youre very welcome! keep spreading the root cuttings and the word!
Eric Hanson wrote:Steve,
If I never mentioned it before, I certainly appreciate having had all your input into getting these plants up and growing. And your gracious help has turned into some very nice plants. Thanks! And thanks for continuing to comment on this old, but still continuing thread. I do have plans to expand my comfrey plants by digging up root cuttings from my healthiest plant and planting them in a new area. Further, I have mentioned in other threads that I am planning on doing some serious rejuvenating of my orchard and one of my plans was to plant some comfrey guilds around the trees, in addition to getting them some nice wood chips inoculated with wine cap mushrooms, but that is for a different thread.
Thanks again Steve for your continuing thoughtful observation and commentary,
no worries! nettle doesn't grow naturally here but i planted the roots from Oikios because of the medicinal properties and as a amendment. if cut and left to wither you can handle it bare handed with no issues. i also have borage , a cousin of comfery, in the same patch. before planting here the soil was very poor and acidic. now 4 yrs later its a nice fertile loam and getting better every year.
Patrick Owen wrote:
steve bossie wrote:good to see fresh posts on this thread! i too have planted nettle amongst a patch of comfrey and i now use both for fertilizer around my plants. nettle doesn't produce as much biomass but adds different nutrients than comfrey. i grow a less stinging nettle i bought from Oikios. i also put some cut nettle around the comfrey and comfrey around the nettle. they are both flourishing in a partly sunny spot under my red pines.
Steve: I hope this doesn't put enmity between us, but my nettles were not exactly "introduced". It's more like they showed up at a party started by comfrey. To each his own, and I'm glad the nettle/comfrey is working for you. That almost makes me wonder if I could try to introduce a smaller, less stingy nettle to replace the other. Then it would be easier to control? It's worth pondering.
Eric: I am glad that now, all this time later, your comfreys are doing well (or will be again come Spring!). This thread can be a lesson for folks wanting to start comfrey but having rain in the extended forecast, and maybe save them some time. This thread has a lot of stuff most of us have already heard, but also has a lot of different stories where I feel that I really added to my understanding of the properties of this plant, and the pictures posted by all have been helpful also. That's what prompted me to share my unique situation; maybe others can take my little morsel of experience and add it to their general understandings.
I did have to comment in response to Todd though. His comedic post was witty, but the fact that it applies to me so much is what made it so great. I shared it with someone close to me, someone with whom I have frequent conversations, conversations which have been frequently injected with comfrey related topics.
3 yrs ago we had very little snow and it got down to -40f a half doz. times . i had 0 losses to the roots of the 20+ comfrey on my property with no mulching. and all of them grew just like the warmer years. I'm sure this stuff could be grown all the way to the arctic and still grow! not sure how they would fare above ground. from what I've read comfrey doesn't do well in pots because of its long taproot.
Patrick Owen wrote:Since several of you comfroisseurs are still watching this thread, I'm going to bring up a slightly different topic. Please delete this and/or let me know where to move it if it's too off topic.
Question: Can living comfrey (root) be deep frozen? If so, how cold?
I read another website where someone asked about keeping potted comfrey outside. He was advised that in a pot the roots would freeze and it would die, but if in the ground they wouldn't.
However, it seems like comfreys just below the surface have lived, and they start off from the same root top in the Spring, and I'm in 5a-5b, so it does get below 0 here almost all Winters, with a daily high below 0 most or at least some Winters. I believe here the minimum water line depth is about 4', so a lot of companies install at 5' to be sure of no lines freezing, but maybe that's for a completely different reason. I kind of want to take one of my little potted comfreys and freeze it and see what happens, but wanted to ask first.
Also, I once read that the comfrey root dies at the actual temperature of around -20F. Or was it leaves dying at 20F and roots at around -10F or -15F?
Can anyone confirm/deny this? Have sources or anything?
Any help would be appreciated, and again if this is thread clutter it can be moved.
Tj Jefferson wrote:In terms of propagating this stuff, the way I do it is to take cuttings, put them in a giant tub of degraded wood chips, jumble them in there so they are mostly covered, pee in the tub, and get the mix damp, like to the point that there's probably some water collecting on the bottom. Then I cover the whole top in saran wrap and put it in the garage where it gets a little light but not much. This makes it a little greenhouse, the condensation drips back down. I remember its out there maybe three weeks later and the whole thing will be going crazy with roots. Then I plant them with no special care at all. Like none, little shovel dig, plant goes in, stomp. I am totally beating these plants up, I split them sometimes twice a year. They don't care at all. Granted I am more interested in geometrically expanding them at this point, I rarely let them flower. They produce the most fantastic soil very quickly and I have the same clay soil Eric is contending with.
To be clear, you basically stick a shovel in the ground, wiggle it so the slice is at least the root width (.2-.5"), remove shovel, (I'd optionally splash water in crevice if dry), use finger to poke root chunk just under the surface, press crevice closed with foot.
Mike Barkley wrote:
That's all it takes. another good comfrey thread
David Binner wrote:I am new to Comfrey; just received my first two small plants in the mail and am looking forward to putting them in the ground later this Spring.
A couple questions already come to mind:
1) What kind of fertilizer does Comfrey like? (N-P-K values) I am willing to give it some plant food. Or is plain old cow manure fine? I want happy Comfrey plants.
2) Thinking ahead to the upcoming Autumn and Winter, does Comfrey like some kind of ground covering like sawdust or cedar bark mulch? I know blueberries do NOT like cedar bark mulch, and do not want to put something on Comfrey that it doesn't like. Is there anything that should NOT be put on Comfrey?
Thanks for any advice and suggestions.