In Garden Tips, Plants

5 Reasons Why Every Home Garden Should Grow Comfrey

Comfrey plant in a food forest garden

Comfrey plant in a forest garden with candlebush tree, cassava, coconut, papaya, turmeric, and lychee

Every home garden should grow comfrey. It’s perfect for a small yard, urban farm, and food forest. It’s one of those “set it and forget it” plants. Grow comfrey in full sun to full shade in South Florida. None the less, It’s going to grow no matter the growing conditions.

Comfrey is such an easy grower that you need to make sure you plant it where you want it. Once it is established in an area, there is no getting rid of it. We don’t recommend to grow comfrey inside a raised garden bed. Growing it in a raised garden bed takes up valuable square foot space where you can be growing food. Instead, we recommend planting it in border gardens, medicinal herb gardens and underneath fruit trees.

You may have some summer die back during drought, but once it gets some water it’s going to bounce right back. Above all, we get excited for the summer leaf die back. To clarify, read our first reason why every home garden should grow comfrey.

 

Holding a nutrient dense comfrey leaf high in the air with the blue sky contrasting in the back

1. Grow comfrey as a Natural fertilizer :

Comfrey has deep taproots that pull nutrients from below the soil surface and collect it in their leaves. As a result, those leaves then become a great fertilizer for other plants. Certainly, it’s a perfect addition for fruit trees! In conclusion, Just chop the leaves and drop them where you want to add a little plant booster.

 

a 2 foot tall by 3 foot wide comfrey plant with dense leaves about the size of 18" long and 6" wide

2. Grow comfrey to stops weeds :

Think of comfrey as your own security guard. Comfrey has both dense roots and above ground growth structure. In short, they prevent crawling weeds trying to sneak into a garden area or under a fruit tree canopy.

 

A hand holding compost

3. Best compost maker in town:

Comfrey enriches compost piles and gives the pile a jump start to help it break down quicker. In other words, we call this a “compost activator”.

 

Baby goat staring into the camera with her nan (mother) behind her

4. Grow comfrey as an animal feed:

Comfrey adds a substantial amount of nutrients, including protein, in chickens, rabbits, and goat.  Although comfrey has been noted to be used for over 2000 years in this way, it is important to note that a study of rats found certain toxins created liver toxicity. To sum it up, don’t feed your animals a diet high in comfrey. Instead, treat it as a super food and use it as a supplemental feed.

 

Hand holding salve made with comfrey, plantago, and yarrow from the garden

5. Grow comfrey for it’s medicinal herb properties:

Apply comfrey topically to heal burns, sprains, and bruises. It’s so strong it can heal broken bones, hence it’s old name of Knit-bone. In addition, it’s perfect for those scratchy garden hands for you non glove wearers (cough, like me, cough). You can make oils, salves, or even use a fresh wilted leaf on the skin. Just whatever you do, we don’t recommend to take comfrey internally. (There are two camps, some herbalist say do it, some say don’t. We aren’t herbalists, so we stick with the safe side of it all.)

What are you waiting for? See if this plant is available in our greenhouse now so you can grow comfrey in your garden.

 

 

 

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Owner Santiago is using a hanging hose with a fan head to water very young plants in our greenhouseA garden in the early phases before planting