Author Topic: Comfrey types and facts ..  (Read 15470 times)

Offline surfivor

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2014, 04:54:44 PM »
 I am confused a little because I see lots of articles on comfrey saying it has more nitrogen than barnyard manure. I see other articles saying it gets it's nitrogen from the soil. Aren't many soils lacking in nitrogen ? Does it get nitrogen from deep in the ground ? It doesn't fix nitrogen ? Something doesn't add up ?

 This web site says the comfrey the guy planted stole all the nitrogen from the soil and deprived a nectarine tree of nitrogen (3rd picture down):

http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Growing_nitrogen_in_the_forest_garden/

Other web sites may imply comfrey fixes nitrogen, but jack never mentioned that it worked that way

endurance

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2014, 06:16:09 PM »
My understanding is that comfrey, like all other fast-growing green leafy plants, consumes a lot of nitrogen, potassium and and phosphorus.  That's why it's not recommended to be directly in your beds, but rather, around your beds and used to make a liquid compost for other plants.  I haven't heard any experts claim it fixes nitrogen.  It's a bioaccumulator-it pulls lots of stuff out of the ground, but until you kill it, it doesn't release them.

Having learned some of this along the way, I have some plants in the absolute wrong places.  Some I've put effort toward trying to kill them, others I just make sure everything around them is getting plenty of liquid fertilizer.

Offline Ralph

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2014, 11:25:55 AM »
I bought some potted comfrey from Horizon, they were pretty quick. I ordered true comfrey and moved them into larger pots. Since then there are what looks like comfrey seedlings growing, but I am not sure about that yet. 4 of the 6 plants have grown quite a bit. I mixed some fast draining soil and try to keep them damp, the soil drains quick if it gets too wet. I did try making tea with a comfrey leaf and it had a nice mild flavor. I wouldn't drink it every day, maybe once a week. I just dropped a leaf in boiling water and let it steep in a thermos a couple hours before drinking. I do the same with a few other herbs.

Offline R_Morgan

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2014, 06:54:08 PM »
Just a quick update on my comfrey progress.  It has been around 6 months my bocking #14 has been in a pot and thriving. I have cut it repeatedly and it is still sending up new leaves.  I had it outside until the cold took its toll but brough it to the basement before the freeze. I had thought about planting it for the winter and digging it back up, but its a rental property so I'm not going to do that. I put it in the basement where little light gets in and the dang thing is coming back to life!    I checked and the roots are looking great. Will probably wait until after the first of the year and harvest some roots to start 10-15 others for use on the property we are looking to buy sometime next summer.  Potting isn't great, its not as healthy or growing as high as it would be wild but for the time being its doing well and will serve its purpose as a grandfather/mother to many hundreds to go on the property eventually
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Offline mxitman

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2014, 10:04:14 AM »
I've got around 100+ plants growing, about 30 that are 3 years plus of age. I got both bocking 4 & 14. With the 14 being the older ones. I transplanted all them after we sold our old place, knowing that there would still be some left in the ground that would pop up fore the new owners. I'm really happy with Comfrey and plan on using it for animal feed, fertilizer and tea.

I'm also trying this morning a experiment; I had dehydrated some leaves about a month ago, then ran tht through a food processor for making a small leaf blend for adding to foods, making tea etc. Last night I noticed that I had a huge canker sore inside my bottom lip...probably from too much sweets already this holiday season. In my reading about Comfrey there has been several studies done on stomach ulcers etc, so I figured I would put some of the dried Comfrey on it and see what happens. Will let you know



Offline BrotherNature

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2014, 09:49:19 AM »
I have plans to put about a half dozen comfrey bocking #4 plants in my edible landscaping project.  If I later decide that I don't want the comfrey, can I kill it with a few layers of cardboard under the mulch?

Offline spud

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #36 on: December 02, 2014, 03:41:04 PM »
I have plans to put about a half dozen comfrey bocking #4 plants in my edible landscaping project.  If I later decide that I don't want the comfrey, can I kill it with a few layers of cardboard under the mulch?

Maybe, maybe not, I has a very deep tap roots and won't  give up easily.  If you decide to get rid of it I would dig down first and get most of the roots.  Then cover with multiple layers of cardboard and mulch.  It will easily return and then I would repeat and remove cardboard and dig down again and remove at much again and cover with cardboard  and repeat as necessary. Hope you don't have too to remove, could be a lot work. jeff

Offline BrotherNature

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #37 on: December 02, 2014, 04:00:15 PM »
Thanks.

What about landscaping cloth or a plastic tarp for a year?   Can comfrey "walk" out from underneath a 4'x4' sheet of impermeable material?

I don't ever see myself trying to remove the comfrey, but I like to brainstorm ideas.

Offline oktheniknow

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #38 on: December 02, 2014, 08:55:11 PM »
One thing I heard Jack talk about is the possibility of growing comfrey over a septic drain field. I may do this next year if I can find several plants cheap to get started with. My previous experience with comfrey is it can get scorched in the Texas heat here.

Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #39 on: December 02, 2014, 08:57:02 PM »
If I later decide that I don't want the comfrey, can I kill it with a few layers of cardboard under the mulch?

