Comfrey

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Nick Dawson
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Comfrey

Postby Nick Dawson » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:49 am

I have tried for two years to germinate Comfrey with total lack of success.Has anybody got any tips?
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Geoff
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Re: Comfrey

Postby Geoff » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:19 pm

Are these seeds you are buying or collecting? I think the best strains of Comfrey are infertile so if you are collecting they may not be viable seeds.
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tracie
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Re: Comfrey

Postby tracie » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:17 pm

The best way I know is to find somebody who has some on their plot and talk to them nicely and see if they will give you a root cutting.

Regards

Tracie
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glallotments
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Re: Comfrey

Postby glallotments » Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:03 pm

We bought a small plant from the herb section of some garden centre or other and now have several large clumps.
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Colin_M
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Re: Comfrey

Postby Colin_M » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:35 pm

Yes, I think buying a sample plant or two is the best way forward (Bocking 14 appears to be the preferred variety).

I think that once you've got it going, it will be your friend for many years to come and you can "harvest" it 2-3 times a year.
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tracie
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Re: Comfrey

Postby tracie » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:46 pm

Yes bocking 14 is the one I have and you can get 3 good harvests a year.

I usually cut the first 2 loads down and lay the first lot under the rasberry canes . The second lot I put beneath my outdoor toms. It rots down very quickly, adding nutrition and a mulch at the same time.

The last lot I cut down and put into some brewing buckets, cover with water and a lid and leave all winter, then in the spring I decant into milk containers and use as fertliser
Fantastic garden plant,

Tracie
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Johnboy
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Re: Comfrey

Postby Johnboy » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:10 am

Lawrence Hills released Bocking 4 and Bocking 14 strains to the general public. Bocking 4 is invasive and sets seed but Bocking 14 will not set seeds normal in the UK and is therefore the better of the two for growing in a garden where it can be controlled. Bocking 14 is best propagated by Root Scions. I have no idea why they call, what amount to divisions, Root Scions
The Bluey/Mauve flowered Comfrey that you see on the roadside in this area is escaped Bocking 4. There is one bend on the river Teme where you could harvest about 20 tons of it about 5 times a year. There are literally thousands of plants covering about 5 or more acres.
JB.
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Geoff
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Re: Comfrey

Postby Geoff » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:11 am

The Comfrey I grow I was given as Bocking 14. It flowers but there is no evidence that it seeds so is it likely to be what I think it is / how can I tell?
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The Mouse
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Re: Comfrey

Postby The Mouse » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:39 am

If you tell us where you are, Nick - perhaps add a location to your profile - there might be one of us near enough to you to give you some comfrey plants! :)
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Johnboy
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Re: Comfrey

Postby Johnboy » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:58 pm

Hi Geoff,
There have been reports in the past that under the influence of the mediterranean weather system Bocking 14 will set seed.
I took some of my Bocking 14 to France and it did produce some seed when it has never done so for me here. Even then it did produce further plants but was in no way invasive. Bocking 4 every now and then seems to explode in population but even then not every year.
JB.
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glallotments
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Re: Comfrey

Postby glallotments » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:23 am

tracie wrote:Yes bocking 14 is the one I have and you can get 3 good harvests a year.

I usually cut the first 2 loads down and lay the first lot under the rasberry canes . The second lot I put beneath my outdoor toms. It rots down very quickly, adding nutrition and a mulch at the same time.

The last lot I cut down and put into some brewing buckets, cover with water and a lid and leave all winter, then in the spring I decant into milk containers and use as fertliser
Fantastic garden plant,

Tracie


We use the dry press method - not as smelly!
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Nick Dawson
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Re: Comfrey

Postby Nick Dawson » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:18 pm

Thank you everybody for all the info. I live in Southern Brittany with a South-facing plot. The seeds that I tried, and failed, with were in fact from one of the top British seed companies!! How exactly does one take a root cutting ?
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The Mouse
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Re: Comfrey

Postby The Mouse » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:10 pm

South Brittany?
Hmmm, if you don't mind paying the fare, I could bring you some over! :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Comfrey

Postby RobBob » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:44 pm

Johnboy wrote:Lawrence Hills released Bocking 4 and Bocking 14 strains to the general public. Bocking 4 is invasive and sets seed but Bocking 14 will not set seeds normal in the UK and is therefore the better of the two for growing in a garden where it can be controlled. Bocking 14 is best propagated by Root Scions. I have no idea why they call, what amount to divisions, Root Scions
The Bluey/Mauve flowered Comfrey that you see on the roadside in this area is escaped Bocking 4. There is one bend on the river Teme where you could harvest about 20 tons of it about 5 times a year. There are literally thousands of plants covering about 5 or more acres.
JB.



Hello Johnboy,

I'm struggling to find anyone in the uk who sells comfery bocking 4. I don't know Hertfordshire well, could you tell me where the nearest village is to the bend in the river Teme that you speak of in this forum where I could dig up a small amount of root to plant back in Wales. I guess on that note also what the law is on digging root - I know foraging is fine when it is above ground, but don't know about below. Do you know who owns the land? I'd happily buy it if I could, maybe donate to a local charity if I couldn't find the owner?

Bocking 4 is meant to be better for feeding to animals which is why I'd like to start growing it over bocking 14.

Thanks,
Bob

PS: I've never been part of a forum so I'm not sure how this works, hopefully with quoting you, you'll be notified and you'll see this.
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Johnboy
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Re: Comfrey

Postby Johnboy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:53 pm

Hi Bob,
I will send you private message later on tonight. Being new to the forum you will not know the existence of the ins and outs of private messages but the notification shows when the letter symbol at the top right of the screen has red tick.
Till then,
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