Comfrey-- a different kind of fertilizer

Discussion in 'Fruit and Veg Gardening' started by Sjoerd, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Odif

    Odif In Flower

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    I chopped a comfrey down yesterday and shredded it and put it in the bottom of the holes that I planted my tomatoes in. When I mulch with comfrey leaves, I just shred them up and put them around my plants.
     
  2. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Hey Carolyn--No, you absolutely do not need to make the stinky liquid fertilizer. You can (and I do) use the leaves as a mulch. I do that every year on my toms. I can understand what Odif does too.
    Let me say that I would not use comfrey as a ground cover though. Those roots are VERY difficult to get out once the plants have established. Every small bit of root will make a new plant...also if you are not using Bocking 14, the wild comfrey can seed out very easily...and does! A word to the wise.
    Naturally I would not mulch the flowers along with the stems and leaves. Just remove those first.
     
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  3. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    Thanks S. I have my comfrey far away from the garden behind another greenhouse where the lawn isn't mowable. I am hoping to get a nice huge patch of it started there so I never have to plant anything else there and I will keep it it for mulching the plants in the garden. as to what kind it is.. no idea. I bought it from someone at my farmers market 2 years ago. I figured between that and rabbit poop it would be a good addition to a tomato planting.
     
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  4. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Sounds good C. You know, if you have a lawnmower that can keep the clippings, you could mow that comfrey and it would already be chopped for you.
    It sounds like you wisely kept the comfrey patch far away. Good idea, meid.
     



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  5. carolyn

    carolyn Strong Ash

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    I have to hand cut it. it is on a slope in a corner going towards my little greenhouse. the mower would win if I tried to go there. I just came back in from cutting it off and hauling it to the high tunnel. I pulled back the plastic much and placed it, alfalfa pellets rabbit poop and a cut the small patch of clover off in there and recovered the bed. now it can break down for a few days until I have plants big enough to plant in there.
     
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  6. hummerbum

    hummerbum In Flower

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    I love this. As a first user of comfrey, it's great that you all caution us on the joys and lows of the plant and where to plant it. I still have mine in cups to plant out because I haven't found that spot yet...close but no cigar because I've been listening since comfrey peaked my interest.
     
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  7. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Carolyn--I see what your situation is. It sounds like you have a good use for the comfrey leaves. I can usually harvest mine four times a season.

    Well Hummer, I hope that you can find an out-of-the-way place for them. The bumble bees over here are mad about the comfrey blooms, so I have to stay alert and remove the spent flowers as soon as they go over.
     
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  8. hummerbum

    hummerbum In Flower

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    Thanks, Sjoerd. Definitely keeping that in mind. .i believe i have a few places.
     
  9. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Comfrey has a long tap root referred to as a deep mining taproot and can go as deep as 10 feet into the ground., that is why it is difficult to dig up. Be sure the place you plant it is where you want it to be forever.
     
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  10. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Sounds like I shouldn't put mine in my community garden plot. I might regret it. I bought some root cuttings last year. They have all been growing in a big pot. I know I need to get them in the ground, the question is where?!
     
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  11. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    CAYU--If the root cuttings that you bought were the Bocking 14 comfrey, then you have little to worry about in terms of spreading as this strain of comfrey is sterile.
    On the other hand, if you have the "normal" wild comfrey, then I would also hesitate. You could plant it in your garden, but then you must be meticulous about removing the flower heads...and I mean METICULOUS.
    I have the wild comfrey in my lottie as well, but I grow it along the canal and remove the flower heads once they die. Regardless, I have found a couple of wild ones here and there in the flower garden. Tch!
    Just be careful, meid.
     
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  12. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Hardy Maple Plants Contributor

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    Thanks for the caution Sjoerd. I do have Bocking 14. I was wondering how hard it would be to remove the plant if I wanted to move it ir it grew too big etc?
     
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  13. hummerbum

    hummerbum In Flower

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    @Cayuga Morning it would be difficult, so I'm gathering from the comment.
     
  14. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    It would indeed be a challenge to remove it. However, if you have patience and can carefully dig down in your soil, you can get the long roots out...but like I said, "patience" is the key word here. Do you have patience Cayu? Hmmmmm. I didn't think so. Well, comfrey removal will require you to dig deep.;)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  15. hummerbum

    hummerbum In Flower

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    Finally found a place to "plop" down the comfrey...a bit messy in that area..there are 2 of them in and standing back up...a day of transplant shock. Stay tuned. .just wanted to get them in the ground. Think this is a perfect place for them.
    Messy.jpg
     
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