comfrey in ground or pot?

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comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280731 JoseyJo
Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:20 am

I'm thinking of planting some comfrey to use as mulch/make comfrey tea fertilizer. I have read that it can go a bit mad and take over! So wondering whether to plant it in the ground - either in garden or allotment - or in pots.
If I plant in pots, I suppose the amount of nutrients it accumulates will be limited to what is in the potting compost anyway??? Or would the comfrey produce extra nutrients??
If I plant in the ground, how easy is it to control, and how much ground would I need?
If in the garden, I could put it down near the chickens - but I've read mixed things about whether it's good or bad to feed chickens on?

Any advice? Thanks.

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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280732 Green Aura
Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:29 am

Mine's in the ground - I think it has a really deep tap root.

It doesn't get too much out of hand if you cut it down regularly - we do ours twice a year, usually.
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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280733 Odsox
Mon Aug 04, 2014 11:32 am

I would plant it in the ground every time. The reason that comfrey is such a good source of fertiliser is because it has HUGE roots that reach down many feet into the soil to find nutrients.
I planted 2 plants about 2 feet apart about 15 years ago next to my septic tank soak away. They have now merged into a clump about 4 feet by 2 feet, so quite an acceptable size as far as I'm concerned.
They are easy to contain if they do get too big, just slice off the outside with a spade, which if you do in winter will provide offshoots to sell, give away or plant elsewhere.
Wonderful stuff comfrey :iconbiggrin:
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Zech
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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280737 Zech
Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:54 pm

There are different varieties - I think it's Bocking 14 that's favoured, because it doesn't go too crazy. I'm not sure what I have* in my garden - just one plant when I moved here - but I only get a few seedlings each year. I'm having to deliberately transplant them to build up a comfrey patch. OK, I could leave them where they are, but they're in the way of other veg (one well-established plant I can work round). Also, I want deep rooted plants growing in the very steep bit between the driveway and the stream, to hold it together (it was originally made of grass cuttings, I'm told) and encourage the driveway to stay at the top of the slope. Comfrey has many uses :flower:

*I just looked up Bocking 14 - apparently it's sterile, so it can't be that, if I'm getting seedlings.
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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280738 JoseyJo
Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:46 pm

Ok great, a patch down at the allotment then I think!

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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280739 Odsox
Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:22 pm

Zech wrote:*I just looked up Bocking 14 - apparently it's sterile, so it can't be that, if I'm getting seedlings.

That's what I was about to say.
Mine was labelled Russian Comfrey when I bought it, and have had no seedlings from them either. Plenty of nice strong offsets if I wanted more though.
Looking up Russian comfrey it seems they do seed, so I probably got Bocking.
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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280740 ojay54
Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:38 pm

I've got the perfect solution....I cut mine from a local river bank!

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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280747 diggernotdreamer
Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:47 pm

Comfrey is a perennial plant and once you have planted it, is very hard to get rid of, Bocking 14 is the best one to get as it doesn't set seed, a friend planted some and her garden was taken over by it, although Bocking is a Russian Comfrey it cannot set seed, ordinary Russian can set seed and then it becomes a big problem. Like Ojay, I used to cut mine from the river bank when I had a small garden, I don't see the point of planting something as permanent as comfrey if you are limited with space, there are better things you can use the area for. I have planted some now, but I have plenty of space, but I have stacked up tyres two high and planted them in some lovely compost enriched with alpaca poo and they are going mad, now have a comfrey liquid feed factory on the go using the dry method

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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280792 Marc
Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:07 am

If you have good soil it will go pretty mad. Mine is supposed to be Bocking 14 but it grows about a foot a week in warm weather. Not seen any seedlings but it's surrounded by grass so can't be certain. Although actually I don't normally leave it long enough to set seed anyway.
Grown in a pot would defeat the object as it grows really poorly unless you feed it all the time.
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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280802 WhiteWolf
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:29 am

This is a very timely thread, as we were only talking "Teas" the other night. So we now know that comfrey belongs to the Triffid family :lol: and we need Bocking 14 to stop them taking over.

Thanks everybody :icon_smile:

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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #280816 boboff
Fri Aug 08, 2014 10:13 am

My little tip, plant it around your compost heap, acts as a bit of a screen, cut and chuck on top, plus it thrives, and looks pretty.
Also even the bocking one you can propagate from root cuttings.
I have allot of it planted as part of forest garden, I use it along "borders" where I am trying to establish mints and currants. The bees love it.
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Re: comfrey in ground or pot?

Post: #281277 Thomzo
Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:35 pm

Not sure what type I have but it's under the buddlea so quite well shaded. I cut it right down to the ground before it flowers and, so ,far, it hasn't spread.
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