Comfrey is a large herb, native to Europe, which grows prolifically in damp places such as river banks.
What is brilliant about comfrey is that it contains high levels of all the essential nutrients for plant growth: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK)
There are many great ways to use comfrey around the garden:
- Mulch: Leaves can be cut and left to wilt for a couple of days before piling them around hungry plants such as potatoes and tomatoes as a thick mulch.
- Dig in: Wilted leaves can be dug into ground that is being prepared for a new crop and will break down to give an excellent feed.
- Liquid Fertilizer: Comfrey leaves can be crammed into a large container with a hole in the bottom with a small container underneath to catch the thick black liquid which will be produced in a few weeks. Weighing the comfrey down with an old brick will help this process and some people add rainwater but this does make the resulting ‘comfrey tea’ smell awful! Once produced, the liquid should be diluted 15:1 with water before using it as a leaf feed for plants such as tomatoes.
- Potting Soil: Comfrey leaves can be shredded and mixed with leaf-mould to produce a balanced soil for plants in pots, although it is a little strong for young seedlings.
- Compost Activator: Adding high-nitrogen sources is a great way to boost ‘hot-composting’ if you have the right balance of green and brown shredded material. Comfrey, being high in nitrogen, is ideal for this and should be well combined with the whole mixture rather than adding it as a layer.