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New from Extension: Understanding wireworms; do coffee grounds make good mulch?

Posted by Seth Truscott | January 10, 2022
Compost containing coffee grounds
Coffee grounds can be used as a component of compost piles.

The latest guides from WSU Extension help farmers manage a persistent insect pest, and also assist home gardeners in learning about useful, and less useful, mulches.

Biology and Management of Wireworms in Western Washington (FS364E)

Wireworms cause damage to a wide range of agricultural crops. With no single, simple solution, these larval pests demand a combination of cultural, mechanical, and chemical control strategies. Authored by B. Diehl, Stephen Bramwell, B.S. Gerdeman, Brook Brouwer, Travis Alexander, this publication shares information, graphics, and photos to help farmers identify, monitor, and manage wireworms.

Using Coffee Grounds in Gardens and Landscapes (FS207E)

Americans consume more than 980 million cups of coffee a day, generating a lot of coffee grounds in the process. Putting coffee grounds to use in the garden makes both economic and environmental sense, and an increasing number of people are using them directly as mulch. Speculation abounds that coffee grounds repel cats, kill slugs, prevent weeds, aerate and acidify the soil, provide nitrogen, and attract earthworms. This publication examines the science behind the use of coffee grounds in gardens and landscapes and provides recommendations for home gardeners to use coffee grounds appropriately. Part of the Home Garden Series, authored by Linda Chalker-Scott.

Dust Mulch Efficacy in Gardens and Landscapes (FS167E)

Dust mulching is a soil-water conservation practice recommended by some popular gardening books and websites for home gardeners. While dust mulching may be an effective practice for dryland agricultural production, there is little scientific support for its use in home gardens. This publication reviews the science behind dust mulching and will guide home gardeners to more appropriate mulch materials for their gardens and landscapes. Authored by Linda Chalker-Scott.

Rubber Mulch Use in Home Gardens and Landscapes (FS163E)

Part of the Home Garden Series, this guide shares up-to-date scientific research on the use of recycled rubber mulches in home landscapes with a focus on human and environmental safety. Scientific research provides ample evidence that rubber mulches should not be used in gardens and landscapes. Authored by Linda Chalker-Scott.

Find more guides at the Extension Publications store in a range of categories, from agriculture and natural resources to 4-H, family and home, energy, economic development, and more.