Monday, 22 August 2016

Comfrey - A Must Have In Every Garden

Comfrey is an amazing plant and one I would never be without in a garden. This week I came across this great article on comfrey and it is worth having a read if you want a cheap way of adding fertility to your garden and growing supplementary food for your animals.

At the farm I grew a big patch of comfrey on the down hill slope from our composting bins.  It is hard to see in the below photo as the pumpkin grew everywhere but between the corrugated compost bay side and the water tank is all comfrey.  I started off with just 3 plants and just divided off some roots and allowed them to shoot.  This big patch of comfrey helped us when we had a delay in getting our freezer cow processed as we used it as a feed supplement. 

We used to hang bunches in the chicken pen for the chickens to eat which they loved especially when their grass was a bit dried out over the hot summer or when they were moulting.

I also used to make a liquid tonic for plants by soaking leaves in a sack in a bucket of water and this gave them a boost and when ever planting new plants a few leaves were always added to the bottom of the hole then covered by a layer of soil.

Comfrey is buried below the pumpkin vine

Comfrey is high on the list of plants for  our NZ farm and as soon as I get there I plant on getting some plants in the ground and getting lots of root cuttings going as I know that we will need a lot of it in our plans for our garden.  I am hoping to plant quite a bit of it to use in gardens as a ground cover, for making compost and for animals.  As we already have our planting of trees along the roadside for a wind break in the ground I should be able to plant comfrey in this area without worrying about them being too invasive and not wanting them there in the future.

Our windbreak planting which should be a good area for comfrey

Do you grow a big patch of comfrey?
How do you use comfrey?


  1. I too grow Comfrey, I mostly use it to make liquid fertiliser for the garden.
    Just last week I was picking huge handfuls of it to make fertiliser, when I lifted up a clump and curled up in hibernation under it was a whip snake!
    You've never seen someone jump so high or fast! And I'm not talking about the snake!! LOL

  2. I've just noticed your windbreak is planted in a swale. Which will be fantastic if you lack water, but might kill any plants that don't like water logging if you happen to get a lot of rain for a period of time. It looks lovely and green on your property.

    I think my single comfrey plant has bounced back this year. I've managed to kill every plant I've ever had. Mostly for the lack of water, and not enough shade. I would love to be able to sing comfrey's praises, however, I have yet to make it succeed. I haven't given up trying though. I think you've selected a good spot for your comfrey, on the new property.

    1. I planted my comfrey, got it established and then neglected it! It's been there for a few years, and its thriving. Are you killing it with kindness? Seriously I don't water it or feed it???

    2. I wish I could kill it with kindness, lol. There's not enough water to go around. If I didn't have clay soil, I'm sure it could handle the dry. I have one clump (more like a plant at this stage) and it survived under the mulberry tree. It wasn't looking too flash, the last time I checked though. Hopefully we'll get that rain being promised over the next two days. :)

  3. Forgot to ask. How many acres do you have again in NZ?


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