Sunday, 6 April 2014


A few years ago I brought some Comfrey plants into my garden. I'll be honest and admit that I dug them up from a patch on a roadside verge. I knew that Comfrey was a very hardy and resilient plant that would grow practically anywhere, and for this reason I thought I would establish a patch down at the bottom of my garden, in a place where nothing much else will grow because it is under the branches of my neighbour's Leylandii conifer- dry shade and lots of competition for scarce nutrients.

For a couple of years the comfrey did well and I was able to harvest a decent quantity with which to make "Comfrey Tea" as a plant food for my tomatoes and chillis.

Photo from 2012

However, the Leylandii tree has got bigger and has defeated even the Comfrey, which has been reduced to a few feeble shoots. I have therefore decided to move it and have another go.

I rounded up all the little Comfrey plants I could find, including this self-seeded one over by the fruit trees:

And a couple peeping up from underneath my Insect Hotel

There were six all told, and I have now re-planted them in a place where they will hopefully get a bit more light. It is still not a good place - sandwiched in between the compost bins - but it's the best I can afford.

Comfrey in the foreground, Good King Henry in the background

Here's a better view of the Good King Henry growing in the background:

So, let's see what happens... Will it re-establish? I hope so.

On a different note, how about this for appropriate planting? A tuber of potato "Red Duke of York" planted in a big red plastic bucket:


  1. It's supposed to be robust Mark but I'm not so sure. We were given a clump that filled a wheelbarrow by a fellow plot holder and it took a good couple of months for it to recover and establish itself.

  2. I had some comfrey at my last house, but not here. I keep wondering where I could put some. But this place doesn't have a lot of out of the way places to put it.

  3. The comfrey should do okay there as they're not fussy plants. I've six, pictured in my today's post, which I let flower for the bees after which I cut right back to add to the compost heap. I do that several times a year. Note that's one job where I do wear gloves as they can cause skin irritation. Cheers.

  4. Do you cook comfrey? We only use comfrey for traditional's medicinal stuff.

    1. Endah, I only use Comfrey for plant food. Is it even edible? I wouldn't think so.

  5. The comfrey on our plot is a real toughie on our plot that I doubt we could get rid of if we tried. It would be great for insects by the bug hotel if you let it flower,

  6. We planted comfrey at the allotment and then spent the next 5 years trying to get rid of it, because it spread, and spread and spread. Even now we're still digging up new offshoots. I would like to grow it again but it turned out to be such a thug that I'm unwilling, given our current invasion of foxgloves.

  7. So amusing for me to learn that you are growing comfrey, as i tried to dig it out and keep it under control when I had my allotment plots, it takes over the plot. I had someone cook it for me once, it has the same texture as okra - a bit slimey. I think my fave way, if there is a fave way is deep fried like a fritter, but not too many eh. Best kept for the plants!

  8. I planted some 'Bocking 14' ? root cuttings last year with the view of using them for plant food. Lovely to see your potatoes breaking through the surface, they are ahead of mine. Have a good week.

  9. I'd be nervous of planting comfrey unless it was the Bocking 14 variety as I've heard so many stories of how invasive it is. Perhaps it's a blessing that it hasn't done so well in your garden.

  10. You were brave to use collected comfrey Mark - it's supposed to be indestructible (13ft plus roots?) - you may find it popping up again in its original spot. I understand Bocking 14 is carefully bred not to spread but with roots that long it would still take some welly to get rid of it.


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