A Weed, or the Gardener’s Best Friend?

| January 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

This useful and attractive plant is often considered a weed, but this plant should be cultivated by everyone with an interest in gardening in a sustainable and ethical way.

Rough Comfrey

Comfrey is the best friend of the organic gardener. By choosing a strain that will not propagate by seed, such as Bocking 14, you can ensure that the comfrey will not spread from wherever you place it, so you can enjoy the benefits without worrying that this deep-rooted plant will begin to take over.

Comfrey is a great dynamic accumulator, which means that due to its deep tap root, it can draw nutrients from deep down in the soil, where they are not available to many other plants in your garden. These nutrients can then be recycled into your top soil in a number of different ways, ensuring ongoing soil health and improving the growth and yield of your garden crops. Here are some of the many ways to use comfrey in your garden.

To Attract Pollinators

Comfrey in flower is great at attracting bees and other useful pollinating insects which are vital to many of the plants in your garden. If your garden is bereft of bees and other pollinators then you will find yourself having to work a lot harder for your produce.

As a Mulch

Comfrey leaves can simply be chopped and dropped beneath your crops to act as a mulch which will reduce evaporation from around the roots of your plants and will gradually allow nutrients to be re-released into the soil.

Comfrey

As a Plant Feed

The potash rich leaves can also be used to make “comfrey tea”, a plant feed which is a great alternative to proprietary tomato feeds and such for the organic gardener. Simply add harvested comfrey leaves to a large bucket of water and leave for a couple of weeks to rot down. Be warned though, this is very stinky, so do not place the bucket too close to the house or seating areas, and make sure it is covered property with a close-fitting lid. The resulting brown gunk should be diluted down to a solution that is the color of a cup of tea and you can then use it to water your plants. This feed is particularly¬†useful to fruiting crops.

In Your Compost

Comfrey is also a great addition to your compost heap. The nitrogen in the leaves means that it will act as a compost activator, helping other ingredients of your compost to decompose. Comfrey added to your compost will ensure an excellent nutrient profile to that compost when it is used on the garden the following year.

Caucasian Comfrey

As Chicken Feed

Due to the nutritional composition of the plants, comfrey is a great animal fodder and is a great addition to the diet of backyard chickens.

As you can tell, there are a great number of uses for this useful plant. So if you are an organic gardener, you should make sure that you have space for a patch in your backyard.

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Category: Organic Gardening

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