Square Foot Gardening Forum
[table bgcolor=#000000 height=275][tr][td]

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


[/td][/tr][/table]
Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Microgreens Gardening
by SQWIB Today at 8:54 am

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by AtlantaMarie Today at 8:22 am

» My new compost heap
by AtlantaMarie Today at 8:20 am

» Happy Birthday!!
by AtlantaMarie Today at 8:15 am

» Today's Harvest
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 8:13 pm

» 2017: First full year of SFGing in ND
by Robbomb116 Yesterday at 11:55 am

» Holy snow Batman!
by trolleydriver Yesterday at 11:08 am

» Alternative cover to straw for overwintering strawberries.
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 9:38 am

» First Frost!
by brianj555 11/20/2017, 3:27 pm

» Senseless Banter...
by BeetlesPerSqFt 11/20/2017, 11:29 am

» How Many Square Feet Do You Have?
by BeetlesPerSqFt 11/20/2017, 8:56 am

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by countrynaturals 11/19/2017, 1:16 pm

» The Winter Journey and greenhouse plastic
by BeetlesPerSqFt 11/19/2017, 11:14 am

» Tomato Questions
by brianj555 11/19/2017, 11:07 am

» N&C Midwest; November Already? 2017
by Scorpio Rising 11/18/2017, 7:34 pm

» BOOK GIVEAWAY #5 - ENDS 11/17/17
by brianj555 11/18/2017, 4:12 pm

» What I learned this year
by countrynaturals 11/18/2017, 1:45 pm

» How's the Weather Where You're At?
by trolleydriver 11/18/2017, 9:26 am

» First Tromboncino female flower
by countrynaturals 11/17/2017, 5:51 pm

» Third Year SFG in Canada
by trolleydriver 11/17/2017, 1:59 pm

» Free lunaria seeds
by hammock gal 11/17/2017, 10:12 am

» Plastic containers / trash cans?
by sanderson 11/16/2017, 10:33 pm

» Mels book
by Scorpio Rising 11/16/2017, 7:04 pm

» Mid-Atl - Nov 2017 - Warming Up AGAIN?
by sanderson 11/16/2017, 4:17 pm

» 2017 SFG in Brooks, Ga
by Turan 11/15/2017, 4:59 pm

» Goodbye to my SFG Raised Beds
by Turan 11/15/2017, 4:41 pm

» Pickle recipes
by sanderson 11/15/2017, 4:12 am

» What variety of avocado would you recommend?
by dstack 11/14/2017, 9:12 pm

» Saffron?
by plantoid 11/14/2017, 3:32 pm

» Free Sunchoke Tubers
by BeetlesPerSqFt 11/13/2017, 6:36 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Comfrey

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 9/19/2014, 4:00 pm

I know some of us have touted the virtues of comfrey on occasion in different threads here on the forum, but I really believe it should have it's own topic so it will pop up on a search. 

Today I was dividing my comfrey to give some to a friend and thought I would do some refresher reading up on it.  I found this great website:

http://gentleworld.org/the-wonders-of-comfrey/

I also realized while I was reading it the reason why I'm getting 2 completely different results out of 2 boxes I built & filled this year at the same time with the same MM - I had laid huge comfrey leaves over the cardboard bottom of one of the boxes before loading in the MM.  The plants in that box are ridiculously healthy for a first year box What a Face ...unlike the 2nd box which is barely limping along and probably won't produce before frost.

Next year I'll try comfrey tea in my perennial gardens to see how it works.

If any of you have any experience with comfrey I'd love to hear about it. Very Happy

CC
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6477
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  southern gardener on 9/19/2014, 7:29 pm

I'm curious too!! We planted a couple of plants a while back. Can't wait for them to get big enough to harvest some leaves off of!!
avatar
southern gardener

Posts : 1887
Join date : 2011-06-21
Age : 37
Location : california, zone 10a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  Marc Iverson on 9/20/2014, 12:33 am

I grow a single leaf I got from the school garden this last spring. It's in a six-inch pot in partial shade and has neither thrived nor died. I had heard how tough comfrey was and that it would survive if I buried the leaf base and let it grow roots. I've never checked for roots. I have no idea if it will survive the winter or really what to do with it to make that happen besides perhaps cover it.

