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What is the best way to store comfrey concentrate?


Question details

I am going to start growing russian comfrey (bocking 14) this year, mainly because I've been reading about how great comfrey concentrate is. The only thing I can't seem to find is what is the best way to store it and how long can it be stored before becoming unusable? I supply some of the local backyard gardeners with compost tea, but the problem is it goes bad fairly quickly after brewing and sometimes the gardeners don't get a chance to use it after they come and get it. Was kind of hoping that comfrey concentrate would have a longer \"shelf life\". Thanks for any information you can offer.

Hi I make comfrey concentrate. I make it in aproximately one gallon batches, which i put into a 10 gallon plastic bottle, which is airtight. I make the stuff one season and tend to use it the next, so it could be 6 months old or more when when i use it. I don,t think it deteriorates in any way that i have noticed. When i use it, it looks very similar to when it was made.  I have commented in the past that it does not have any appreciable smell when made, but the next time i go down to my allotment i will pour some out and check it out and see if it has developed an odour. This would signify that some anerobic decomposition had taken place. Even if it had deteriorated i don,t think that would be a problem as it would still contain the nutrients. I just would not spray it on any foliage but only put it on the soil. Glenn 
Hello Glenn, You really don't want to let compost tea sit around. The anaerobic break down would be full of bad guys. I store my comfrey concentrate in an recycled A & W root beer bottle that is brown to prevent photo decay and I also keep it in the refrigerator. It is an excellent alternative to wood ash as a source of potassium. Now, if I could just get away from bone meal and the implications of mad cow disease associated with it. How was Spain, my friend? If this is the right post, the fertility data for comfrey is from Fertility Gardening by Lawrence D. Hills. I'm oftentimes not exactly sure where I am on this site. Mike DeLate Tetonia, Idaho USA
Hi Mike. Its great to see you posting on this site again. I agree with you regarding the anaerobic breakdown that may occur if you leave any tea to get old. Its always best to use it as fresh as possible so that the aerobic bacteria can do their stuff in the soil. I did try the smell test on the half bottle that i have left over in my allotment shed. I stuck my nose into the neck of the bottle and it had no odour at all. No bad smell that would indicate anerobic decomposition. I think what may happen in time is that the bacteria may die and hence what you are left with is a solution of useful nutients. Something that is not quite as good as it was when it was new, but still a useful fertiliser. I,m only guessing. I know the information on this site is very muddled. The only way i can get to find things is by using the search box at the top right of the screen. On a non gardening note, Spain is a fantastic place. If you have the winter blues then a week of wall to wall spring sunshine is the ideal tonic. Regards Glenn
Hey, could you reprise the instructions for making this comfrey tea? This is the first I have heard of using comfrey as fertilizer, although I have grown it for decades.
Hi Barb This is a link to the notes i wrote last year on my method of comfrey liquid production. My comfrey liquid is not exactly fully brewed tea, but i think it is good stuff non the less. This is a link to information on brewing the tea and improving the bacterial quality. This is something that i intend to try soon. I hope this helps. Regards Glenn 
Thanks for the link! The comfrey variety I have is unknown, the original roots were received nearly 4 decades ago. Needless to say, I have a nice big patch. The bunnies love it, it makes a fine tea. There are times I need to fight it back a bit, though, so this concentrate will be a new lesson. Many thanks! Peace in the Garden, Barb K.



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