We are growing our own mulch, compost activator, soil amendment and pest preventing plant.
We planted a small start last year. We thought it had died, but it is coming back with a vengeance.
Comfrey does that.
The tap root is deep and can grow up to 6 feet so even if you cut it to the ground, it will soar back even stronger. It will mine a wealth of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus up through it’s pointed leaves and pretty purple-y blueish flowers.
Actually, it’s a member of the Boraginaceae family. That’s right, it’s related to borage–my new favorite trap crop and bee attractor.
As noted above, comfrey can be used in a variety of ways for a variety of reasons.
Add it to the compost pile to help “heat” the heap with nitrogen. Not too much though or it will result in sludge.
Saturate the leaves in rainwater for a month or so and create “comfrey tea” to be used when watering plants. Stinky, so I hear, but effective.
Mulch with it. Use it around trees and other plants to release nutrients as the leaves break down. An especially useful trick for fruit bearing trees that need an extra boost of potassium.
But be careful.
Chickens view it as a tasty and coveted snack. They’ll seek it out if they are given one small bite.
It’s that good.
While we may throw a few leaves every now and then on the rare occasion they behave, the nutrients and benefits are too good to waste as a chicken snack.
Even if their poop is good for the soil.
These chickens like the borage
They like the way it tastes
They’ll tug and fight and eat it
And none of it they’ll waste
But comfrey is for people
For feeding to their plants
So chickens here’s your warning
You only get one chance
My comfrey is a bit of a disaster area but my borage is great (and all self-seeded from two transplants). Full of pollinators when sunny and flowers are good in salad. I confess that I’ve never tried the hairy stalks, but one day I will…