Waste Not, Want Not

Erin Conant

Are your K–cup empties piling up because you can’t bear to toss ’em? Well, those petite pods are perfect for plant propagation!

I read recently that the inventor of Keurig’s K-Cup absolutely regretted its creation. A coffee drinker myself, I immediately understood why. Those cute little pods are used once and then dumped in the trash by the millions every year.

Funny thing is that by the time I read that, I was already hoarding a stash of used pods, after noticing that they would make excellent propagation containers! They’re the perfect size and already have a small drain hole punched in the bottom from the Keurig brewing process.

I made a batch and here’s how it went:

First I peeled the foil top off and emptied the used grounds into another container to put in my compost pile later.

Then I filled each little cup with good quality potting mix and packed it down gently to eliminate any air spaces.

Once the cups are filled, they’re ready to receive your seeds or cuttings. For my first batch, I chose a mixture of cuttings from my existing garden – Mexican bush sageTexas betonypeppermint and sweet basil.

These little plant babies will need steady moisture over the next three to four weeks so I placed them in a shallow dish in the shade and filled the dish to capacity with fresh water. The holes at the bottom of the cups will allow the water to be wicked into the soil-filled cups and spread by a little capillary action

The dish will need to be checked on and topped off with new water ever two or three days. How will I know when the cuttings are ready? My experience is that when the cuttings have about two sets of new leaves, the roots are likely to be plentiful and the plant is ready to be moved into a larger container, or planted straight into the ground.

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