Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Coffee Grounds - Mosquito Repellent or Just Gardener's Gold
Facebook is adding to it.
But some of it is true, some of it is false, and some of it has a bit of both in it.
I may have stumbled onto something here.
When I moved to South Florida, I ended up with a lot of really fascinating people around me.
My godmother was fresh from being one of the people directly responsible for having pig production being protected so that they do not end up in crates on factory farms. She's a gardener and her husband was into making some amazing Bonsai trees. I'm fortunate to have her and two of those trees in my yard today.
I have other friends here who amaze me just as much as my own godmother.
Some are teaching appreciation for the environment by their own hands. Others have a strong hand in creating ecological parks. More are directly involved in horticultural pursuits.
I find life greatly improved as a result.
I do my own part to give back. I've got a pot farm. Well not THAT kind of pot. A farm of pots with gardening plants in the back yard. One after another is growing and taking root to later go into the garden.
The yard is so chock full of plants that I have a lot of trouble finding room for them.
Meanwhile I am trying to figure out how to grow more. Our hedge is dying back so I am pre-growing Podocarpus for the next hedge. May as well, I have the time!
I go out in the morning with coffee mug in hand and look for things to improve the yard.
But that coffee. I was told never to throw the grounds in the garbage. It's "Rich Organic Material - Gardener's Gold". May as well just toss it in the gardens, right?
We had gotten a few pots for the front porch, Lemongrass. It was bought to keep down pests, mosquitoes primarily. I would splash water on it when I go to wash the dog's feet off before going into the house, and didn't think too much more about the lemongrass.
At one point I was having a discussion of how there seemed to be fewer mosquitoes out front as a result. The problem was that out back where there was another plant, I had a much worse problem with mosquitoes. It wasn't working.
But out front was tolerable. I just would spray a fog of poison out the back door before going onto the Lanai
There was something different about out front and one of those annoying Internet Memes gave me the answer.
That gardener's gold - Coffee Grounds seemed to be having its own effect.
You see, to the one side of the lemongrass, I would throw the morning's coffee grounds onto the top of the soil. It was right under the bathroom window and the soil was visibly just a sheen of soil over some stones put there over the years. It was getting thicker.
The picture in the meme said to toss the grounds near where you have a problem spot with mosquitoes, drain your pots. This was because "Mosquitoes Hate The Smell of Coffee Grounds".
We may be onto something.
My backyard was a fog of little tiger mosquitoes that I would literally run away from to get out to work in the yard.
My front yard and porch I could work on the windows, even rest my coffee mug on Aunt Betty's table and not get bit badly.
It's all relative.
So I got a lightbulb go off in my head.
Why not try coffee grounds in the plant pots out back. I have more than 30 of them. Orchids, Podocarpus,
So I did. Started on the Lanai, worked my way out. When I got to the end, repeat as needed. I even put a stripe of the stuff over by the pool equipment which is a corridor about the same width as my own armspan. I can touch fence and wall and it collected a cloud of the nasty little blood suckers.
I won't say that the mosquitoes are all gone. I would need a dome over the property and then pump it full of pesticides. That would be no fun because I would never be able to use the thing.
I have to say that since I started doing this, there is a definite difference.
Much fewer mosquitoes.
Much less of a panic.
I can use the lanai out back and my front porch.
Yes there are mosquitoes, but they are the exception and not the rule
My Lanai does not smell like a combination of Brazilian Cerrado and Pumpkin Spice at all.
And I can actually use it!
This is kind of a "Chicken Soup" thing - It couldn't hurt. May not work for you, but couldn't work
I will keep doing it since it IS working for me.
While those folks up North won't need to think about this since it is getting colder and they're going into winter, down here we wont' see 60F/15C for another two months. By then I will have a nice coating of brown over all my plants and much fewer mosquitoes.
I guess once in a while, those memes have something to them. At least in my eyes.
Your mileage may vary.