Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

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mr-cecil
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Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby mr-cecil » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:47 am

I'm told that Comfrey is a wonder plant when it comes to composting, but I also read that it is invasive.
I'd be interested to know what people to do keep it under control.
Do I need box it in with some flag stones or similar?
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Geoff
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby Geoff » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:07 am

It is a bit like Mint in the way it spreads but a simple board restrains it. Be sure to get an infertile Bocking strain to avoid seeding.
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby mr-cecil » Sat Jun 18, 2016 1:13 pm

Good point. That must be why the organic groups recommend bocking 14. I had wondered.

How deep do the roots go?
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby Johnboy » Sat Jun 18, 2016 2:08 pm

Hi Mr Cecil,
You would be advised to buy your first plants of Bocking 14 from a reputable dealer and then through root cuttings spread to the amount of Comfrey you really want.
Do not be tempted to dig any you may find growing in the wild. there are literally thousands of plant araond here where I live and occaisionally I gather the Comfrew before it goes into bloom so no risk of seeds.
I do grow a large quantity of Bocking 14 but there is also some Bocking 4 that has crept into my patch which is the the strain that sets seeds and they are quite hard to tell apart.
Root cuttings are very easy to take but they have really to be taken from mature plants so you want to let anything you buy eastablish for a couple of seasons.
JB.
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mr-cecil
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby mr-cecil » Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:27 pm

I was thinking about getting them from here: http://www.organiccatalogue.com/p1492/C ... _info.html
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:36 pm

No Bocking 14 isn't invasive at all. It has deep roots and broken off bits of root will grow, but it isn't a problem. I got mine from the Organic
gardening catalogue many years ago and it is still going strong. Good stuff.
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mr-cecil
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby mr-cecil » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:36 am

Plumbpudding, maybe it it's not invasive. Maybe the problem is getting rid of it once you have it.
Do you have one permanent bed, or do you move it around?
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Mon Jun 20, 2016 8:15 am

I've had it in a permanent bed - not a huge area, and have made a new row in a different part of the garden . As you say, it might keep sending the odd shoot up from broken bits of root if you want to remove it completely, but if you give it's own space it won't spread all over.
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby Elaine » Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:53 am

I think there are an awful lot of plot holders on our site, who wish they hadn't planted comfrey out on their plots...it's very pretty as well as being magic stuff...
....but oh boy, does it spread. :shock: :shock:

I would like the Bocking 14 but as I wouldn't know one from the other, I'm not going to bother.
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mr-cecil
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby mr-cecil » Thu Jun 23, 2016 10:31 am

I'm thinking I'll box it in with some plastic sheeting that I have.
I've ordered some, so time will tell.
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby Pawty » Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:50 am

[quote="Elaine"]I think there are an awful lot of plot holders on our site, who wish they hadn't planted comfrey out on their plots...it's very pretty as well as being magic stuff...
....but oh boy, does it spread. :shock: :shock:

I'm glad lots of plot holders have it....... It means I don't have to as they're always pleased to give it away :lol:
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby Geoff » Fri Jun 24, 2016 7:14 am

When I built my polytunnel I moved my Comfrey bed. I just dug it up in spade size cubes and put it in a new patch. There was hardly any re-growth in the old area.
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby Johnboy » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:13 pm

Hi Geoff,
You moved your Comfrey sensibly which those who complain about you cannot get rid of it clearly do not.
By the way my latest addition to my home made concoctions is Yarrow. Have established a patch about 30ft square and it has grown very well this year. To be harvested shortly.
JB.
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby mr-cecil » Thu Jun 30, 2016 9:28 pm

I'm thinking of planting mine at the end of my plot where it gets partial shade. ie, this time of year we're talking about 5/6pm, it's in shade, in March or November that would be more like 2pm. Is that going to be a problem?
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Re: Is Comfrey as invasive as some suggest?

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:21 pm

It dies down in winter, so winter shade won't matter, and partial shade in summer will be fine.
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