Comfrey is truly one of my all-time favorite plants. To use on established plants, dilute 1 part comfrey fertilizer in 15 parts water. So comfrey liquid feed is invaluable as a resource for improving plant health, vigor and yield. Comfrey Compress Another simple method is to apply a compress. Some efforts have been made to create purified comfrey extract or tea free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Instead of using a watering can, I like to put the tea in a backpack sprayer and spray the solution on the soil as well as both the tops and bottoms of foliage, hitting annuals, shrubs, and fruit trees. It helps all manner of conditions such as broken bones, irritable bowel syndrome, is a marvellous herb for skin and hair, and acts as a digestive tonic in mild doses. With additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu. A clean cloth is then soaked in the tea and applied (once cooled to prevent burns) to the injured area. The leaves should be about a... Let the Mixture Mature. Or you can try continuous batch brewing, using a bucket with a nozzle at the bottom. This is the stinky but effective part of the process. Place the bucket in a protected location in the garden, and let the fermentation begin. Pack foliage in the inner bucket, weigh it down, and cover. Share your stories in the comments below! Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Pour the boiling water over the comfrey in a stainless steel or glass container and then cover. Fill a large bucket (or any big container) with freshly picked leaves. Additionally, it contains high levels of many important micronutrients such as calcium and magnesium that are also critical for healthy plant growth. Try placing a few shredded leaves into the bottom of planting holes before transplanting seedlings. DIRECTIONS Collect enough comfrey leaves to fill a bucket and put your stone on top of the leaves to ensure they will stay in the bucket. After a few weeks, it will decompose into a black goopy mass. Disclosure. Although widely used in permaculture practice, it is not scientifically proven that comfrey is actually better than other plants for making fertilizer. Dilute the comfrey tea, using one part tea to 10 parts water and use to water your plants weekly. 3. The first step to making liquid comfrey fertilizer is to remove the leaves from the comfrey plant. • Use a bucket or other container to make comfrey tea. (coming soon!). Once the concentration is diluted, you are ready to feed your garden! How To Make Comfrey Tea . Comfrey tea is an herbal tea with a long history of use. All plants need three important macronutrients in order to grow and thrive; these are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, often labeled as NPK on fertilizer mixes. I don’t spray it on my plants, I water them with it. If you have steeped it for a full 6 weeks and you have a full 5-gallon bucket of liquid, I would recommend a 1:10 ratio, but if you only steeped for a few weeks, 1:4 would likely be fine. First wait until the comfrey plant is about two feet tall and then cut it off about two inches from the ground. After flowering chop your comfrey leaves and place into a bucket. We shall see how my garden likes it over the next few days. Harvest comfrey leaves from the base of established plants. Harvest the outer leaves first so the plant can continue growing. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. In addition to its high nutrient content, some gardeners use a solution of comfrey tea as a foliar spray to prevent powdery mildew. Both of these have resulted in even worse side effects than before. Once you are ready to use the liquid feed, scoop or strain out the decomposing leafy gunk from the bottom of the bucket. Application on the leaves of plants can help to prevent the spores from germinating. and made the same way as comfrey tea. Do not use different forms (tablets, liquid, tincture, teas, etc) of comfrey at the same time without medical advice. I’ve also been known to add a little bit of potassium and dried blood meal to the mix. Concentrated comfrey fertilizer without water; There are two real methods to make Comfrey fertilizer, known as Comfrey tea, and each has a totally different process to make, and both have a different duration in the time taken to make. Before use, you need to dilute the tea with water, as it can be very strong, and end up burning the plants. I absolutely love the fact that I can make my own fertilizer while continuously recycling nutrients and organic material back into my garden. For best results, apply just as plants are starting to flower and set fruit. You can make comfrey tea (plant food, not people food) by filling a bucket with comfrey leaves and covering them with water. Press the leaves down by putting a small stone on top of the leaves. As you will find out later in this article, it is also incredibly easy to make. If you wish to feed more often, dilute it more. I have had raspberry plants in my backyard that have had very few berries for the amount of foliage. The hairy leaves can irritate the skin, so wear gloves if … Do not apply when you are expecting heavy rain, so the liquid has time to do its work before being washed away. Once your batch is done it can then be diluted 12:1 – … The robust foliage can be slashed down and used several times in a single growing season. Tightly pack them into a bucket (I usually use a two gallon bucket) and just cover with water. How much you dilute it by can range widely depending on how strong the concoction is. water . Here is more about what we do. