Coffee Bag Container Garden
Need a garden? Go to a coffee shop!
By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder for PlanTea, Inc. and
Co-author of Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul


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container gardeningThe next time you order an espresso to go, ask for a burlap coffee bag, to go, too. Lightweight (and free!) coffee bags are a unique way to add gardening space to your yard, and recycle at the same.

I planted the coffee bag you see at right, with pink geraniums, yellow calendulas, Alaska nasturtiums and other annuals. I placed it at the edge of my driveway, next to a row of black plastic containers of currants and tayberries (a blackberry-raspberry cross).

You can plant any kind of annual flowers, vegetables and herbs in burlap coffee bags. Strawberries work great, too! Here's how you do it:

  1. Set a coffee bag in place, against a tree, under a shrub, or among a clump of perennials.
  2. Roll down the top edge until you have the height you want. The rounded collar around the top is gentle on plants that hang over the edge.
  3. Fill the bag with pre-dampened, all-purpose potting soil (or fill halfway with compost and/or garden soil and then top off with potting soil). No need to worry about drainage: The burlap bag holds moisture, yet drains well and stays upright.
  4. Plant with seedlings, like you would a regular container. For a filled-out effect, experiment with cutting slits on the sides and poking seedlings in the holes.

Burlap coffee bags provide you with instant container gardens that adapt to any garden and landscape situation. Because they sit gently on the earth, you can use burlap containers to fill spaces and shape in, and around, existing beds.

Because they are biodegradable, plan on using your coffee bag(s) for one season. At the end of the season, they are soft and pliable. At that point, just break it apart and distribute the soil around the garden. Bury the burlap bag in the garden or in the compost pile where it will decompose.

Yes, believe it or not, coffee shops are great sources of gardening supplies. Coffee grounds are a wonderful non-toxic, home remedy for keeping slugs and snails at bay (read the whole article) and many coffee shops are more than happy to give you their used grounds!

Speaking of recycling, learn 27 ways to re-use garden catalogs and 25 different ways to use plastic milk jugs.

Discover more helpful organic gardening tips, recipes and tips on how to take great photographs.

Thanks for visiting and please stop by again. I'll put the coffee on!

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