I grow lots of comfrey in the garden, it’s been a favorite of mine for many years. There are several varieties scattered around, I have a lovely variegated type that is planted throughout the ornamental borders, a creeping ground cover type that is in the nursery bed, and a few different types of the regular garden comfrey (one of which came from my grandmother’s garden).
Typically, I simply harvest the comfrey leaves and put them in the compost pile or use them to mulch around shrubs and perennials. Whenever I transplant something I add a few leaves to the bottom of the planting hole as it’s supposed to help plants settle in better with quicker root growth. I saw a method for making comfrey feed on Gardener’s World this summer that I wanted to try. Not the stinky liquid that you’ve heard about in the past.
Essentially, it’s a method to make a concentrated liquid feed to use in the garden. I found three buckets that nested in each other. Lucky for me, I’ve had these old cat litter buckets knocking around for many years and they come in short and tall sizes. The bottom bucket remains empty, the second bucket gets holed drilled into the bottom of the bucket to allow the comfrey feed to drip into the bottom bucket. This bucket is then filled with chopped comfrey.
After filling the bucket with chopped comfrey, another bucket is set on top and filled with rocks to weigh down the comfrey and encourage it to break down into a liquid. After two weeks or so, I had a quart or so of thick brown liquid in the bottom bucket.
A small layer of dark brown sludge will be left in the middle bucket, this can be put on the compost pile before starting a new batch, or more comfrey can simply be added on top to start a new batch (I didn’t bother emptying it). The thick brown liquid should be transferred to a bottle with a lid, it can then be mixed with water to be used as a foliar feed. While I’ll keep using comfrey as a mulch, this type of foliar feed can be beneficial for a quick boost to transplanted plants and vegetables during the growing season. I’ll continue making it to replace some of the liquid kelp I purchase and use in the garden (though I’ll keep using some kelp for the added minerals).
What fun new things have you tried making in the garden this year?