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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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Post  OhioGardener 4/23/2020, 5:32 pm

That's a great idea, Linda! Comfrey makes a great grass barrier if it is planted close enough together. I have it along two fence rows with what we call pasture grass on the other side, and the grass has never grown through it.  It is a great permaculture plant, since it is impossible to remove it once it is established.

This is one of the videos that originally got me started on Comfrey, by a young man in Wales.


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Post  lvanderb 4/23/2020, 6:34 pm

Thanks, yes I saw another video that used comfrey to prevent pasture grass from getting into a garden.

Hubby just wants to be able to mow along it, and that shouldn't be a problem at all. The grass making its way into the wood chips has been a major annoyance.

I was a bit concerned about the fact that you cannot remove comfrey (without a LOT of effort), but whatever, it's our property. And now, the entire neighbourhood can enjoy the beautiful comfrey flowers Wink.

Linda
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Comfrey - Page 4 Empty Re: Comfrey

Post  OhioGardener 4/23/2020, 6:48 pm

lvanderb wrote:I was a bit concerned about the fact that you cannot remove comfrey (without a LOT of effort), but whatever, it's our property. And now, the entire neighbourhood can enjoy the beautiful comfrey flowers Wink.

Linda

Comfrey - Page 4 3170584802 

With mine, they had no effect on the grass the first year, but by the 2nd year any grass between the plants started disappearing. Until the roots got to start spreading on the Comfrey, I had to do weeding/pulling grass.

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Post  lvanderb 4/23/2020, 9:14 pm

That makes sense. How far apart did you plant your comfrey. The one video I saw suggested a foot apart. However, we don't have huge grass pressure, it's slowly sneaking into my wood chip gardens. I'm thinking 2 ft apart.
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Post  OhioGardener 4/23/2020, 9:29 pm

I planted them 1.5' to 2' apart, and they quickly filled in. They shaded the soil below them so heavy that not much wanted to grow down there.  All of mine were planted from 2" root cuttings that I took from the original plant, and every cutting I buried grew. Since our soil is heavy clay, I was surprised at how great the plants grew.

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Post  OhioGardener 6/5/2020, 8:26 pm

The Comfrey is in full bloom already. It is beautiful and covered with native bees and bumblebees. Normally I would have it cut down and used to mulch the tomatoes, but a recent back surgery prevented me from getting down there to cut them. So, they decided to bloom where they are....  Love those Comfrey!

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Post  mollyhespra 6/8/2020, 8:25 am

How tall are those, OG?  And how tall would they get if left unchecked?  I'm wondering if they'd be a good solution to killing the grass along the edge of my garden... thinking
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Post  OhioGardener 6/8/2020, 8:35 am

mollyhespra wrote:How tall are those, OG?  And how tall would they get if left unchecked?  I'm wondering if they'd be a good solution to killing the grass along the edge of my garden... thinking

They are about 2' tall, and they typically get to about 30" tall if not cut back for compost or mulch. They are excellent for making a grass border block as long as you have an opening to get through them into the area you are protecting...  Very Happy

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Post  mollyhespra 6/14/2020, 8:13 pm

Hey, OG, would you be willing to do a seed trade for some comfrey cuttings?
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Post  OhioGardener 6/15/2020, 8:22 am

mollyhespra wrote:Hey, OG, would you be willing to do a seed trade for some comfrey cuttings?  

I'm not in need of any seeds, Molly, but I could send you some root cuttings this fall. Once you get some plants established, it is easy to make more root cuttings and expand the number of plants you have.

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Post  plantoid 6/15/2020, 6:54 pm

You don't need to wait till fall to get it to reproduce.. 

My Bocking 14 was sent to me from the Outer Hebredies ..some 500 miles away in high summer .

Simply take a bit just over half an inch or so long of root on the outside of the crown that has a bit of green growth node on it . This green new shoot bit is as important as is the actual flesh part , for that area of the plant is the most fertile bit ( same on almost all soft plants too ) .


 Pop it in a small poly bag along with some  damp peat or wet kitchen towels that don't contain any antibacterial rubbish . tie it off in a knot so there is a bit of  air in the bag   Then post it off first thing on a Monday morning in a strong small box ,  to give it the best chance of reaching the addressee  before the next week end . 


 

On getting it open the bag water it and leave it in a shaded place for  few hours . Then prepare a large six or eight inch well drained plant pot with a dose of well wetted MM   poke a hole the middle of the compost about an inch deep slip the cutting in so it is covered by an inch of compost , water it and put the pot out in the shade free from harsh sun .
 
Keep it lightly watered and as soon as you se the green shoot appear give the plant a feed of normal strength tomato feed . Once the plant is six inches or so tall plant it out & grow your own  new plants in the same manner once the host plant is strong & about 25 inches high . 

  I wouldn't  try it if there is 8 weeks or less to the first frost .

 If the cuttings look bad  & have a brown rot slime on them , immediately give then a quick rinse in a lightly salted warm water   , pat them dry on kitchen towel & use a very sharp blade to lightly & carefully cut out the cause of the start of the rot , re rinse in the salt when you've done it  , then rinse in clean cold water and plant as normal..       I've had pants sent to me that have survived 12 days in the postal system in a UK summer  by treating them like that.
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Post  OhioGardener 7/18/2022, 4:46 pm

Cut a 6' row of Comfrey today and used it to mulch the Zucchini transplants.  It will not only retain the much need moisture, but will enrich the soil to feed the plants as it decomposes.  Comfrey has been one of the best mulches I used.
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Post  sanderson 8/3/2022, 10:24 pm

Very interesting.  I would have thought it needed to be dry, first.

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Comfrey - Page 4 Empty Bump!

Post  Scorpio Rising 3/8/2024, 8:11 pm

Curious about this!
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Post  OhioGardener 3/9/2024, 7:25 am

Scorpio Rising wrote:Curious about this!

I use Comfrey for a lot of things, in addition to it being an attractive perennial in an front yard area that I don't want to mow.

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My uses include nutrient rich mulch for garden plants; Comfrey Tea for fertilizer; high nitrogen addition to compost bins; Comfrey Salve for scrapes and burns; providing a grass barrier between the lawn and the garden; and attracts pollinators to gardens.

Caution: Plant it where it will be forever - it has very, very deep roots will survive trying to dig them out - and plant only the Bocking 14 type so that it does not become invasive.

My Comfrey is already up for this spring.
Comfrey - Page 4 Comfre13

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Post  Scorpio Rising 3/9/2024, 5:04 pm

Nice, I like it.  Can it thrive in poor (clay) soil?
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Post  OhioGardener 3/9/2024, 6:07 pm

Scorpio Rising wrote:Nice, I like it.  Can it thrive in poor (clay) soil?

Yes, it survives in ours!  Very Happy 

This was some of mine last May...Comfrey - Page 4 Comfre14

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