Michael Fundaro wrote:There may be benefits to sifting, you did mention a few, but considering the amount of compost and the length of time it would take to sift it using your method I would suggest that you would be just fine scattering it as is and just picking out anything large as you are spreading it. As for the wood chips and leave clumps, again I wouldn't worry about them unless they end up in the way of something you want to plant in the future.
Every persons compost needs and methods are different so you will get many different opinions and suggestions. Due to the ingredients available to me, and due to the lack of organic material in my native soil I mix manure and wood chips (and whatever good stuff I may have on hand) with plenty of water and mix it well in a repurposed cement mixer and then dump it into a pile to cook until I need it. The wood chips don't have time to break down before I use it but unless I hit something large I just create a hole and pack the compost back around whatever I am planting. However, I am usually mulching with more wood chips (or occasionally straw) to retain moisture so that is another reason I don't worry about wood chips. Eventually it will all break down.
Michael Cox wrote:I have comfrey on two different sites.
1) In Wales, where there is lots of rainfall and a high water table. It is planted around an apple tree and does an amazing job. It grows vigorously, shades out all the grass and weeds around the tree, and the tree is thriving. The soil beneath the comfrey is black, moist and full of organic matter. The comfrey has stayed where it was planted.
2) At home in Kent. Less rainfall, chalk soil that are very free draining, low soil moisture through summer. The comfrey grows slowly, and is no where near as vigorous as Wales. They are the same variety, propagated form the same root stock. It doesn't effectively suppress weeds, but does feed the soil somewhat. It stays put there, without any invasive tendencies. I think the water is the key issue, and if I were to irrigate my growing areas in Kent the comfrey would probably thrive.