We thought all this comfrey was dead but it had no quit in it!
We have had mixed success with comfrey this past year due to poor planning of when we ordered, where we put it and the ducks who decided they loved it! Here is a quick video of where we are at this point with more detail of the mistakes we made below.
When we first ordered our comfrey from Marsh Creek Farmstead last spring we had massive expectations. We ordered the Bocking 14 cultivar of comfrey as it does not spread via seed. The only way to propagate it is to take cuttings from the root and plant them. This allows us to control exactly where it grows and get the most out if it. Planting root cuttings as small as one inch long will shoot off into another plant quickly and vigorously. So we took our root cuttings and dropped them pots and man did they take off! We quickly moved these into our mini orchard, putting 4 plants around each fruit tree.
The leaves got huge, some more than twelve inches in length extremely quickly. Then the first duck tried to eat one and decided it was delicious. Within a few days the ducks had eaten all of the comfrey down to the ground and they were tearing up the ground trying to get to the roots. We lost all of those plants sadly. So we went and ordered more cuttings and dropped them into pots again. This time we had over sixty cuttings to plant and learned a good use for coffee filters while we where at it.
These two photos show just how much growth can happen in a very short period of time. This massive burst happened over a mere fourteen days! We will probably chop this off near the base and give the leaves to the ducks this weekend. Then let these plants take off again until we can get them transplanted outside in the now fenced off mini orchard. You can find a playlist of videos about our comfrey exploits here.
Here is a couple of reasons you might want to add comfrey to your homestead. We know there is a lot more reasons but these are some of the most important to us.
- Dynamic accumulator- Comfrey grabs many nutrients from the deep down in the soil and pulls them up to the surface. Among these are nitrogen, potassium and magnesium.
- Chop and drop mulch/fertilizer- You can harvest the leaves of Bocking 14 many times a year by chopping them down near the base of the plant. Take those leaves and drop them anywhere you want to increase fertility in your soil. All those nutrients listed above are quickly made available at the top of the roots systems where you dropped it.
- Fodder for your animals- All kinds of animals will eat comfrey, either fresh cut or dried slightly. Comfrey is very high in protein not to mention the other nutrients and minerals.
- Medicinal uses- Comfrey can be made into a salve for healing cuts and abrasions.
UPDATE: We are now an affiliate with MarshCreek Farmstead. You can find all of their sales options at this link as well as the one above.
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