Help Us Confirm: Do Spent Coffee Grounds Protect Cabbage Plants?

Reader Contribution by Staff

Last year, reader Mindy Moore reported that a mixture of coffee grounds and eggshells protected her cabbages from pest damage. Crushed eggshells are generally thought to repel slugs, but using coffee grounds was not an idea we had heard before.

We would like to encourage you to try out this technique this summer and report back to us. The caterpillars of several kinds of moths often damage cabbage, broccoli and other brassicas. Bt, an organic insecticide, kills the worms, but spent coffee grounds would be a much cheaper and greener option, if it works consistently. We’re thinking that the odor from the coffee grounds probably makes it difficult for the moths to locate the plants.

Give it a try — just sprinkle the grounds around your plants, and let us know how it works out. Post your report in the comments section below.

Cheryl Long is the editor in chief of MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine, and a leading advocate for more sustainable lifestyles. She leads a team of editors which produces high quality content that has resulted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS being rated as one North America’s favorite magazines. Long lives on an 8-acre homestead near Topeka, Kan., powered in part by solar panels, where she manages a large organic garden and a small flock of heritage chickens. Prior to taking the helm at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, she was an editor at Organic Gardening magazine for 10 years.Connect with her on.