If you really want to kill it, get a couple of ducks.  I was told by various people that comfrey, once well established, was virtually indestructible.  But then my ducks discovered the stuff.   
Before I knew it, the ducks had stripped the comfrey patches bare...right down to the earth. I immediately fenced the areas off away from them and hoped for the best, but alas, they had managed to do the impossible as a year later not so much as a single leaf reappeared.  So this fall I ordered and planted out approx two dozen rootings/cuttings of Bocking 4, Bocking 14, and True/Common comfrey in an attempt to re-establish my comfrey patches. No ducks allowed!


"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain



endurance

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2014, 08:32:37 AM »
One thing I heard Jack talk about is the possibility of growing comfrey over a septic drain field. I may do this next year if I can find several plants cheap to get started with. My previous experience with comfrey is it can get scorched in the Texas heat here.
With the deep tap root on comfrey I'd be very concerned with the roots getting into your leach pipes and clogging them. That would be an incredibly expensive experiment if it went wrong. The rule I've heard is to never plant anything with a root system deeper than three feet over a leach field.

Offline Ralph

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #41 on: January 05, 2015, 10:38:56 AM »
I have some true comfrey that is now flowering. Some of the flowers have been falling off leaving a cup like piece behind. Inside the cup there appears to be long thin things (seeds?) with bristle like hairs at the top, sort of like marigold seeds. Does anyone know if these are comfrey seeds? The plants are now indoors so there's no danger of it spreading wild, but if they are seeds I would like to try growing some when it gets warmer.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2015, 08:09:41 AM »

Wow, look at how far this BS can go with stuff like comfrey, found this:

http://merrilynhope.com/comfrey-the-miracle-healing-herb/

"It is illegal in New Zealand to grow Comfrey in your garden.  You cannot buy fresh Comfrey anywhere, and I think that even the herbal comfrey pills have been taken off the market."

------------------

 The comfrey I have seems to be the most popular plant around almost for bumble bees and humming birds. I have seen tons of bees in there constantly


Offline Coctailer

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2015, 07:33:48 PM »
I think I fractured my arm. X-ray doesn't show a break, and it's definitely more than a sprain.

I'm going to wrap it in comfrey leaves and an Israeli bandage.

Offline Ralph

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #44 on: August 07, 2015, 11:28:16 AM »
I had 1 true comfrey plant I got from horizonherbs.com that was in a pot and left outside all winter. After a month or so where I gave it up for dead  a small leave started growing. Before long the pot was crammed with plants. It never got flowers before it 'died' so seeds did not come into play. My best guess is sections of root that survived the winter grew back into new plants.
I took one of those new plants, put it in a small pot & took it to work. There it gets no sun but I have a cfl grow light that's on about 12 hours per day, and it's always in the upper 60s. It's growing nice and pretty quick.
I did collect some seeds from a different plant that I let get flowers. I still have to plant them and see what happens. I havent tried using a root cutting yet but it seems thats the easiest way to propigate. Has anyone grown a patch of comfrey and later tried using the area to grow other seeds? I know comfrey is hard to get rid of so I am not sure if comfrey can be cut to the ground so the area can be seeded with something else, or if the comfrey would just out compete any new plants.

Offline tomboy72

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2017, 01:22:23 PM »
Last year I planted root cuttings of both bocking 4 and 14 in pots because I was staying with my grandmother at the time.  When I later moved the pots back home I didn't get around to transplanting them to their new home right away.  When I did move the pots, several pieces of root had already grown into the ground.  At the time, I just thought "good, more plants." I never thought to note which variety was where.  So, when these new plants start coming up from the roots, are there any really distinguishing characteristics between the two?  Will chickens only nibble on bocking 4 or will they eat 14 as well?

Offline Ralph

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2017, 11:55:22 AM »
I only have true comfrey, but I kind of remember you can tell them apart by the leaves, one was more narrow and pointed. Some time back Jack did an episode or two on comfrey where he talked about that, and if I am not mistaken he spread comfrey by using a pot with a drainhole so the roots would get into the ground. Try searching for the comfrey episodes, they had a lot more info than I can remember.

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2017, 03:59:06 AM »
Great info. I'm itchin to start Comfrey here.

Is mid August in zone 6 too late to plant roots? I'm guessing I need to wait till spring.

I just downloaded "epi-1371-all-about-comfrey" and will be listening to that later today.

Anyone know of other episodes with alot of comfrey info I should listen to?
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Offline racer038

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2017, 08:04:22 PM »
I would say it's not too late to plant roots.  I'm in KY.   Last Sept. I pulled up most of the plants I had in a raised bed and transplanted.  Cut the long pencil thick roots into 1" pieces and planted horizontally.  Replanted the crowns. These were a mix of Bocking 4 and 14.  They did fine. This is in below average soil, I amended with some natural fertilizers.

I replanted the raised bed with herbs and mints this spring and the comfrey that was was left in the bed tried to take over.  It is quite hardy.  NOTE:  I had to spray my berries and trees to get rid of the Japanese Beetles.  Sort of pushed them over to the comfrey.  They REALLY like the comfrey leaves, which I did not spray.  After cutting the comfrey back to stubs on 8/1, they are already growing like "weeds".  Extremely robust plants.

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Comfrey types and facts ..
« Reply #49 on: August 26, 2017, 04:38:40 AM »
Thanks racer038. I'm hearing nothing but good about comfrey. I think to be safe I will go with both Bocking 4 and 14. True Comfrey seems like a possible problem. I don't think it would be for me but I don't want to inflicted my neighbors.
 
Just up the river from KY btw.
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“Government, even in it's best state is but a necessary evil ; In its worst state, an intolerable one.” - Thomas Paine