shells would scratch it.
 

 Zone 7b  Southeastern PA

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ya'll feel quite free to do as thou pleasth with thine egg shells.

I used to save them, grind them, spoon them into the hole, whatever.

now I just toss them in the compost heap and put a $0.025 Tums tablet in with each tomato plant.

there's easy, then there's stupid easy.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ga.karen:
Armadillos are nocturnal...they come out at night especially...


Well, of course they do! No, not that I'm surprised that nocturnal animals are coming out at night, just amazed that you didn't know all those coffee grounds we throw in our compost piles keeps them awake all night. Sheesh, what do you expect? sleepy

Dirt? I don't know... a complete sentence and all...

Wayne
 

Adirondackgardener

Mainegardener

Trying out Northeast PA.

 

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quote:
Well, of course they do! No, not that I'm surprised that nocturnal animals are coming out at night, just amazed that you didn't know all those coffee grounds we throw in our compost piles keeps them awake all night. Sheesh, what do you expect?


Razzer Big Grin
 

___________________________________________________

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence."  David Ben-Gurion

 

S.W. Ga., zone 8b but acts more like zone 9

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I sprayed slugs with coffee and they really don't like it.
So I sprayed around the ground and under the leaves of my roses.
I had holes and a few worms on them.
No new holes and the leaves look really beautiful.
So I sprayed my rubarb leaves and I will see if the coffee helps. I had several slugs on them.
Do you think I can over do it and hurt the plants or the soil.
Wouldn't it be great if this keeps the snails and slugs away.
 

Live, Love & Garden, veggie gal

Coastal Newport Beach, CA, Zone 10b

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I know VG, it's so nice when something so simple works.
 
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veggiegal, glad it's working. Critters have a way better sense of smell than we do, so it doesn't take as much of the stuff as we would need. It's also very acidic, so you don't want to do it too often. If you get a lot of fog at night, it might tend to wash it off onto the ground, which is fine, too. Maybe go out really early and see if they are starting to get into the plants between sprayings, and you can judge how often you might need to do it.
 
============= Love your soil.....feed your worms... (Used to be Sweetpea, contributing here since 2002)
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Thanks friends.
 

Live, Love & Garden, veggie gal

Coastal Newport Beach, CA, Zone 10b

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