Friday, March 4, 2011

Comfrey - the wonder plant! and other fertilizer ideas

Only the comfrey in the pot survived this very wet season that we are just coming out of!  This weekend I will be propogating some more plants from root division.  I hope they will be soon be flourishing and providing me with free fertilizer.  I had propogated these plants and they were growing quite happily against the fence.  I am not sure why they didnt survive and dont even seem to be re-shooting - they were quite shaded and also very wet - two things they seem not to like.  I do want to grow them in this area though....  I might cut back the vines growing over the arch above and give them another go in this area.   I might also re-think the front of the vegetable garden and remove a row of grass and grow a row of comfrey there - full sun - it might be the perfect spot.....
Can one have too much comfrey?
Here is the lone pot, tucked under the pawpaw tree.
I was in my mind thinking that seaweed tea and comfrey juice were pretty much the same.
No so,  seaweed tea is more of a hormonal tonic, but comfrey is the real thing;

I dont really know who to give credit for this information.  I first saw it when Glen from KGI published it.You can find the link to KGI in my side bar. In fact it was through his posts that I first became interested in comfrey.
Comparative Nutritional Analysis of comfrey, compost and manure

Material            1. Water%    2. Nitrogen (N) % 3. Phosphorus (P) % 4. Potash (K) % 5. Carbon-Nitrogen Ratio

Manure                76.0               0.64                       0.23                   0.32                          14 - 1
Comfrey               75.0               0.74                     0.24                   1.19                          9.8 - 1
Compost             76.0                 0.50                     0.27                  0.81                            10 - 1

  It seems that completes the cirle - seaweed tea for the tonic, comfrey for an instant hit  and compost for the body of the nutrition.   I am continually adding compost as soon as it is "done".
I also normally at this time of the year get a product called 5 in one. these are the details form their website about this product

" Searles 5 in 1® Plus is a brilliant organic plant food containing Cow, Fowl and Sheep Manures, Mushroom Compost, Zeolite, Blood & Bone, hoof and horn plus added Trace Elements and Minerals. Mix one part Searles 5 in 1® Plus to three parts existing soil to enrich the soil and provide long term organic nutrients to plants. Flowers and vegetables respond extremely well to this product.
Because Searles 5 in 1® Plus is in an organic form, when organic fertilisers are subsequently applied, the existing humus and organic material store the new nutrients resulting in a 'slow release' effect. Chemcial fertilisers have a tendency to leach away very quickly."
Hopefully this will cover all bases.
what do you add to your soil?

7 comments:

  1. Oh, thank you so much for an incredibly informative and useful post!!! I knew comfrey was 'special' but didn't realise just how important a role it can perform in a garden! I've never grown it...but am most certainly going to buy a couple of plants next time I visit the nursery!

    I've always believed in Seaweed but have to limit my use severely due to our dogs who all love it!!!

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  2. My chooks have decimated my comfrey!! Will have to grow it in the front yard out of their reach I think! Our vegies get worm tea from the worm farm and chook poo.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this, I have some comfrey roots we ordered sitting in the root cellar just waiting to be planted once the ground thaws out. This will be the first year we have grown this amazing plant...can't wait to see how they do.:)

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  4. I use Peter's Professional for my houseplants...but comfrey sounds like the real deal...I never knew it was such an excellent fertilizer. Do you have any idea if it does well growing in containers...I think I need to grow me some and save money on fertilizer. Thanks for sharing this info.!

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  5. One of the local commercial growers here recommends that you use the seaweed and fish emulsion tea on all your Bromelaids and Orchids.
    They dilute it 1 tbsp per gallon of water and use the diluted mix it every time they water.
    As for the Comfrey I think it really makes a difference especially if you have poor soil as I do.

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  6. Desiree,
    I forgot to mention to buy bocking 14 comfery as it is not as invasive. Gosh your dogs eat the seaweed? Maybe they know a thing or two....:)
    Mrs Bok,
    Oh dear, yes I suppose you need to grow it out of their reach then. Most people in this area have trouble with worm farms so I have never tried it. It is so diffiult in the hot wet season that they all seem to die off. I would love chooks too but cant keep them here. sounds like you have two good systems going there.
    Good luck with your comfrey Mr H I am sure you will soon be a convert!
    Theanne and Baron,
    my plant in the container is the only one that survived the wet, so I dont think it will be a problem growing it in contianers, although it is supposed to be very beneficial in bringing up nutrients from its roots deep down in the earth.
    Sanddune,
    I often look at the fish emulsion but for some reason pass it by. I do bury all our old fish carcases and prawn shells in the vegetable garden (we eat a lot of prawns :) yummy!) My bromeliads and orchids havnt been flowering well, so maybe I should give it a try - thanks for the advice. My "soil" is just sand so it needs all the amendments it can get.

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  7. I use a lot of fish emulsion, as well as compost. I also am using some high powered organic fertilizer mix my son bought for me. It has seaweed and other goodies in it. I can't think of the name of it, but I am anxious to see if it fulfills its promise!

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