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10 Organic Gardening Uses For Comfrey

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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2006 1:23 am    Post subject: 10 Organic Gardening Uses For Comfrey Reply with quote

10 Organic Gardening Uses For Comfrey
By Julie Williams

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is just one of those plants that every organic garden must have growing.
It also has great merit as a medicinal plant.
This plant serves us so well.
Propagation is by root division.
But be careful with this plant as it will grow from the tiniest piece of root.

OK, on to some of it's best uses (and some lesser known ones)!

1. A valuable addition of bulk to the compost heap. It is an extremely good micro-nutrient accumulator - a complete fertilizer in a plant.
The leaves are full of nitrogen, silica, calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium.

2. Comfrey is a great compost activator.

3. Use as a mulch around your veggies.
You can harvest growth several times a year, from mid spring onwards.
Make sure you put the leaves in the sun for a few hours to wilt so that it doesn't take root.

4. It can be used as a fertilizer, placed directly in trenches before planting potatoes, beans, peas etc. (again make sure you wilt the leaves).

Photo / pic / image of
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale).


5. The very deep root system of this plant makes it ideal for breaking up heavy clay soils.
This will also bring up nutrients that have leached deep into the soil.

6. Create a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer.
Place comfrey leaves in a small amount of water for a week or more, then dilute 10:1.
This liquid feed is excellent for potassium hungry crops, such as tomatoes.

7. Grow comfrey as a grass barrier.
Chop up pieces of root, place in a hollow in your mulch about every 40cm / 16inches and cover with compost or good soil.
Over time this will create a thick barrier that even couch doesn't like to compete with.
Comfrey dies down with the winter frost, but so does grass.
Comfrey will start growing in spring before grasses do.

8. Use as a nutrient trap at the bottom of your garden (if you have a slope).
It will grow lush and prevent nutrients escaping your garden by leaching out.

9. Expand your garden beds.
Divide the roots to create a lot of new plants very quickly. Very useful as a ground cover.

10. Comfrey is sometimes known as "knit-bone" as it has been traditionally used as a poultice to heal broken bones.
It is high in calcium which may be why it is used in this way.

Growing Conditions
Comfrey is a hardy herbaceous plant which thrives in most types of soil.
It will survive frosts, but tends to loose most of its leaves through winter, then bounces back with the arrival of warmer weather.
You will get the best yield of lush leaves if you provide it with a moist, fertile soil.
Comfrey is a great companion plant for most vegetable crops.

Wow, what an amazing plant.
Now you see why Comfrey is a 'must have' in an organic gardening system.
Buy your first comfrey plant only if you don't know anyone who has it already. I'm sure they'd give you a piece of the root to get you started.
I hope this gives you more ideas for Comfrey in your organic garden.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Lamiales
Family: Boraginaceae

Julie Williams

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Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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Joined: 15 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Comfrey (bocking 14) growing in my backyard by the compost bin. I heard that it's a great fertilizer because of it's deep roots and ability for nitrogen fixation. Please, please, please remember that non-bocking 14 cultivars are extremely invasive through seeds. Bocking 14 is sterile and is propagated by root cuttings. I had a really hard time finding a bocking 14 in the United States. I finally found someone on a vegan website that was kind enough to mail me a cutting from her own garden. If you live in the US and are looking for this non-invasive variety, contact me through my website below and I'll send some of you some root cuttings.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick question regarding this comfrey I have- I have been using this comfrey plant this year as a mulch and for making liquid feed. However recently it started turning very yellow and dying looking.

Is this what happens it after it flowers or did it just not really like the extreme heat? I didnt give it any water or anything as I thought it would be established enough and with its deep root system I was hoping it would be fine. (There is actually some lovely new growth behind, which I would've thought meant it didnt need watering)

So anyway, my main question- would these leaves be still useful for making a liquid feed?? Or should I just throw them into the compost and use the fresh new leaves?

Comfrey Yellow Leaves.jpg
Comfrey not looking great
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