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. I have seen recommendations for dilution ranging anywhere from 1:2 to 1:15 parts tea to water. Another technique is to drill holes in the bottom of a bucket and place a second bucket underneath it. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. I make a quick comfrey tea. I still have some from last year – will it be ok to use? However, comfrey leaf and comfrey root products have raised concerns with health agencies because comfrey contains chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that may be harmful. Just sniff around for that telltale stinky aroma, which is a good sign that the leaves are breaking down and the nutrients are being released. Comfrey is a rich source of all three of these macronutrients. Fill the container about half to three-quarters … Make Comfrey Tea If you don’t want to use comfrey as a mulch, you can make comfrey tea to use as a fertilizer for you plants. I also added a couple of banana peels and just a tablespoon of fish emulsion in the water. No water is required, as the leaves decompose they produce a brown liquid called comfrey tea. Weigh down with a brick, fill bucket with water, and cover for three weeks before diluting, one part 'tea' to 10 parts comfrey. I usually use a simple 5-gallon bucket. 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One of the best things about this herb is how quickly it grows. Fertilizing gardens can be costly, especially if you are an organic grower. You can chop or shred the leaves to speed up the process. (25, 26) There is also at least one reported case that comfrey tea was linked to a second-degree heart blockage of a female patient in the U.K. (27) Water your plants in the evening (to prevent the sun’s rays from burning the plant during the day. Next, place them in a bin or a bucket, pushing them down firmly. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. Fill a container about half full of comfrey leaves. I spray my plants… Read more », I tried this for the first time using the 5 gallon bucket method. How to Make Comfrey Tea. How to Make Comfrey Tea Make the Mixture. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. To make a simple tea, pour 1/2 ounce of each into a jar and steep in 1 quart of lukewarm/cold water for 4-8 hours, then strain and drink. Or, you can make your own! Comfrey has the three major nutrients plus high levels of calcium, which can be very beneficial if harvested and made into comfrey tea for plants. Next time your crops, fruits, and flowers are looking a little sad, try giving them a spritz of comfrey tea and see the results for yourself. For now, feel free to continue reading. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. And even fertilizers labeled organic may contain some undesirable chemicals. Young stinging nettle leaves are cut in the spring (wearing a thick pair of gloves!) Originally published on January 25, 2020. Either dig them ... 2. How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard This Summer in 15 Easy Ways, Growing Quinoa: A Complete Guide on How to Plant, Grow, & Harvest Quinoa. My plants do love it! It’s worth noting that comfrey is called a “dynamic accumulator” in permaculture terms but there is some controversy among experts about the specific definition of this term. Recommendations are from anywhere in a 3- to 6-week range. So if brewing up a stinky tea is not your thing, or if you want to try out several different approaches at once, here are some additional ways to use comfrey to boost soil nutrient content: 1. How long can I keep comfrey liquid? GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. What is Foliar Feeding, and How Does it Work? Squish and squeeze as many leaves into as you can into the container. Every time you want to use some, just lift the nozzle to pour out the desired amount, and then top off the whole thing with more water and leaves to keep it marinating. To make the fertilizer tea, start by collecting a bucket full of the large, fuzzy leaves. Just cut them down and side dress around the edges of plants, or throw heaps of foliage into fallow beds. If you use it to feed younger crops, dilute the concentration significantly. Topical comfrey is for use only on the skin. 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