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Comfrey

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  • #496912
    Anja
    Member

    Simo I think the best time would be when it’s at it’s most dormant, so in the cooler states, definitely winter. I had it growing quite well in a large pot for a while before transplanting it. Kind of wish I had have left it in the pot – it’s taking ove rthe world!!!

    #496913
    mauzi
    Member

    I believe the best time is during the winter when it is dormant or more dormant, depending on where you live. My experience is that you can pretty much transplant at any time of the year with the usual conditions of keep watered etc.

    Comfrey is certainly one of my most used and favourite herbs, not to mention as a fodder crop for animals. Once it is in the ground it certainly is there to stay, which of course, I don’t mind at all. It can also be dried as a fodder for those areas that it does die down in.

    #496914
    Hummer
    Keymaster

    mauzi post=316536 wrote: I believe the best time is during the winter when it is dormant or more dormant, depending on where you live. My experience is that you can pretty much transplant at any time of the year with the usual conditions of keep watered etc.

    Comfrey is certainly one of my most used and favourite herbs, not to mention as a fodder crop for animals. Once it is in the ground it certainly is there to stay, which of course, I don’t mind at all. It can also be dried as a fodder for those areas that it does die down in.

    Yes, I can’t sing it’s praises highly enough and love how it runs rampant. Although, I do see how this could be a problem if space is an issue 🙂

    #496915
    Greth
    Member

    Tyler’s Honest Herbal is a science based book which evaluates the claims for many herbal medicines. It is not biased pro or anti, just tries to summarize whether a herb is actually effective as claimed, and whether there are possible side effects.

    For comfrey, the original english comfrey was free of the alkaloids which are associated with health problems. Unfortunately, the Russian comfrey was introduced as possible stock feed by some well meaning person, and this does contain the alkaloids.

    Now due to unavoidable crossing, the original strains are mostly contaminated, to a greater or lesser degree. Unless your comfrey has actually been chemically tested, there is no way of knowing how toxic it might be. So AVOID. Similar for tansy, some is safe some not.

    I have read a lot on the topic, and this is the most sensible balanced advice so far. If I ever win the lottery, would get hold of plants and test to find a ‘clean’ strain!

    Simo, there was a warning that related plants, borage, mullein comfrey might be affected by the weevils, but apparently we weirdos who grow these things were not as important as the pastoralists who want to eradicate salvation jane. I know the bugs were released locally, but none of these seems to be particularly suffering (actually the salvation jane isnt much either)

    #496916
    Thisildo
    Participant

    That’s interesting information to know thanks Greth. I’ve just been given a large pot of comfrey and another of tansy from the neighbor. :tup:

    #496917
    Forest Raven
    Member

    Love this thread! I’ve wanted comfrey for ages, then my partner finally read something and decided he wanted it too…and got hold of a couple of plants from a neighbur the very next day! Hope they survive, we are having hot days down here! Their garden is fantastic…so I’m thinking it’s the use of the comfrey.

    Humbug post=312111 wrote: I realise this is probably a long shot, but has anyone got a spare copy or know of anywhere I could buy this book from ?

    https://herbsarespecial.com.au/books_and_dvds/comfrey_book.html

    Hi Humbug, I don’t know anything about the comfrey book, but do have Isabella’s “How to use Herbs” book and wouldn’t be without it. Keeps me wanting to get more and more herb plants. Next on my list is licorice, now I’ve scored comfrey!

    #496918
    Hummer
    Keymaster

    Forest Raven post=332494 wrote:

    Hi Humbug, I don’t know anything about the comfrey book, but do have Isabella’s “How to use Herbs” book and wouldn’t be without it. Keeps me wanting to get more and more herb plants. Next on my list is licorice, now I’ve scored comfrey!

    Hello Forest Raven.. I am still yet to obtain this book myself.. there are so many good books out there..

    I have tasted dried licorice in a herbal tea before.. it is very sweet. I think it would be a handy herb to have in the garden. You will never be without comfrey again, now that you have it, enjoy it 🙂

    #496919
    Forest Raven
    Member

    Thanks Humbug, I can’t wait until that’s the case!

