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Comfrey Runners?


 
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mcgrueser
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Joined: 22 May 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 12:12 am    Post subject: Comfrey Runners? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I've a couple of Comfrey plants that I WAS fairly sure were Bocking 14, though now I'm not 100%. I've started to doubt whether they're even comfrey at all because it kind of looks like they are layering themselves or sending out runners which are rooting. (Or at least I think they're rooting...)

I didn't think comfrey did this. From the pics is the plant Comfrey and I am just panicking over nothing because this is the way the plant naturally spreads or have I got the wrong plant altogether?!

Thanks for any help



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Comfrey??
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What looks like a runner
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Greengage
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 09 Nov 2011
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Location: Kildare

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks like Symphytum grandiflorum rather than Symphytum x uplandicum also known as Russian comfrey or blocking 14. Blocking 14 is a sterile plant while the others are not, I think, but others will disagree with me but it can be a bit invasive and needs controlling as it produces underground roots. If you google pics of it you will see the difference in the flowers. having said that boot are good for biomass.
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mcgrueser
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Greengage, I've had a scan through a good few sites and you seem to be right. It's the grandiflorum, a dwarf variety that spreads horizontally by the looks of it. Good for ground cover maybe but not what I thought I was getting when I took root cuttings off someone a couple of years ago...!!

What I didn't notice from the sites though was it being mentioned as being used as a liquid feed. Can this variety be used just as successfully for making liquid feed for my tomatoes as the Bocking 14?

Thanks again
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, get a six inch pipe approx 5 feet long place it vertical off ground place a mall cap on end with some holes in it pack it with leaves and place weight on top to compress, collect liquid from base and there you go liquid feed.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I can add a string to this, I bought two packets of 'Comfrey' via the Internet, 25 seeds per packet, with the intention of spreading them across some unneeded ground and using the foliage to generate 'tea' when they mature, i.e as McG is planning, though not for tomatoes.

When they arrived, I noticed they were Symphytum Officinale variety but nevertheless I filled two 6x4 plug trays with compost, placed a seed in each compartment, watered well and placed the two trays in a propagator. That was on Feb 14 and, so far, only one seedling has appeared. Has anyone else had experience of this variety?

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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a greenhouse in warm damp soil thry should germinate in approx 10 days, did you buy from reputable source and did you do germination test..
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mcgrueser
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again Greengage, great to get your insight.

When making the feed in the past I used to just put comfrey leaves in a bucket of water. After a few weeks I'd put a cup or two of the tea it made into a watering can.

But now you have me thinking- Is the method with the pipe better? I just find the bucket method v easy but if the pipe and weight method is better I'll definitely start to use it.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I bought them from a Dublin firm (Seedaholics?) but, not wishing to be rude, my germination test is to plant the Blankety Blank things and see if they come up. Is there something else I should/could have done?
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could have taken 10 seed and pre germinated them to see Count out at least 10 seeds onto a paper towel, fold over the towel and place it in a plastic bag. Put the bag in a drawer or hot press. Check daily for germination. After some seeds have germinated and a week has passed without additional germination, compare the number of sprouted seeds with the number you started with. If the germination rate is 70 to 90 percent, bingo they are viable
If germination is less than that, planting those seed is maybe not a good idea.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that. It just goes to show, you can learn something every day. If my solitary seedling is, in fact, a Comfrey, I may try and cultivate it for seed next year but one out of fifty isn't too good.

I've checked. It was Seedaholics, by the way.

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