K-Cup Seed Starters

Recycle used K-Cup coffee pods to give your seeds a head start.

K-Cup seed starters

K-Cup Seed Starters

Ingenious seed starters made from used K-Cups are easy, green and economical. Collect them from friends, family and co-workers.

Gardeners, if you have a single-serve coffee brewer that uses those convenient little K-Cups, they make fabulous seed starters!

Empty a used cup and fill with potting soil; plant with seeds that you’re ready to sprout. The hole created by the coffee maker in the bottom of the cup lets water drain from the soil, and the coffee filter keeps the soil from spilling out with the water.

Gardener’s tip sent by H.C. Olson of Littleton,  Colorado

K-Cup Seed Starters Photography by Country Woman

michele 1 February 7, 2014 at 8:12 pm

What a great idea. I have been saving yogurt cups, but the K cups are perfect since they have a lined drain hole. The discarded grounds will go into the compost bin. Recycle and reuse!

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Linda Brown 2 February 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Just saw your post about K-cups – what a great idea! I drink tea, not coffee, but still have a LOT of used K-cups. Going to try this!
Thanks!

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mollykitti 3 February 11, 2014 at 7:12 am

I have been emptying out my k-cups to use the grounds on the rest of my garden. (Coffee’s a fertilizer and a slug replent!) Now I have a way to use the rest of the cup… this could be a problem… hmmm, how many seed starters on my sill before my house starts to look like Jumanji??

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Red Southern 4 April 17, 2015 at 1:50 pm

After reading you article on the rain barrels, I think this is a great idea, but Boulder County in Colorado makes it illegal. I wish you could find out why……..we can’t get a straight answer from them. They say something about restricting the water getting back into the ground, but it is going to get there anyway……eventually.
Also as a beekeeper, I wouldn’t plant anything that would discourage bees. We are having a hard enough time, as it is, keeping them alive. I would rather see you try to educate the public as to how to avoid them, like ‘don’t swat at them and they will leave you alone’. This ought to be taught to the young ones as well. I realize it is next to impossible NOT to swat at them, but it does works.
Thank you,
Red Southern

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MommaD 5 March 4, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Rain barrels are illegal in the state of Colorado, not just Boulder County. Call Governor Hickenlooper’s office for more info. Maybe we could petition the state!
Using coffee grounds in compost and as slug discouragement does not harm the Bees in any way. Compost improves the soil allowing more of the blooms the Bees need. Everything grows better with compost because it enriches the soil and balances it too.

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Marlene 6 April 19, 2015 at 5:53 am

Just looked at your idea for K-cups. Hreat idea.
I also use them for making ice cubes, saving small amounts of gravy and at school for paint cups. They are wonderful little cups.

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Lanett Wheeler 7 April 19, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Why not mix alittle dirt in with the coffee grounds?

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MommaD 8 March 4, 2016 at 2:04 pm

I would use a sterile seed starting mix.

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Oldguy 9 May 10, 2015 at 7:34 pm

Has any one tried planting the seeds right in the old grounds?

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MommaD 10 March 4, 2016 at 2:01 pm

I have not tried it, because coffee grounds have quite a low pH. (Consider lemon juice or vinegar). I do not know of any plant that could survive a day in that. Mixed in soil or compost, grounds are wonderful and balance out, sharing their best qualities, excellent drainage and moisture holding.

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JMiller 11 March 4, 2016 at 7:05 pm

I have tried starting seeds right in the grounds both in the kcups and in the filter pods. It will work but the seeds don’t get any nutrients ftom the grounds once they sprout.

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Carol 12 March 6, 2016 at 10:39 pm

I used my K-cups for seedlings last year. I also used the high clear plastic (doughnut?) containers to put my seedlings in and it acts like a miniature greenhouse. Once the seedlings reach to top of the container, I remove the lid.

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Jennifer Paine 13 March 23, 2016 at 9:03 am

Reusing my k-cups for seed starting was the best idea to start the gardening season this year. All the seedlings look just great it their separate pots. I’m surely recommending to my sister, she’ll be very glad to try this idea too. Thank you for the nice and helpful information! Greets!

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sharon 14 March 11, 2014 at 8:47 am

We’ve heard from readers who’ve made these clever seed starters both ways–some leaving the filter in and others removing it—both with equal success. Consider your climate (some regions are ripe for mold growth) when decided which method to follow.

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