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As a gardener, we all would love to be able to produce our fertilizers at home. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make fertilizer with Comfrey leaves. Making Comfrey tea will allow the gardener to take control of feeding their mature plant naturally and organically.
Table of Contents
- To make comfrey tea, you will need to follow the tips below.
- Two methods for comfrey tea
- Why is Comfrey good as a food?
- What Species for Comfrey feed?
- What nutrients does Comfrey have?
- How long does Comfrey Liquid Feed last when stored?
- How do I use Comfrey tea?
- Related Questions
To make comfrey tea, you will need to follow the tips below.
- Grow Comfrey in your garden to harvest
- Harvest the Comfrey leaves and place them in a bucket
- Fill the bucket with water to barely cover the Comfrey
- Place the lid on the bucket and put it behind the shed
- Allow 4 to 6 weeks to steep before use.
The tips above are basic, in this blog post; we will cover Comfrey in much more detail and show you two different processes to make a feed from comfrey leaves.
Two methods for comfrey tea
- Comfrey tea made with water
- Concentrated comfrey tea without water
There are two real methods for Comfrey liquid, known as Comfrey tea, and each has a different process to make, and both have different duration in the time taken to make.
Make Comfrey Plant Food Made With Water
Above I gave a very basic breakdown of the process for making Comfrey in a little water. Otherwise known as comfrey tea.
This is very basic and straightforward to make. If you can make a cup of tea, you can make this. Just steep the comfrey leaves in a large bucket for a long time and make the perfect liquid fertilizer with more potassium.
The resulting liquid will become your comfrey liquid. You will need to water this down on 10/1 when feeding your plants. or one part comfrey to ten parts water. It also requires to be stored in a dark place to prevent degradation.
Concentrated Comfrey Tea
These alternative methods for making fertilizer with many trace elements or concentrated Comfrey tea is a much longer process. However, It is a much better product to produce.
This is because It takes up much less space than the first process. It produces a dark black sticky syrupy liquid that is very concentrated, and you will only need around 10ml per liter, then add it to a watering can. It is a rich source of nutrients.
This process also has a few other benefits. It is much easier to store due to the concentration, and the product lasts longer and doesn’t smell like steeping Comfrey leaves do from the first process.
To make this concentrated comfrey tea, you must make a comfrey pipe. Comfrey leaves are placed into a setup pipe, and a weight is placed above. Wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting comfrey, as it can irritate your hands and skin.
The Comfrey leaves then decompose naturally, and the resulting liquid is collected in a vessel below. The leftover pulp is an ideal compost activator. or can even be added to shredded leaves to speed up the leaf mold process. Another use for the pulp could be a side dressing around plants in your garden.
If you want to learn more about these methods and how to build a comfrey pipe, check out the video below, where I take you through it step by step.
Why is Comfrey good as a food?
Comfrey liquid feed is so good as a fertilizer because it belongs to a group of plants that is a dynamic accumulator.
These plants send down very deep roots and soak up high nutrients from the ground that most plant species cannot reach. These deep roots hold tons of nutrition.
The plant then stores this in its tuberous root system and pushes it out through its leaves.
Comfrey feed has a fantastic NPK, which stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and potassium, and for those who don’t know, along with calcium, theseium.
These three nutrients are essential in plant calcium. It must be noted they are not the only nutrients required by other plants.
Having more than even composted manure, it is no wonder why so many gardeners consider looking into making their liquid feed at home using Comfrey. It is organic and, more importantly, FREE.
Compost made from just dried leaves and comfrey is extremely good for raising plants s it is nutrient-rich, light, and airy.
What Species for Comfrey feed?
All varieties of Comfrey can be used in this way. They are all accumulators and will provide you with the nutrition your plants require in the garden.
However, not all Comfrey is identical. Some are invasive, and others are not. They also have different colors of flowers, and it is good to promote flowers as the bees use these as a pollen source.
It is essential to understand which variety you have or wish to purchase.
Comfrey Species That is not Invasive?
