comfrey becoming a weed

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by nicole, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Bird

    According to Green Harvest:

    Comfrey is a herbaceous perennial herb originating in Europe. It has large, hairy leaves and grows in a rosette to 1 m (3’4”) in height. The mauve flowers are bell-like and borne in clusters. Comfrey rarely flowers in subtropical and tropical areas as there isn’t sufficient winter chill to induce flowering. In cold areas it is dormant in winter. It is a hardy plant, with a wide climatic range, from cool temperate to tropical. It provides high yields on fertile, well-watered soil.

    I've seen it growing (very - almost rampantly) well in sub-tropical areas, but from memory it never flowered during the seasons I saw it growing. In terms of use, I would have to be one of the world's greatest sceptics when it comes to 'miracle plants', but a single application (overnight) of a comfrey compress once 'cured' my severely strained ankle and allowed me to continue hiking (with a 30kg pack) 24-hours later. Brilliant stuff!

    Cheerio, Marko.
     
  2. Bird

    Bird Junior Member

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    Thanks Marko

    good thing i'm not really into pretty flowers then, only after leaf for mulch plants, have heard of medicinal stuff about comfy.
    now to sourse some and give it a go in Darwin

    Bird
     
  3. butchasteve

    butchasteve Junior Member

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    i am trying to get my hands on some but am finding it incredibly hard..

    anything that can be used as a painkiller as well as balm/ointment or green manure is a must for the garden by the sounds of things
     
  4. sbrokvam

    sbrokvam Junior Member

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    If you find you cannot source any (or enough) cuttings locally, there is always GreenHarvest or similar outlets. I ordered 25 comfrey roots online at a very reasonable price. These arrived the very next morning in good condition, went straight into pots, and two weeks later, most have sprouted and have been transplanted to the garden.
     
  5. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy Junior Member

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    Butchasteve - if you are still looking for comfry let me know. Should be able to fix you up with some roots.
     
  6. MikeS

    MikeS Junior Member

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    Hi everyone

    I've been growing comfrey as garden edges EVERYWHERE in my zone 1, I use it to chop and drop for mulch and it works really well. I also feed it to goats and pigs..... the worm farm and the compost heap!

    At the moment, it's all in flower, and I'm madly ripping up the flowers and feeding them to the pigs, but I worry that if any seeds drop to the floor it'll go out of control...

    I googled "Russian Comfrey", but the pics that came up don't tell me much... how do you tell it from "normal" comfrey?
     
  7. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    As long as you grow sterile Bocking 14 and don't disturb the roots, it's not going anywhere. Be warned though, a tiny piece of root will make a new plant.
     
  8. MikeS

    MikeS Junior Member

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    Hi pipimac

    Yes I know all that..... but how do you tell the difference between the sterile comfrey and the usual one?
     
  9. Fernando Pessoa

    Fernando Pessoa Junior Member

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    The difference between the bocking cultivar and the offinal is minimal in regards to value as a soil input.The bocking will yield more.
     
  10. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Mike, what colour are the flowers and what country do you live in?
     
  11. MikeS

    MikeS Junior Member

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    I'm in Australia (QLD), and the flowers are mauve.....
     
  12. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    Sorry Mike, somehow managed to jump in without reading properly!
    My Bocking 14 has pinky-purple, dangling flower racemes but I have no idea if other, non-sterile types have similar flowers...
     
  13. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    try northey st community gardens ennogera creeklands

    or my mate s doug &annie at shailer park have some
     
  14. andrew curr

    andrew curr Moderator

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    i love comfrey

    one of the few plants other than lucerne that can supply animals with b12; and calcium etc
    some industrious folk in the us feed it with sewage and pelletize it for use as stock feed
    i wish it would go wild here,it will survive in pasture with carefull grazing
    my milking cow loves it(she almost broke my arm the other day,i applied comfrey poultis and the haemotoma dissapeared rapidly) {i have learned a lesson on unwanted tit touching!}
    if anyone wants some there is a few tonnes here, does anyone have a market for the stuff
    ive introduced it to paddock swales itloves them
    the soil underneath 3year old plants is textbook top quality for structure
    i suspect if you get the plant mix right you can do away with chemical and biodynamic inputs
    ie nature is biodynamic
     
  15. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    This looks like the thread that everybody has to have a go at and now I can too since i've just got some comfrey roots to plant. Living in the tropics, the woman who gave it to me told me that it won't go rampant up here. At least she hasn't found it so. She grows it under her citrus trees. So now i am slightly confused about that. I didn't want to argue the point with her. But i thought citrus preferred more carbon sources of mulch and nutrition rather than nitrogen sources. Anyone want to comment on that.

    Anyway it looked nice.

    I am glad i have read here that it is a bog plant so i make sure i give it enough water to thrive and plant it in the right places to start with.

    Also I'm wondering how it will grow in my vegie patch in the sandy loam. I guess the point is about water holding capacity of the soil. I will try it and see. My other bog plants are doing fine. But then they've got mill mud to grow in. Anyway to start with, i thought i'd grow it as a barrier plant around my vegie circles as recommended by Linda Woodrow.
     
  16. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    I suspect that comfrey would grow pretty much everywhere except maybe in ice ;-)
     
  17. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    sun burn, if I understood your post, you plan to plant comfrey in your veggie patch?
    I recommend keeping it away from areas that get dug: it's pretty impossible not to cut up the roots and spread them round your beds.
    I'd put it round your citrus: they like plenty of nitrogen. Nothing stopping you from using a carbon-rich mulch as well. Comfrey will punch through pretty much anything.
     
  18. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

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    Pippi, i was going to do it in the barrier area, just outside the beds. That area won't get dug up. Not once planted except to grow more of them.
     
  19. duv108

    duv108 New Member

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    Where to get comfrey

    Hi, I would like to grow some comfrey and am wondering if anyone knows where I can get some here in Perth?
     
  20. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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