How to use Comfrey

Comfrey is an incredibly useful plant to have in the garden, both boosting soil fertility and providing attractive flowers for bees and pollinators. It re-grows very quickly, so you can easily harvest a big bunch by cutting it off just above the crown, and it’ll come back pretty speedily.

Here are 3 ways of using it to fertilise your plot…

  1. As a Liquid Feed (The Easy, Stinky Way)
    Fill a container or bucket with chopped leaves and cover with water. Pop a lid on it and leave it for a week or two (best left in the garden shed where it can be a bit smelly without bothering you too much!) – After 2 weeks, strain the liquid into another container. Add the leaves to the compost pile, making sure you turn the pile to mix them in a bit, and cover the container with a tight fitting lid. You can use the liquid feed (which will keep for several months) in a 1 part comfrey/10 parts water mixture to feed your plants.
  2. As a Liquid Feed (The Less Stinky Way)
    Cut a big bundle of comfrey and tie it into a bunch with twine. Hang it upside down for a week or so to try out (wait until the leaves have completely dried). Once dry, you can crumble the leaves and store in an air tight container. They will keep like this for months. As and when you need a liquid feed, just 2-3 handfuls of the dried leaves to a bucket of water and let them infuse for an hour.
  3. As a Mulch
    This is the cheat’s way…simply chop the comfrey leaves into small pieces (approx 1 inch is good) and pop them around the base of plants in a 2 inch layer. This is particularly good for fruit trees and bushes.

We’d recommend growing it in a dedicated small bed or container, as it’ll come back year after year. Ours is a Russian Comfrey, (i.e not the ground cover variety) which will not self-seed.