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Starting a food forest and using Comfrey as ground cover?

 
Morana Revel
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My long range plan is to be ablet o move back to my 5 acres and actually have something to move back to. Right now, all of the trees on the 5 acres are black cherry, sumac and a single peach that has never bloomed. There are maybe only 30 trees total.

I am thinking of planting almond trees, apple trees, blueberry bushes and several other fruit and nut trees over the next year or two.

But I cannot get out to the farm often enough to water and take care of them in a draught. But I have Comfrey there that is growing fantastic. The water table is only about 10-20 feet down.

I have read conflicting reports.
Some say that planting Comfrey below fruit trees will help them with minerals they cannot reach otherwise. Some reports also say that they will draw moisture to the surface and allow the other plants to feed.
Other reports say that the Comfrey takes too much Nitrogen out of the soil and will rob fruit trees. Some reports state that Comfrey will dry out the surface area around them because they are so thirsty.

All I know is the Comfrey on the farm is thick and juicy all summer long. So wet, that when you break a stem, it will squirt and drip juice.

Does anyone have any exterience with using Comfrey as a grown cover below fruit trees.

 
James Slaughter
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In my experience don't use it directly under the drip-line of the tree, but use it as an edge planting to pick up nutrient runoff and provide chop and drop mulch (horseradish and rhubarb are also good for this). If you want a living mulch for your trees, go with nasturtiums. Weed suppressing, edible flowers and leaves, requires minimal maintenance, easy to pull out, self-seeding, handles shading, great orchard plant. Another good one is sweet potato, the leaves also being edible, just plant a bit outside the drip-line and then direct their sprawling growth to where you want it.
 
Shawn Harper
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Location: Portlandia, Oregon
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In regards to the water issue you have, if you grow your trees from seed rumor has it they will send thier roots own faster and won't need water. This is even of they don't have a taproot.
 
Morana Revel
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I had not heard that about growing from seeds! That is a thought - especially if I want walnuts.

I am particularly wanting an almond tree. In my whole life, I have only seen one group growing in KY. I don't know why there are not more here - blight? hard to grow?. Personally, I would love one. I am thinking I would have better luck with a 2 or 3 year old tree.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Almonds are difficult to grow because of their very early bloom time which means any place that has late frosts won't have almond nuts. I planted a bunch of them before I understood they bloom too early to ever get nuts here. Then my sheep ate the trees anyway.....

There's a couple varieties which claim to be "hardy" but I don't know if it means they will bloom late enough. Worth a try if you don't tend to get late frosts and have room and $ for an experiment.

 
Morana Revel
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I went to a farm about 5 miles from where I live and they had about 6 that were fairly huge. Of course, those are the ONLY ones I have EVER seen! then were planted in a small plot that was sunken with a rise on 2 sides and a creek on a third.

It is not the frost I think I would be worried about - but the wind. If I get the small kind I can build a wind break around them.
 
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