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Comfrey in my hugelkultur bed

 
N Linnea
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So, I'd really like to plant some comfrey root cuttings in my hugelkultur bed (I've read comfrey does well in acidic soil, and since I used cypress wood, my bed will be acidic).

I'm looking for sterile Russian Comfrey #14 or #4 root cuttings.  I've found some, but only in far away places where the shipping costs more than the root cuttings.

I'm in Northern California, so if anyone has root cuttings in California, Oregon, Nevada, or Arizona, I'd love to talk to you!

*Note: I'm not looking for free cuttings.  I am very willing to pay (just not an arm and a leg in shipping costs!!)

Thanks!
 
Ryan Sharon
Posts: 37
Location: San Francisco/Gualala, Ca (zone 8)
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I don't know how helpful this response will be, but here goes:

I'm in Northern California as well and the comfrey in this picture was growing naturally on our property. Obviously, I can't guarantee it's origins, but the fact it is growing unassisted is a good sign.

If you are interested, I'd be happy to send some your way. However, I have never done root division on comfrey and fear I may not get it right on the first attempt. I'd be open to any tips/guidance from fellow permies.
IMG_20160716_113223_edit.jpg
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N Linnea
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Ryan Sharon wrote:I don't know how helpful this response will be, but here goes:

I'm in Northern California as well and the comfrey in this picture was growing naturally on our property. Obviously, I can't guarantee it's origins, but the fact it is growing unassisted is a good sign.

If you are interested, I'd be happy to send some your way. However, I have never done root division on comfrey and fear I may not get it right on the first attempt. I'd be open to any tips/guidance from fellow permies.


Question: is it growing everywhere (like taking over type of thing)?

 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Ryan Sharon wrote: I have never done root division on comfrey and fear I may not get it right on the first attempt. I'd be open to any tips/guidance from fellow permies.


You can't do it wrong   Cut the root into pieces an inch or two long and mail them in damp moss or damp paper towels or whatever.  As long as they don't dry out, they will grow.
 
Ryan Sharon
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Location: San Francisco/Gualala, Ca (zone 8)
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N Linnea wrote:
Question: is it growing everywhere (like taking over type of thing)?


I wish! We've had the property for 3 years and only discovered the patch this year. It sparsely occupies a very tiny corner of a meadow we spend a fair amount of time on, so I probably would have noticed it.

This is the only evidence I've seen of the species on our 40 acre parcel and it is no more than 10 square yards.

Regardless, I can't make any guarantees on genus or its ability to propagate (or take over).

For that matter, I wasn't even 100% sure it was comfrey when I first found it.

Todd: thanks for the info! I'm hoping to divide this source and use it as a nutrient accumulator for some black locust we're adding to a patch of dismally degraded, highly acidic, clay soil.
 
N Linnea
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Ryan Sharon wrote:
N Linnea wrote:
Question: is it growing everywhere (like taking over type of thing)?


I wish! We've had the property for 3 years and only discovered the patch this year. It sparsely occupies a very tiny corner of a meadow we spend a fair amount of time on, so I probably would have noticed it.

This is the only evidence I've seen of the species on our 40 acre parcel and it is no more than 10 square yards.

Regardless, I can't make any guarantees on genus or its ability to propagate (or take over).

For that matter, I wasn't even 100% sure it was comfrey when I first found it.

Todd: thanks for the info! I'm hoping to divide this source and use it as a nutrient accumulator for some black locust we're adding to a patch of dismally degraded, highly acidic, clay soil.


I'd be very interested in buying some root cuttings off of you!
 
Todd Parr
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Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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Ryan Sharon wrote:I'm hoping to divide this source and use it as a nutrient accumulator for some black locust we're adding to a patch of dismally degraded, highly acidic, clay soil.


That should work great.  I have really heavy clay here and my comfrey does really well in it.  It has quickly become my favorite plant.
 
Todd Parr
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N Linnea wrote:

I'd be very interested in buying some root cuttings off of you!


If you can't find any here on the site, I bought my original plants from Coe's Comfrey.  He is a great guy with good prices, and he includes extra with your order to help you with shipping costs.  Sells Bocking #4.
 
N Linnea
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Todd Parr wrote:
N Linnea wrote:

I'd be very interested in buying some root cuttings off of you!


If you can't find any here on the site, I bought my original plants from Coe's Comfrey.  He is a great guy with good prices, and he includes extra with your order to help you with shipping costs.  Sells Bocking #4.


I shall check this out!!
 
N Linnea
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Todd Parr wrote:
N Linnea wrote:

I'd be very interested in buying some root cuttings off of you!


If you can't find any here on the site, I bought my original plants from Coe's Comfrey.  He is a great guy with good prices, and he includes extra with your order to help you with shipping costs.  Sells Bocking #4.


10 root cuttings for $11 and $8 shipping isn't bad at all (in reference to what I can get at Coe's Comfrey).  Thanks so much for the information.
 
Todd Parr
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N Linnea wrote:
Todd Parr wrote:
N Linnea wrote:

I'd be very interested in buying some root cuttings off of you!


If you can't find any here on the site, I bought my original plants from Coe's Comfrey.  He is a great guy with good prices, and he includes extra with your order to help you with shipping costs.  Sells Bocking #4.


10 root cuttings for $11 and $8 shipping isn't bad at all (in reference to what I can get at Coe's Comfrey).  Thanks so much for the information.


If you only want 10 cuttings, I'll send them to you for the price of the shipping.  I think a priority box that will hold that many is $7.95.  I don't have a lot to spare but I can send that many.

Message me with your address if you want to do that.
 
Marco Banks
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I bought my first Bocking 14 comfrey on eBay from someone, I believe, in Washington.  From there, it's crazy how quickly the stuff grows and how easy it is to propagate.  If you were anywhere near Los Angeles, I'd give you 50 plants --- it's almost crazy how much you can get started from one mature plant.

My soil is pretty rich (from heavy mulching with wood chips for the past 15 years), so the comfrey does really well.  If I don't hack it back, it quickly grows to 3 feet across and a couple of feet tall.  From a plant like that, you get at least a dozen or more healthy and large root hunks (not simple cuttings, but big hunks of the plant with leaves still attached and small feeder roots).

If you sent me a self-addressed USPS pre-paid box, I'll send you a box of cuttings to start with.  I'm on vacation for the next 10 days, but I'll be back home by the second week of August.
 
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