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Name: Kevin B.
Status: student
Age: 12
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1/20/2004


Question:
My dad says the residue left over from burned charcoal is good for plants and my mom says coffee grounds are good for plants. Is there any proof that either one is good for plants


Replies:
Charcoal would offer mostly carbon but needs to be balanced by nitrogen from another source. Coffee grounds would add organic matter to the soil but possibly too acid for plant growth if too much used. Also charcoal might contain other chemical additives that could be harmful to plants and to those consuming the plants if for vegetables. Probably safer to add to compost for later use rather than directly to garden soil.

The following might be helpful:

http://www.cityofseattle.net/util/composting/faq.htm

http://jhs.pharm.or.jp/49(6)/49_520.pdf

http://muextension.missouri.edu/explore/agguides/hort/g06958.htm

Anthony Brach, Ph.D
Harvard University



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