Sometimes it looks pale and worse for wear, sometimes better. Comfrey seems unusually hard to find as either seed or plant, so I'm hoping this one doesn't kick the bucket. I'd like to use the leaves as green manure someday.

But so far, it's just the same old leaf sticking up.
avatar
Marc Iverson

Male Posts : 3638
Join date : 2013-07-05
Age : 56
Location : SW Oregon

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  camprn on 9/20/2014, 6:55 am

The leaf thing is a myth, mostly. You do need a root portion for good quick results. Don't plant it where you may someday want to plant something else as it can be difficult to get all the tap roots when is is pulled out.

It's a great healing herb.

____________________________

41 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-weeks-until-frost

There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books



avatar
camprn

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14165
Join date : 2010-03-06
Age : 55
Location : Keene, NH, USA ~ Zone 5a

View user profile http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t3574-the-end-of-july-7-week

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  plantoid on 9/21/2014, 5:14 pm

The leaf dies down in  winter when it's frosty  , so if you leave it in the pot and it sprouts next year you'll know it can be propagated from leaf cutting ..usually if the leaf stem was torn off the main plant and had a growth node or two on it.

 As said though a decent root cutting of it about an inch to three inches  long taken from the outside of the crowns roots will soon take in warm moist conditions.
 
The smallest sized bit I've grown is about a 1/4 off an inch cube taken from just below the soil level immediately  below the greenery of a leaf .
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3749
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  has55 on 3/24/2017, 10:40 am

how are you containing and preventing the comfrey from being invasive? any tips? any pictures?
avatar
has55

Posts : 1679
Join date : 2012-05-10
Location : Denton, tx

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  Kelejan on 3/24/2017, 1:18 pm

About a 100 yards down the road from me there are thirteen comfrey plants growing in the grass verge that belongs to the city.

I had noticed them some years before then I found out that they were comfrey plants.
So I harvested each plant three times during the year then let them grow to full flower before the fall.

Mostly I chopped them up and put them on the compost heap or layered them on top of my BTE garden.

This year I will be losing half of them as someone has bought the house next door and uses this city verge it to park their huge vehicles, thereby destroying them and making a large mud pile there.  When the new shoots come up I will be taking some of them to put on my hillside.  I have plenty of space up there.
avatar
Kelejan

Female Posts : 4998
Join date : 2011-04-24
Age : 82
Location : Castlegar, British Columbia

View user profile http://www.castlegarinkspot.ca

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/24/2017, 2:14 pm

@has55 wrote:how are you containing and preventing the comfrey from being invasive? any tips? any pictures?

Mine doesn't seem to spread.  It's a problem here...when I want more of something they won't spread and sometimes just dies off.  What I don't want to spread spreads.
Rolling Eyes
CC
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6477
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 3/24/2017, 8:00 pm

The original link is broken, so, why do I want to grow comfrey?
avatar
countrynaturals

Female Posts : 2841
Join date : 2016-04-12
Location : Redding, CA

View user profile http://countrynaturals.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/25/2017, 8:54 am

Scratches, wounds, sunburn, asthma, all sorts of use for comfrey. The roots & leaves are used medicinally.
avatar
AtlantaMarie

Certified SFG Instructor

Female Posts : 4334
Join date : 2014-03-18
Age : 54
Location : Buford, GA - Zones 7B/8A

View user profile http://www.defensivespecialties.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/25/2017, 10:02 am

@countrynaturals wrote:The original link is broken, so, why do I want to grow comfrey?

