Comfrey leaves can make good balanced organic fertiliser for free.
Since the 19th century Comfrey has been used as a fertiliser but the Henry Doubleday Institute in the 1960’s found it contained comparable amounts of fertiliser to commercial products. Comfrey contains high levels of Nitrogen for leaf growth, Phosphorous for roots and germination and Potassium for fruit and flowers.
Tips on Using Comfrey
- I put a large handful of Comfrey leaves in my water butt and 3-4 weeks later the resulting ‘Tea’ is great for Tomatoes, Beans and general purposes. I mix them with a lot of water but if you make a concentrated tea it can be diluted prior to use.
- Spare Comfrey leaves can go on the compost heap to provide vital nutrients and help heat up the pile to speed decomposition.
- If you crop the Comfrey you should be able to get three cuttings in a season.
- The first cutting of Comfrey in spring can go at the bottom of the furrow into which you are planting Potatoes.
- You can also chop the Comfrey leaves and use them as a mulch before your potatoes get too much foliage.
This has highlighted the versatility of Comfrey and it is easy to grow. Sun or shade are less important than deep soil and plenty of water. When it flowers cut down to six inches and use the trimmings as suggested above.
The flowers are OK but not brilliant and the plant spreads in an ungainly manner if left. For that reason it is often planted in a far corner where little else is desired.