Monday, 26 May 2014

Comfrey Root Cuttings

As I've been try to be more organic and contained it's made me realise that comfrey is a pretty valuable plant with loads of uses from making comfrey tea to using it as a mulch or filling the bottom of a trench to grow beans on.
thee roots of a small clump of comfrey
 I've got two patches in corners of the veg garden but this is nowhere near enough. I looked on the internet at the prices and decided that I could probably propagate it myself for a fraction of the cost. I did divide the roots in early spring and doubled what I had, but I need a lot more of this herb to be useful. Looking on the internet I saw that one of the best ways to propagate it is to take root cuttings. 
Root cutting
 In essence, dig up a clump, cut some of the large roots into 1.5-2" lengths and plant this into compost.
Plant in small pots of compost

Cuttings done, now just got to wait!
I did this 26 times so we'll see how many of them will work. If they do I'm going to add a few patches around the smallholding, in the orchard and the coppice so I should always have a supply and be near to where I need it.
How does everyone else use comfrey and how do you propagate it?

18 comments:

  1. I have a clump of Comfrey in the garden, I was thinking of digging it up and taking it with me, but I think after seeing your post I might have a go at proporgating some.
    Thanks Kev very clear instructions

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    1. This is the first time I've tried this though so if I was you I'd dig up a clump as well!

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  2. I have a huge patch on the lottie which I will be chopping down today. I never even knew about it until the oldies looked at me in horror when I dare ask "What's that" lol Oh they love me really x

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  3. Chopping some down to use.........don't panic!

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    1. It's a good thing to have a ready established clump at the allotment. The plants I've got here were at my old allotment but I dug them up and brought them with us, I'm sure they're still growing there as well!

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  4. I think it's common every day name is 'knit bone' and supposed to be great in bandages around fractured bones. I am after some Comfrey seeds or plants. It's also supposed to be a good compost activator.

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    1. It doesn't grow well from seeds as it's been bred to be sterile so you need plants or a local friend who can give you half a "clump" and you can go from there.

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  5. On our previous property we used to plant it next to fruit trees as it is supposed to bring the nutrients up from lower down in the soil. Also laid leaves in the trench before planting potatoes.

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    1. I've eread that as well, thenyou're meant to chop it down and as the leaves rot they feed the tree! Clever stuff!

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  6. If you want some more I have loads of plants so remember me in the autumn!

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    1. I will do! I'll come armed with a trug and a spade!

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  7. We had one comfrey patch and without any help from us we now have it all over the place. First it gets used in the compost bins, then for comfrey tea. some gets left to flower too.

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    1. If it's spread it might be the wild sort as blocking 14 isn't meant to spread very easily.

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  8. I am working on this very project myself. Trying to get a big comfrey bed. I ordered three packages of seeds which had only 10 seeds each in them. Right now I see three sighhh little seedlings. But I know herb seeds can be very slow to sprout some not even till the next year so I am going to hold out hope that this is the case with the Comfrey. I don't have enough plants as of yet... to dig up for root cuttings. This is a fairly new project in the works. I do plan to order more seeds put them in start pots this time. I put the seeds in a bed this last time. I think perhaps a more controlled environment might work better. Will see! Hope your root cuttings take off for you!

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    1. You want a slightly different sort to us, I think it's called blocking #4 and it's much more drought tolerant so better for you climate.
      I think starting seeds in pots is the way to go with most plants. It's only roots that I start in the soil directly really.

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  9. The internet is absolutely the best place for finding information! I've not propagated my comfrey yet but I ought to. And now I know right where to come when it's time!

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    1. Like I said I'll let you know how they get on before you do it! But I agree, I love finding out information and then going and trying it out, that's the danger though - I think there are too many people who read about things and don't do it. and I have to sat that's one of the reasons I like blogs, they are written by "do-ers"!

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