The leaves are a great addition to the compost pile where I use it in place of manure. I cut it back 2 or 3 times a year for that purpose. You can also make comfrey tea to water or spray your plants with.
Medicinal example: I taped a piece of leaf on a festering wound my mother had that wouldn't give up the ghost, and the next day it completely drained and then healed quickly.
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6477
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 3/25/2017, 11:04 am

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@countrynaturals wrote:The original link is broken, so, why do I want to grow comfrey?

The leaves are a great addition to the compost pile where I use it in place of manure.  I cut it back 2 or 3 times a year for that purpose.  You can also make comfrey tea to water or spray your plants with.    
Medicinal example: I taped a piece of leaf on a festering wound my mother had that wouldn't give up the ghost, and the next day it completely drained and then healed quickly.
WOW! It may have to wait until next year, but I will definitely put it on my list. Thanks, CC.
avatar
countrynaturals

Female Posts : 2841
Join date : 2016-04-12
Location : Redding, CA

View user profile http://countrynaturals.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  has55 on 3/25/2017, 1:00 pm

great tips. 
it probably too cold for picts of comfrey.

I viewed videos of gardens with comfrey, but they are not clear how they contain it to prevent invasive spreading. has anyone experienced this problem?
avatar
has55

Posts : 1679
Join date : 2012-05-10
Location : Denton, tx

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  sanderson on 3/26/2017, 4:59 am

I just searched for seeds and all I found was "Annie's Heirlooms."  Another, a Comfrey farm sells root and crown cuttings.  CN, would you be interested in splitting an order of roots or crowns?  I'll work up the cost and let you know.  I'm thinking 12" pots for mine. Or maybe we could just split a seed packet. Cheaper that way. ??

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast
avatar
sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14944
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 69
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/26/2017, 7:29 am

@has55 wrote:great tips. 
it probably too cold for picts of comfrey.

I viewed videos of gardens with comfrey, but they are not clear how they contain it to prevent invasive spreading. has anyone experienced this problem?

Doesn't look like anyone here is having that invasive spread problem, Has55, but I have heard that it is true.  Maybe you could put it in a corner of your yard and encircle it using that black  plastic border stuff  that you bury about 4 to 6 inches down.  Give it its own SFG box, 2 X 2 maybe, depending on how much you want. It's a big plant with very big leaves.

Since the other since the other link doesn't work anymore here's another link to an article that's an oldie but goodie.
http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/comfrey-leaves-zmaz74zhol

Sanderson, I never let mine go to seed but if you don't get what you want this year I could try it in the fall and send you some. Just remind me. But personally I would go with the roots rather than seed. I don't know why, it just feels right.  If you try the seeds please keep us updated so that we'll know forever more.
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6477
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  yolos on 3/26/2017, 9:17 am

Don't have time to track down all my sources but here are a few clips that I saved to a Word document.

There are a number of varieties of comfrey, both cultivated and wild. The most commonly available and best for the gardener is Bocking 14.  When L D Hills was developing comfrey in the 1950’s he produced a number of variants (Bocking 4, 15 etc). These differed in such things as vitamin content etc. Bocking 14 has become the standard. Although it produces flowers, it does not set seed, which is important. Comfrey is difficult to eradicate and plants popping up everywhere would not be an advantage!


What's the difference between this plant and true comfrey (Symphytum officinalis)? The Bocking 14 cultivar of Russian Comfrey (Symphytum x uplandicum) is a sterile hybrid that will not self-seed and is extremely robust and vigorous.  The true comfrey (Symphytum officinalis) is a bit less vigorous of a grower, has more elongated leaves and (I think) prettier flowers, and does indeed make seed.  Although both types of comfrey (Russian and True) are useful for making medicine and making compost, in an ideal world one would use the bocking cultivar for producing large amounts of biomass for permaculture gardens, composting, and animal feed, and one would use the true comfrey (Symphytum officinalis) for medicinal purposes.  Again, both types (and other species as well) are used interchangeably in agriculture and in medicine. 


Bocking 4
Because the Bocking #4 is so deep rooted, it will thrive in drought where most other plants are helpless.  


