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Attracting Pollinators

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Re: Attracting Pollinators

Post  plantoid on 1/22/2014, 5:01 pm

Marc Iverson wrote:Thank you very much, Jo.  I have my master gardener's class on Thursday, and I will ask the instructors then.  

If the seeds you got didn't grow any comfrey for you, how did you originally get it going in the first place?

 You can take root cuttings off a plant in the second year about as big as your thumb nail .. each cutting needs a growth node or two .
Simply dip them in root growth hormone  slip them an inch down in a decent potting compost and keep warm & moist in about 14 days the first shoots poke their head up .
 If you use 3 inch section of root off a two year old plant you can usually forget using the growth hormone stuff .
 My pal in Scotland sent me  four thumb nail sized lumps of " Bocking 14 comfrey "  packed in damp peat in a poly bag . This bocking 14 is supposed to be sterile so you can olny clone it though it does have an abundance of flowers .
I used a scalpel to take a super thin slice off the cut ends , dipped them in compound and them grew them on in the glasshouse. I now have a row some 18 feet long with a plant every two feet .

I use it neat chopped up very fine in the beds when transplanting plants .... put it in the bottom of the hole .

Use it as a fine chopped up mess soaked in water for six days & stirred daily as a liquid feed.

 Every three to four weeks in the  growing season I give the row a close hair cut putting th cuttings in the compost bins in equal amounts till they are all used .
 Some times I take the " haircutting's "  to my pals as they have chickens , pigs ,sheep and goats and horses .  It is a good tonic for them either fresh cut or dried /wilted .

 If you grow sufficient you can almost use it as a substitute complete feed for animals in the growing season and they will put the weight on as flesh  rather than fat .

Apparently comfrey used to be a major  small holders feed crop in the USA for many years during he growing season.


 One of the best bee attractants I've found for the summer was star flower oil plants a.k.a. Borrage. bees love it and tend to visit every other flower in the garden with a 40 foot radius
 In th autumn the bees go for rosebay willow herb & ivy .

If you really want to go into things a bit deeper have a look on line for honey bee forage plants & flowers the UK's"  BBKA " ( British Bee Keepers Association " has a great flower nectar and pollen producing set of charts .
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Re: Attracting Pollinators

Post  Marc Iverson on 1/23/2014, 1:28 am

Thanks for so much continuing good info, ladies and gents!
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