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Author Topic: Comfrey  (Read 35411 times)

Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Comfrey
« on: July 28, 2010, 12:10:25 pm »
Just noticed someone in Marketplace looking for seeds/cuttings and it prompted me to pop in here.
I have tried to grow Comfrey from seed twice now with no success.
It bugs because I know that once it is growing it has a tendency to go crackers.
Mysteriously I remember my Grandad making Comfrey 'Tea' for his plants in this very garden... so where has it all gone? You won't know, obviously, but you may have some tips on getting some growing?
Thanks

Hermit

  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2010, 12:23:23 pm »
I have comfrey growing and it does get too big for your normal borders ;) I have enough to see me through the season but it does make the polytunnel smell like blocked drains. I was given mine as roots from neighbours.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2010, 01:15:14 pm »
The comfrey you need for the garden is Bocking 14 which doesn't grow from seed.  If you need root cuttings I will happily send you some if you pay the postage.  It's wonderful stuff - you make a liquid feed (your granddads tea), you can chop it and use it as a mulch, you can dig it into tomato planting holes, add it to the compost heap or use it to enrich bought growing compost.  It is also very good for sheep who like to graze the young leaves and of course the bees and other beneficial insects absolutely love the flowers.  So if you want some roots (I have masses ) please pm me.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

lazybee

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2010, 02:30:05 pm »
Okay I know Comfrey is good for bees, but what else is it supposed to be for? I read somewhere it was poisonous. ???

Fergie

  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2010, 02:44:22 pm »
The old fashioned name is Knit-bone, and was used for mending broken bones.

It is very effective as a poultice for healing, although most modern medics wouldn't recommend eating it - it can cause liver damage in excess.  Sheep love it, and it makes very good fertiliser.

John

Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 05:24:25 am »
Okay I know Comfrey is good for bees, but what else is it supposed to be for? I read somewhere it was poisonous. ???

As Fergie says, it's a good fertiliser. You make a foul smelling liquid fertiliser from the leaves the same way as you do with nettles.

Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 05:28:59 am »
The comfrey you need for the garden is Bocking 14 which doesn't grow from seed.  If you need root cuttings I will happily send you some if you pay the postage.  It's wonderful stuff - you make a liquid feed (your granddads tea), you can chop it and use it as a mulch, you can dig it into tomato planting holes, add it to the compost heap or use it to enrich bought growing compost.  It is also very good for sheep who like to graze the young leaves and of course the bees and other beneficial insects absolutely love the flowers.  So if you want some roots (I have masses ) please pm me.

Thanks for the info and the offer. I only knew the 'tea' bit and that it is invasive - I guess with sheep that doesn't bother you  :)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2010, 11:30:44 am »
Hi Stevemo. Bocking 14 isn't invasive because it doesn't set seed.  It does tend to grow from bits of stem when it's been used as a mulch though so it does spread, but it's easy enough to dig out.

Another use for comfrey is as a dye plant - it supposedly gives a lovely soft green but so far I haven't had any luck with preparing a dyebath as it's so mucilaginous (gloopy). Must try again.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

smallholder in the city

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Lincolnshire
    • HootersHall
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2010, 12:42:51 pm »
Crusading knights used to take some leaves in a pot, when they went off crusading, the leaves rot down and made a salve which was thought to be good for cuts and bruises. Apparently it was also thought to make you a virgin again (? re-virginises?).   

I've just grown a comfrey patch this year. Bocking 14 root cuttings and it didn't take long at all. Comfrey has a very long tap root (1m or more) so be sure about where you want your patch to be as it will be very difficult to move. New plants grow from even the tiniest bit of root.

Comfrey tea is great for the veg patch.

Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2010, 12:43:37 pm »
Fleecewife - Yes, I've read about it being used as a dye and from my memories of the stuff Grandad used to brew up, had my doubts. Let us know if you try again.
Oh! And thanks for the new word  ;)

Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2010, 12:45:07 pm »
Crusading knights used to take some leaves in a pot, when they went off crusading, the leaves rot down and made a salve which was thought to be good for cuts and bruises. Apparently it was also thought to make you a virgin again (? re-virginises?).   

I've just grown a comfrey patch this year. Bocking 14 root cuttings and it didn't take long at all. Comfrey has a very long tap root (1m or more) so be sure about where you want your patch to be as it will be very difficult to move. New plants grow from even the tiniest bit of root.

Comfrey tea is great for the veg patch.

Interesting stuff - did the knights make their own virgins then?  :D

lazybee

  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2010, 02:52:22 pm »

Samantha

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Bristol
    • Merry Meet
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2010, 05:20:38 pm »
LOL .. i don't know about you guys but I love learning not just about the herbs and how to grow but the folklore and stuff too. Makes for some interesting reading.  :love:


Mo

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • Yorkshire
    • A Small Holding
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2010, 05:44:42 pm »
Yep - can't wait to drop the snippet about Comfrey into the conversation next time someone's doing a tour of my garden  ;D
Seriously though, I do love to know what things were used for and the thinking behind it. A lot of it still stands today.....I'm doubtful about the Comfrey though.....

smallholder in the city

  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Lincolnshire
    • HootersHall
Re: Comfrey
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2010, 05:55:25 pm »
That's what I like about herbs too.
Apparently you need to add the comfrey leaves to your bath in order to get your virginity back but it only works for the ladies. :D

 

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