    Maybe I should get a licorice plant before Four Season Herbs leabpve Tasmania? They’re the specialists here for unusual things, but are moving to Coffs Harbour. 🙁

    I have a really sweet tooth, and would like to reduce my use of sugar. Have two stevia palnts I might be able to start picking from soon, as well as a small crop of sugar beets to experiment with!

    #496920
    Greth
    Member

    I have licorice, and can spare some bits, be warned, if you thought comfrey could be invasive…..

    licorice dives under the garden and reappears metres away. Also collected some seeds, but havent tried them yet so dont know if they will germinate.

    #496921
    Forest Raven
    Member

    Greth post=332558 wrote: I have licorice, and can spare some bits, be warned, if you thought comfrey could be invasive…..

    licorice dives under the garden and reappears metres away. Also collected some seeds, but havent tried them yet so dont know if they will germinate.

    Thanks Greth, but I don’t think Tasmanian quarantine will let me take you up on that offer.Here I have to buy whatevers already here or go with an online supplier who knows how to send living things interstate. 🙁 But I’m sure it keeps a lot of bad things out!

    Do you think licorice will grow in a large pot, or perhaps a large tray like the old school recycling tubs? We have to fence things in or the wildlife eats it all, and we’re all out of garden beds until we do some more land clearing and fence building! I’ve started a great potted herb garden though. 😉

    That description sounds like fennel. Mr FR now mows over the mini fennel forest! Not really a problem, but it is popping up everywhere!

    #496922
    mauzi
    Member

    Forest Raven, you can buy liquorice seeds from Phoenix seeds at Snug. I have some but have not got around to planting yet 😀

    #496923
    crystal
    Member

    This just reminded me, i need to get some comfrey! ‘DH, feel like driving to the nursery…?’

    #496924
    Claraflo
    Member

    Comfrey is a very scary herb for me, purely for the fact that it grows so damn fast! You can plant it in the ground and 24hrs later it’s suddenly a hedge in your backyard… :ohmy: Not quite but it’s very fast growing. I got some comfrey root cutting off eBay for $5, and they were all sprouting roots in the bag when it arrived a few days later. Not wanting to kill my new plants I just threw them into a bag of coconut peat to keep them alive. That was yesterday, this morning I have comfrey leaves above the dirt…. :jawdrop:

    #496925
    Forest Raven
    Member

    Claraflo, I’m guessing you’re in a warm climate for it to be growing that fast!

    We got cuttings a few months ago, at one point it looked like some could die, but one showed strength. They’re all good now and leafing up! Can’t wait until we have harvestable amounts, to make comfrey tea fertiliser and occassionally munch on a leaf. Losing a section of the garden to this plant is a small price to pay for all it’s benefits! Or so I hope!

    Good luck with yours. Should we be considering a root barrier if we don’t want it to spread too far?

    #496926
    Claraflo
    Member

    I haven’t seen it invasively spread out of control. It just ends up the size of a canna lilly pretty quick and is easy to propagate via division or taking root cuttings. I haven’t seen it naturalise without help. My neighbour (Sydney, with the most amazing permaculture jungle I’ve ever seen) started off with a single plant and has been dividing it and spreading it around his property like crazy. Every month he mows it to the ground (literally) and the next month it’s big and tall again. He chops it off at ground level then mulches his garden with it. He has the most vigorous garden I’ve ever seen. His entire driveway is tomatoes and he’s never planted a tomato seed or plant in this garden. They are all from bird droppings.

    It’s just a really huge (and attractive) herb that makes a quick and easy windbreak and shade plant as well as a green manure. I bought the root cuttings in order to get some big windbreaks on my balcony and feed my worms with as well as mulching. It looks like something from the dinosaur era with it’s massive hairy leaves. Would make an excellent massed foliage plant as it’s fast growing and lush looking. There is a nature strip around the corner from me, sporting some healthy comfrey plants and they are directly under a tree in full shade.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 47 total)
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