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Comfrey invasion

I've cleared a large (4mx10m) patch of comfrey and have put down a membrane which I have read will need to stay for at least 2 years. I read that comfrey makes good compost but I'm worried about adding it as it was going to seed when I cleared it. I suppose I should not introduce seeds to the compost heap? And especially not something as invasive as comfrey?


  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,628
    Comfrey makes one of the best plant foods ever so you should use it.  Either chop it up and put it on your compost heap or else strip off the foliage and put it in a big bucket and cover with water and a lid.  After a couple of weeks you'll have a very stinky liquid which can be diluted 10 parts water to one of goo and then used to feed roses, tomatoes and clematis and any other hungry flowering plants you have.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • But what about the seeds?
  • herbaceousherbaceous E. BerksPosts: 2,278
    I grow the bocking 14 plants diana so seeds are not a problem, if this is wild comfrey I would be inclined just to strip off all the leaves.  As Obelixx says they are a valuable source of nutrients and will kick start any compost heap.
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    Seeds must get into my comfrey 'tea' as I often leave it until the flowers have finished but the seeds don't seem to survive the 'brewing' process.  I know my comfrey isn't the sterile Bocking 14 as I do see the occasional seedling pop-up below them.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,628
    Any seeds that make it thru the composting process can easily be weeded out as seedlings or grown on in a contained patch to keep up the supply of leaves for more comfrey tea.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • I mowed it down so I have bags of chopped comfrey. I can't separate the leaves from the rest

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,628
    That'll be fine for making the tea.  You need to strain it when it's ready and all the gunk can go on the compost and will be inactive by then, seeds and woody bits included.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thanks I'll give it s try. I have 4 huge sacks so I can't make tea with it all. I still don't want to add to compost in case I get comfrey everywhere I use the compost.
  • How long will the comfrey tea keep once it's made?
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,873
    I have a large plastic dustbin for comfrey tea. It works like a sherry solera. I take fluid out. I top it up with water. When it goes down a bit I put in more leaves. In March it was half full. I dragged out all the old drowned stuff and put it on the compost heap. Two compost sacks full of leaves went in.  That filled it to the top. When it had rotted a bit, about six weeks later another two bags full went in. Every now and then I give it a stir to sink any floating vegetation.  I will start using the mix soon.

    You can make a very concentrated form by just using leaves and no water. It involves packing them down and putting a weight on top, and a thick black juice comes out as it rots.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
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