I was given a big hunk of comfrey a couple of years ago by a friend who is an encyclopedia of medicinal plant knowledge. I never used it for the compresses or tea she recommended (sorry, Connie) and, as it is a rather bulky thing, I was tempted to get rid of it. I’d heard people complain about it spreading too, and wondered if I was better off without it.
That is, until I learned about some of its other uses, and its reputation as a nurse plant:
*Comfrey has an incredibly long tap root, and as such, gets down deep to all the nutrients int he soil that other plants simply can’t reach. It stores all this nutrition in its proliferous leaves. The wise gardener need only “chop and drop” the comfrey a few times a season, spreading the cut stems and leaves around the base of any and all plants as an all-in-one mulch/fertilizer.
*Comfrey draws beneficial bacteria and earthworms to its root.
*Comfrey is great to plant under fruit trees as it does not compete with the trees roots, but competes with other plants that would; it also draws pollinators.
*Cuttings of comfrey are excellent for kickstarting your compost.
*It can also be used for animal fodder.
As far as the issue of spreading, it seems the worst danger comes from cutting the roots, so no tilling for me. On the whole, I have the space and it’s earning its keep, so the comfrey is staying.
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