Bocking 14
 Bocking #14 strain of Comfrey as “it is shallow rooted and subject to drought,” and “it is disliked by rabbits and chickens — as being too bitter” according to Lawrence D. Hills, the world’s foremost expert on Comfrey.



My conclusion for which type I would buy is the Bocking 14.  Bocking 4 is better for feed for animals.  True Comfrey self seeds and is considered invasive.
avatar
yolos

Female Posts : 3289
Join date : 2011-11-20
Age : 67
Location : Brooks, Ga Zone 7B/8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  plantoid on 3/26/2017, 9:27 am

I grow Bocking 14 Comfrey .
There are seven plants each about 2 feet apart . every autumn I give them there final cut & a thick mulch . In five or more years none of them have spread .

The only way I know that they spread is via seeds ( bocking 14 is infertile )so does noit produce viable seeds  or slips /cuttings
 Mine were 1" cuttings of root with a tiny bit of shoot showing on them .
 Research tells me that they can regenerate from a piece as small as a peas so long as there is a grwoth node on it & you bury it in a deep rich moist soil in spring & summer .

 Comfrey tap roots ( most Comfrey plants have two or three ) often go down six or more feet , the higher feeder roots don't seem to go out much past their own foot print area.

 Dressing the plant foot print in early before greenery appears with a general fertilizer such as , " Dried blood ,fish & bone meal "  will be very beneficial to the plant as will giving a bit of liquid tomato feed if you are after greenery for animal feed or composting purposes .
 They grow to about three 3 feet across & four feet tall .

We use them for composting & also a summer flower - front garden hedge . If I'm turning over a compost bin I'll prune the plants to a few inches above the ground & use the cuttings chopped up to add in a few bits at a time to the compost heap as it's a magic plant wrt nutrients & trace elements .


WRT .. Feed stock for the animals . i gave my mate Rob 16 plants four years ago ... he's propagating them to become a 100 x 100 mtr patch .

 Rob's chickens get some tossed over into their pen every weekend, his pigs get some at the same time . So do his horses & cattle . Their sheep also get fed it as do his goats .

 None of the animals appear to suffer from eating it , the hairy animals coats are fantastic .

I have made & drank my own green tea infusion from a dozen leaves zipped up in the liquidizer , steeped in boiling water , then drained off through a sieve.    There's now't wrong wi me ,.there's now't wrong wi me ,there's now't wrong wi me , .there's now't wrong wi me .
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3749
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  plantoid on 3/26/2017, 9:51 am

@southern gardener wrote:I'm curious too!! We planted a couple of plants a while back. Can't wait for them to get big enough to harvest some leaves off of!!

 Harvesting , in the first year  don't take any leaves let the plants develop deep roots .

 2nd year only take two harvests when the leaves are about foot long then let it recover for the rest of the year till the autumn prune & mulch.

 Third year & onwards .. cut when leaves are a foot long perhaps several times a year but leave the plant alone to recover for six weeks or so till the final autumn prune / clean up & winter mulching  .

 I have Hills comfrey book on my Kindle he suggests that the plant starts to die out from the middle roots eventually leaving a " Fairy Ring "   of plants round the outer edges & nothing in the middle . 
So he suggests that they should be dug out after several years then set in a new place as cutting if you want a rolling supply all year round .

So far my five year old Bocking 14 plants show no evidence of this central die out .
avatar
plantoid

Male Posts : 3749
Join date : 2011-11-09
Age : 66

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  sanderson on 3/26/2017, 4:50 pm

Thank you everyone! Very Happy

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast
avatar
sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14944
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 69
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  Mellen on 3/26/2017, 5:50 pm

Here's my comfrey.  I don't remember when I planted it but it is possibly a year old?  I purchased 3 plants from Strictly Medicinal in Williams, OR.  (https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/).  This is the Russian Comfrey.  I also have the seeds for the other (invasive) type.  I haven't found a spot yet where I would enjoy their proliferation so I haven't planted them yet.  These plants have been nice & polite.

