Comfrey, and the Livin’ is Good!

Comfrey, and the Livin’ is Good!

In a rather neglected part of the yard, over by the treeline of the woods, I have three Comfrey plants that seem to like their arrangement. I like them there as well. They have pretty lavender and white flowers and they will come back next year even though I’ll cut them down to two inches this year.

As a Green Manure, Comfrey is a workhorse. As a natural fertilizer, it will be your “go to” plant food. You may even come to depend on it as you do your Aloe or lavender. This hardworking, often overlooked plant can really do wonders in the garden, and in the home.

I grow Comfrey for three purposes: compost, herbal medicinal, and as a nice border.

 

Comfrey Border by the woods.

Comfrey in the garden makes an absolutely wonderful plant food. I’ve used three methods for using Comfrey as fertilizer.

1. Chop up the leaves and stems, put them in the compost as usual. They add a great heat and many rich nutrients to the compost bin.

2. Fill a bucket with chopped leaves and stems, fill 3/4 of the bucket with rainwater (or the hose if necessary) and place bucket away and downwind from the house as this tea wreaks and the Parsnip will become more snippy and less Parsony should he be forced to endure the melodious odor. Wait 3 weeks or so, then bottle the liquid in old milk jugs, throw the sludge on the compost.

Smells bad! Works better!

 

3. Stack leaves in an old coffee can or pail, holes poked liberally in the bottom of the can. I generally stack leaves until they are at least twice as tall as the can. Layer three or four bricks on top of the leaves. The good plant food will leak from the holes in the bottom of the can. I usually put the can press contraption in a disposable roasting pan, the kind you use to take Thanksgiving fare to the relatives. This is a concentrated version of the “tea” bucket type. I usually add this to a spray bottle filled partway with rain water and spray it when an extra boost is needed.

As a gardener, you may already know the benefits that Comfrey has for your plants. High in Nitrogen, Potash and Potassium, it really gives tomatoes, potatoes and beans a boost when they may want to rest on their laurels.

 

 

 

 

You may not know what this little easy to grow wonder plant can do for you. You can use the crushed leaves to soothe burns, stings, eczema, or rashes. You can brew the dried leaves for a tea (to drink) that helps sore throats and can ease a cough. I use honeysuckle, comfrey and lemon balm dried and brewed into a tonic for the first defense of a headache or sore throat wanting to come on.

I have been known to mix comfrey and vitamins A and E to make my own diaper rash ointment, this has good results.

One thing worth mentioning, Comfrey has little hairs that can irritate the skin, kind of like squash leaves. If you have a problem with squash or melon leaves as irritants, it’s possible you will with Comfrey as well. Simple solution? Wear gloves = )

So Comfrey is not only for the garden, but it should part of your garden. Comfrey is a green manure, a medicinal herb and a great plant food.

You can get seed from Mountain Rose Herbs, they also have many other delightful and useful products. Sand Mountain Herbs sometimes have them in stock. Also,  The Growers Exchange may have some.

I hope you have a delightfully Paisley Monday!~KeriAnne

 

 

 

 

 

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