Sunday, April 17, 2011

comfrey as a liquid feed

Comfrey as a liquid feed
The equipment you will require is a container (metal or plastic) around a 10-gallon capacity, preferably with a lid to keep the flies out.(it is a bit smelly) You will also require a watering can, a small bucket and a sieve to strain the brew into the watering can. (Sieving to prevent clogging of the watering can's nozzle.)

A good source of liquid fertilizer comes from the herb plant comfrey. It can also be used as a foliage spray, insect deterrent, and a compost activator. (The leaves will break down the compost heap in half the usual time, in two to three months).

Comfrey has nitrogen, calcium, potash and phosphorus, in greater quantity than any animal manure, and it is also a good foliage spray. The average garden will require around seven plants for a continual supply of leaves all year around.

Here's what you do:
Prune the comfrey plants, enough to fill the 10 gallon bucket half full of comfrey leaves, and then fill the drum with fresh water and replace the lid. The brew will be ready within a two weeks. Stir well every couple of days. Strain into the watering can when ready.
Also, you can add comfrey to a compost heap to add nitrogen. Its speedy decomposition will also help to heat the compost heap. However, comfrey should not be added in large quantities as it will quickly break down into a dark sludgy liquid that will need to be balanced with more fibrous, carbon rich material.
Comfrey as a mulch or top dressing By applying about a 2 inch layer of comfrey leaves around your chosen plant, it will slowly break down and release a range of plant nutrients. It is especially useful for crops that need extra potassium, such as fruiting plants, but there is also evidence that it can improve potato crops too. Comfrey can be allowed wilt slightly before application but however you use, however avoid using flowering stems as these can take root.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) based liquid fertilizer is a great asset for any gardener; not only is it a very good plant booster and foliage spray; it can also be used as a form of pest control.

Dilution rates:
For young plants: make a brew the color of weak tea 25/75
For more established plants: 50/50
Comfrey is also a bug deterrent, so pour the brew all over the plant.

Use the leaves themselves as fertilizer:
Just chop up the leaves and place around the garden


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