Sorry about the ugly newspaper.  I surrounded them with newspaper & put compost on top of it.  It worked to keep the weeds down, & the plants are healthy.  I haven't cut anything off because of the "1 year rule".  


avatar
Mellen

Female Posts : 128
Join date : 2016-03-20
Age : 68
Location : Visalia CA-Zone 9b

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  Ginger Blue on 3/26/2017, 7:04 pm

@sanderson wrote:I just searched for seeds and all I found was "Annie's Heirlooms."  Another, a Comfrey farm sells root and crown cuttings.  CN, would you be interested in splitting an order of roots or crowns?  I'll work up the cost and let you know.  I'm thinking 12" pots for mine.  Or maybe we could just split a seed packet.  Cheaper that way. ??

Sanderson, I purchased a packet of seeds from Outsidepride, last year.  I'll be sending some to CN tomorrow and will be happy to share with you, as well.  Nothing on the package indicates these are a special variety, so I suspect they're true comfrey and may be invasive unless contained.  Let me know if you'd like some.

GB
avatar
Ginger Blue

Female Posts : 241
Join date : 2016-06-02
Location : New Hampshire, Zone 5

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  countrynaturals on 3/27/2017, 12:46 am

@Ginger Blue wrote:
@sanderson wrote:I just searched for seeds and all I found was "Annie's Heirlooms."  Another, a Comfrey farm sells root and crown cuttings.  CN, would you be interested in splitting an order of roots or crowns?  I'll work up the cost and let you know.  I'm thinking 12" pots for mine.  Or maybe we could just split a seed packet.  Cheaper that way. ??

Sanderson, I purchased a packet of seeds from Outsidepride, last year.  I'll be sending some to CN tomorrow and will be happy to share with you, as well.  Nothing on the package indicates these are a special variety, so I suspect they're true comfrey and may be invasive unless contained.  Let me know if you'd like some.

GB
Seeds are fine with me. Okay with you, Sanderson?
avatar
countrynaturals

Female Posts : 2841
Join date : 2016-04-12
Location : Redding, CA

View user profile http://countrynaturals.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  sanderson on 3/27/2017, 1:00 am

Yes!! I'll PM GingerBlue.

____________________________

Find more about Weather in Fresno, CA
Click for weather forecast
avatar
sanderson

Forum Moderator Certified SFG Teacher

Female Posts : 14944
Join date : 2013-04-21
Age : 69
Location : Fresno CA Zone 8-9

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/27/2017, 10:25 am

@Mellen wrote:Here's my comfrey.  I don't remember when I planted it but it is possibly a year old?  I purchased 3 plants from Strictly Medicinal in Williams, OR.  (https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/).  This is the Russian Comfrey.  I also have the seeds for the other (invasive) type.  I haven't found a spot yet where I would enjoy their proliferation so I haven't planted them yet.  These plants have been nice & polite.

Sorry about the ugly newspaper.  I surrounded them with newspaper & put compost on top of it.  It worked to keep the weeds down, & the plants are healthy.  I haven't cut anything off because of the "1 year rule".  



Beautiful, Mellen. Thanks for posting these! Love a polite plant. Laughing

Mine get very tall, like about 3-4 ft. I don't know what variety they are as I got one plant from a friend of a friend a long time ago. No one mentioned waiting for a year or any special treatment, but when I dug it up and moved it the following year I must have left a pc of root behind and so i now have 2 plants.
What a Face
CC
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6477
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/28/2017, 2:31 pm

I was talking to a friend about wanting to infuse coconut oil with comfrey this summer. I knew she used to make herbal oils and creams and such, and was inquiring about her method. She happened to have a little jar of comfrey salve that she made last summer and gave it to me to use to knit the bones after I get a new hip.
I love you
I love my friends.
avatar
CapeCoddess

Posts : 6477
Join date : 2012-05-20
Age : 61
Location : elbow of the Cape, MA, Zone 6b/7a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Comfrey

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum