You can grow your own food. We can help.

comfrey - the wonder plant and other fertilizer ideas.

Mar 03, 2011

Only the comfrey in the pot survived this very wet season that we are just coming out of! This weekend I will be propogating some more plants from root division. I hope they will be soon be flourishing and providing me with free fertilizer. I had propogated these plants and they were growing quite happily against the fence. I am not sure why they didnt survive and dont even seem to be re-shooting - they were quite shaded and also very wet - two things they seem not to like. I do want to grow them in this area though.... I might cut back the vines growing over the arch above and give them another go in this area. I might also re-think the front of the vegetable garden and remove a row of grass and grow a row of comfrey there - full sun - it might be the perfect spot.....
Can one have too much comfrey?

Here is the lone pot, tucked under the pawpaw tree.

I was in my mind thinking that seaweed tea and comfrey juice were pretty much the same.
No so, seaweed tea is more of a hormonal tonic, but comfrey is the real thing;

I dont really know who to give credit for this information. I first saw it when Glen from KGI published it.You can find the link to KGI in my side bar. In fact it was through his posts that I first became interested in comfrey.
Comparative Nutritional Analysis of comfrey, compost and manure

Material 1. Water% 2. Nitrogen (N) % 3. Phosphorus (P) % 4. Potash (K) % 5. Carbon-Nitrogen Ratio

Manure 76.0 0.64 0.23 0.32 14 - 1
Comfrey 75.0 0.74 0.24 1.19 9.8 - 1
Compost 76.0 0.50 0.27 0.81 10 - 1

It seems that completes the cirle - seaweed tea for the tonic, comfrey for an instant hit and compost for the body of the nutrition. I am continually adding compost as soon as it is "done".
I also normally at this time of the year get a product called 5 in one. these are the details form their website about this product

" Searles 5 in 1® Plus is a brilliant organic plant food containing Cow, Fowl and Sheep Manures, Mushroom Compost, Zeolite, Blood & Bone, hoof and horn plus added Trace Elements and Minerals. Mix one part Searles 5 in 1® Plus to three parts existing soil to enrich the soil and provide long term organic nutrients to plants. Flowers and vegetables respond extremely well to this product.
Because Searles 5 in 1® Plus is in an organic form, when organic fertilisers are subsequently applied, the existing humus and organic material store the new nutrients resulting in a 'slow release' effect. Chemcial fertilisers have a tendency to leach away very quickly."
Hopefully this will cover all bases.
what do you add to your soil?

Comments

Super post! Maxine sent a root to me and its coming up nicely this near spring. I'm looking forward to being able to use it for fertilizer this year. Stay natural. David
Hi David, you must be getting ready to plant your spring vegetables now? So yours died down in the winter and then sent out new shoots? I was hoping mine might have done that, although mine died down in the hot wet summer, but dont see any signs yet. I just got one plant and managed to propogate 10 more last winter.
Yes, the comfrey died to the ground, but is leafing out nicely. I'll split it into 4-6 roots this fall. I put on my status that I'm cautiously planting into the garden, but reserving about half of the indoor started plants in case of a freeze. Possible freeze predicted Saturday night-Sunday. I'll cover the transplants Saturday night and hope for the best. You can tell I crave fresh tomatoes and other home grown vegetables. My indoor garden kept me supplied with lettuces and other greens all winter. Will continue making teas with compost, weeds, coffee grounds, and worm castings with molasses added. Stay natural, David
Hi Gillian I hope you are well. Thanks for the mention on your website, that was really nice. I think 'Distance' is one of the special things about this website. Everyone is so far apart but so close together in their thinking. My comfrey production is on a backburner at the moment, as the large container that i stuff my comfrey leaves in has been stolen. Even though it was only scrap metal [the drum from an old washer]. Scrap metal has risen in price in the UK so anything that is not fastened down may be stolen. At present i am looking at the freecycle sites to find an old washer that i can dismantle. I have a little while yet to sort things out as it is still wintery, even though hopefully warmer spring weather is on its way soon. Its a pity some of your comfrey died, but it does sound a good idea to keep some in a pot as a backup. You can take root cuttings from quite small pieces of root. The pieces i first received were only about an inch long. So you can make a lot of new plants from one healthy potted plant. I like the idea of mixing seaweed tea with the comfrey tea to make a rounded fertilizer. I don,t know if you have read about the activated, aerated or brewed teas, where you bubble air through to make a solution with lots more useful bacteria in it. This is one of the things i am going to try when it warms up a bit as i now have all the kit. An activated mixture of comfrey & seaweed is maybe about as good as you could get. I only wish i lived closer to the coast so i could collect some seaweed. I don,t think my wife would tolerate a 50 mile journey with a boot full of smelly seaweed. I think the person who should get credit for the use of comfey is Bob Flowerdew. An eccentric English organic gardener, who i first saw using it on the TV, some 20 years ago. Happy Gardening Glenn
Glenn, to bad you do not live down the street from me, I have an washer that the junkman has not picked up yet. You could have it. The drum is full of holes, so the water can spin out of the washed clothes. We use them for portable five pits in the Boy Scouts, when you can not burn on the ground. I want to try the activated brew also. When my comfrey is large enough to divide into smaller parts. I have a friend who is waiting on a root cutting.
Hi Joel. Thanks for the thought regarding the washer drum. One will turn up soon. Is it spring yet in your part of the world? I have some seeds sown in the greenhouse but outside night time temperatures are still down near freezing. Glenn
It is like so not freezing here. Is suppose to be cold all of February & March, to cold for tomatoes, not corn,potatoes & carrot. But it was freezing 1, maybe 2 nights here(31-32F/1-2c)in the last 20 days or so. Every thing is blooming & raspberries are putting out already. I hope & pray that we do not have a cold snap to kill all the blueberries buds.
thanks for the good discussion. I made a lot of compost tea last year. (5 gallon bucket with a shovel of compost and a fish tank aerator) I hope to do more of this but am also very interested in herbal additions. Nettle is also a good addition, but I haven't grown either of these.

Add comment

Log in or register to post comments

 

 

Join our e-list to stay in touch

  

 

 

Praise for KGI:

"A group that can get
things done"

-Mother Nature Network

"One of the web's best sources of gardening info"
-Washington Post 

"The meeting place of the world's gardeners"
-WorldWatch Institute

more here

 

 
 

About us:

KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.  

Join our mailing list:

 

Connect with us:

Contact us:

Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA
info@kgi.org
(207) 956-0606