There are around 35 known species of Comfrey, as seen in the chart below. However, only one cultivar that is not invasive, but more on that later.
- Symphytum asperum – prickly Comfrey, rough Comfrey
- Symphytum bulbosum – bulbous Comfrey
- Symphytum caucasicum – Caucasian Comfrey
- Symphytum ibericum – creeping Comfrey,
- Symphytum officinale – Comfrey
- Symphytum orientale – white Comfrey
- Symphytum tauricum – Crimean comfrey
- Symphytum tuberosum – tuberous Comfrey
- Symphytum × uplandicum – Russian Comfrey, healing herb
So as mentioned, there is only one cultivar which is Symphytum x uplandicum this is a Russian variety of Comfrey classified as Bocking 14. I grow Bocking 14 at home.
Bocking 14 cannot become invasive because it is sterile and is perfect for making liquid feed. The only way to propagate Bocking 14 is by root division.
What nutrients does Comfrey have?
The five primary nutrients transferred into Comfrey tea have vast amounts of calcium, which is particularly useful in stopping blossom end rot (BER) in tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers in established plants.
Along with the primary five nutrients, Comfrey also accumulates micronutrients beneficial to plants and B12, so this is a perfect plant to grow in the garden for a portion of nutrient-rich plant food.
How long does Comfrey Liquid Feed last when stored?
If you make the concentrated comfrey liquid feed from these perennial plants, it will last for around a year. So you could make one large batch and store it until it is required.
Making Comfrey fertilizer with water, this should be used as soon as it is ready. It will last for about a month before the compounds start to break down.
How do I use Comfrey tea?
There are various ways to use liquid Comfrey feed. I will go into more detail about these as we continue. The list below is not exhaustive, but I will cover the main ones here.
- Liquid drench
- Foliar sprays
- Residues can be used as a mulch
When applying liquid Comfrey feed, mix your required amount and use this as a drench. Simply pour this on the plant from head to foot, soaking the surrounding soil around the root zone.
Once a fortnight should be sufficient. It is perfect for feeding fruit trees and even young plants. I would not bother adding it as a feed to potting soil, though, as it will already contain nutrients.
Mix the concentrated Comfrey liquid fertilizer with 10ml of every 1 liter of water. Add this to a spray bottle, and foliar spray the leaves of your plants. Using comfrey is great as you cannot overfeed your plants.
Ensure to cover both sides of the leaves. Do this early in the morning for the best results.
The pulp or residue from making your plant food can be used as a mulch around your plants.
As it rains, this will take additional nutrients not released during the process and carry them into the soil area, making them available for your plants.
Comfrey leaves only take a few weeks to break down and release their nutrients.
Ways to Use Comfrey?
A few other ways in which Comfrey can be used in the garden.
- Add the leaves to potato planting holes or trenches
- Use the full-grown plant as a compost pile activator
- Use comfrey leaves as a mulch
- Grow Comfrey plants as a green manure
- Dry and powder root and leaves as an additional feed to seed starter mix
How many times can you harvest Comfrey?
You can harvest comfrey plants up to four times a year. Even as much as every few weeks during summer.
A bed of Bocking 14 Comfrey will give you plenty of material to produce all your fertilizer at home. It will also allow you to try other uses around the house.
Making your Comfrey liquid feed is easy and has so many benefits. It saves you money, keeps you organic, and feeds your plants the necessary nutrients.
It is perfect as a foliar feed to quickly get nutrition to suffering plants. Ideal for giving a quick nitrogen boost to your crops.
Providing you use the Bocking 14 strain, you have no issues with it becoming invasive. This plant is worth a spot in every garden. You can even grow it in partial shade as its deep taproots can sustain the plant.
I hope you got some value from this post. Or, at the very least enjoyed reading it and learning about Comfrey liquid fertilizer.
Just remember the golden rule. One part comfrey and ten parts water when used as a drench or foliar spray when spraying or feeding other plants with a side dressing.
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