What is Comfrey and how to grow it in your garden which is used as an organic fertilizer and as an herbal medicine for it’s healing properties. The comfrey plant possesses a number of benefits that not everyone knows about. While it is long believed that the Comfrey has medicinal uses, there is one thing that makes it extra special, it is in how the way the plants roots spread down deep into the surrounding soil and gathers valuable nutrients. This makes the leaves a great fertilizer when they fall from the plant onto the ground.
All natural remedies are made from a wide variety of plants that are often chosen for their amazing medicinal properties. The leaves, seeds and stems of these plants are used to make salves, teas and other different types of remedies. While many herbal remedies have been used to alleviate a great number of afflictions, you do need to be careful in the amount and frequency in which you use them, especially if they are ingested into the body.
Comfrey is a perennial herb of the family Boraginaceae with a black, turnip-like root and large, hairy broad leaves that bears small bell-shaped flowers of various colors, typically cream or purplish, which may be striped. Comfrey has long been recognized by both organic gardeners and herbalists for its great usefulness and versatility.
Comfrey is sterile, and therefore will not set seed thus is propagated from root cuttings called offsets. Offsets should be planted 2 feet to 3 feet apart with the growing points just below the surface, while root segments should be buried about 2 inches deep. Keep the bed well watered until the young plants are established. Comfrey should not be harvested in its first season as it needs to become established. Any flowering stems should be removed as these will weaken the plant in its first year.
There are various ways in which comfrey can be used as a fertilizer.
* Comfrey as a compost activator – include comfrey in the compost heap to add nitrogen and help to heat the heap. Comfrey should not be added in quantity as it will quickly break down into a dark sludgy liquid that needs to be balanced with more fibrous, carbon-rich material.
* Comfrey liquid fertilizer – can be produced by either rotting leaves down in rainwater for 4–5 weeks to produce a ready-to-use “comfrey tea”, or by stacking dry leaves under a weight in a container with a hole in the base. When the leaves decompose a thick black comfrey concentrate is collected. This must be diluted at 15:1 before use.
* Comfrey as a mulch or side dressing – a two-inch layer of comfrey leaves placed around a crop will slowly break down and release plant nutrients; it is especially useful for crops that need extra potassium, such as fruit bearers but also reported to do well for potatoes. Comfrey can be slightly wilted before application optionally but either way, avoid using flowering stems as these can root.
* Comfrey as a companion plant for trees and other perennials – soil tests confirm that soil nutrients increase in the presence of comfrey even when it is not used as mulch, side dressing, or liquid fertilizer, but just allowed to grow.
* Comfrey potting mixture – originally devised to utilize peat, now environmental awareness has led to a leaf mold-based alternative being adopted instead; two-year-old, well decayed leaf mold should be used, this will absorb the nutrient-rich liquid released by the decaying comfrey. In a black plastic sack alternate layers of leaf mold and chopped comfrey leaves. Add a little dolomitic limestone to slightly raise pH. Leave for between 2–5 months depending on the season, checking that it does not dry out or become too wet. The mixture is ready when the comfrey leaves have rotted and are no longer visible. Use as a general potting compost, although it is too strong for seedlings.
Benefits of reading the What is Comfrey and How to Grow it Article
● The article is filled with a wealth of knowledge and insight into the wonderful benefits of the Comfrey plant
● The article describes the many medicinal uses of the Comfrey plant
● It talks about how it can also be helpful as a soil or compost enhancement
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