Grow Your Own Magazine

Navbar button growfruitandveg.co.uk Logo
Forum Navigation

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 10
Like Tree17Likes

Thread: Comfrey - identification & planting location

  1. #1
    Forage420's Avatar
    Forage420 is offline Sprouter
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    London
    Posts
    180

    Default Comfrey - identification & planting location

    How's everyone doing?
    .. So, I'm new to the world of liquid fertilisers, especially those you make yourself.
    I'm hoping someone can identify these plants that are growing on my allotment.
    I had a snoop around and using photos online as a means of identification I found a few plants that I thought may/or may not be comfrey with view to making my own organic liquid feed from the vegetation.

    I would like to take root cuttings and grow them on my own plot(with permission of the plot holder of course), and research suggests a premium location would be under a tree where the comfrey would have partial shade .. ..

    Lastly, how invasive is the comfrey once planted? I don't like making decisions that are irreversible, and some research suggests that comfrey is difficult to eradicate once established due to it's deep tap root. This concerns me as I wouldn't want to plant something that I can't get rid of if I had a change of heart later on.
    Would the plant be killed off if the plant was dug out and then a black sheet applied to the area for say 12months? Would that be enough to eradicate it, or would it require longer? .. ..

    Just considering all the options .. and thank you for reading, as always.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Comfrey - identification & planting location-plant-1.jpg   Comfrey - identification & planting location-plant-2.jpg   Comfrey - identification & planting location-plant-3.jpg  
    Can the Man likes this.

  2. #2
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is offline Gardening Guru
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Sunshiny South Wales
    Posts
    62,446
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    My guesses -
    1. ?comfrey but which variety I know not. Need to see the flowers.
    2. ? horseradish or some sort of spinach beet.
    3 ? lungwort.

    Spread depends on the variety of comfrey. All seed freely except Bocking14 which is sterile.
    Garden like a Chicken
    @realveggiechicken

  3. #3
    Forage420's Avatar
    Forage420 is offline Sprouter
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    London
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Brilliant! Thank you so much. I'll ask whose plot the comfrey is on about the variety and post it up here for future reference..
    Can the Man likes this.

  4. #4
    Cadalot's Avatar
    Cadalot is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Sutton Surrey
    Posts
    4,876

    Default

    "Bocking 14" is a cultivar of Russian Comfrey, this strain was developed during the 1950s by Lawrence D Hills, and is the preferred type as it is sterile and can only be grown from root cuttings so it's not going to take over your plot from seeds spreading.

    Sources for Bocking 14 root cuttings in the UK are

    B-Actif
    Cultivated Comfrey
    Waitrose Garden
    Forage420 and Can the Man like this.

    . .......Man Vs Slug
    Click Here for my Diary and Blog
    Nutters Club Member

  5. #5
    nickdub is online now Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Ross-on-Wye
    Posts
    3,416

    Default

    Bocking 14 :-

    1) growing from root cuttings is easy, a piece the size of your thumb or larger pushed in the ground is all that's needed

    2) it grows better in full sun but will tolerate some shade - doesn't need watering once established

    3) its not invasive in the sense that it will stay where you put it and not spread (though you have to wilt it well first if using it in direct contact with the ground, see 1)

    4) killing it if in the wrong place is best done by cutting the top off down to ground level and using a herbicide (eg brushwood killer) painted or spread on the cut top, then covering this with a plastic bag kept in place with a rubber band.

    PS Lawrence D Hills books on growing fruit and veg are well worth a read.
    Forage420 and Can the Man like this.

  6. #6
    ESBkevin is offline Cropper
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Mid Suffolk
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    I agree with veggiechicken about the identification of one, I do wonder if the second might be stray sugarbeet seed, is there a field nearby that could have had the crop in recent years? Number three I defer to those what is more cleverer.

    If you can 'cultivate' comfrey in a hedgerow, it saves you space and the worry of it being invasive.

  7. #7
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is offline Gardening Guru
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Sunshiny South Wales
    Posts
    62,446
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    I'm only guessing at lungwort because of the spotted leaves. Its one of the plant names from the Doctrine of Signatures that fascinates me

    Spotted leaves = disease of the lungs = Lungwort = Pulmonaria = pulmonary disease. Obvious really!!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulmonaria
    Garden like a Chicken
    @realveggiechicken

  8. #8
    Forage420's Avatar
    Forage420 is offline Sprouter
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    London
    Posts
    180

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ESBkevin View Post
    I agree with veggiechicken about the identification of one, I do wonder if the second might be stray sugarbeet seed, is there a field nearby that could have had the crop in recent years? Number three I defer to those what is more cleverer.

    If you can 'cultivate' comfrey in a hedgerow, it saves you space and the worry of it being invasive.
    It's on the newest plot I've taken over on my allotment site, and I've found a variety of interesting plants, some I didn't have the time or inclination to identify, although now I wish I had.
    A lot of the ground I've mowed a few times.. apparently the previous owner wanted a wild meadow style plot, and judging by the amount of different plants there are I think she achieved that..

    Thank you so much for the information everyone. I'm crystal clear now on what to do which is to find or buy some Bocking14 and get growing it !!
    Last edited by Forage420; 20-08-2019 at 08:56 PM.
    Can the Man likes this.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts