How to make a comfrey feed

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug, May, Sep

Takes just:

20 minutes

Liquid fertilisers are a great way to nourish your plants, providing nutrients in a readily available form, so they're quickly absorbed. There are many chemical fertilisers that will do the job but, by making your own using comfrey leaves, you'll have a steady supply of organic, nutrient-rich feed at little or no cost.

Deep-rooted comfrey can extract large quantities of nutrients from far below the soil's surface, inaccessible to other plants. These nutrients are stored in the leaves. Gardeners can access these nutrients by harvesting the leaves and letting them break down to release a rich, dark, nutrient-rich plant food.

You will need

  • Comfrey leaves
  • A large bucket or tub trug
  • Stone or flag, to weight the leaves down
  • Plastic bottles, such as old milk bottles
  • Watering can

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Harvest comfrey leaves from the base of established plants. The hairy leaves can irritate the skin, so wear gloves if necessary.

Remove flowers and tough stems, then chop up the leaves and pack them tightly into a water-tight container. If possible, choose a container with a lid, as the solution can smell as the leaves break down. Use a brick to weigh down the leaves.

Check on the progress every few weeks. The leaves will break down gradually, releasing a smelly brown liquid. Top up with fresh leaves and collect any liquid, storing it in a cool, dark place.

Dilute the collected liquid at a rate of one part comfrey to 10 parts water - the darker it is, the more you'll need to dilute it. Use the solution as a potassium-rich liquid fertiliser to encourage flowers and fruit set.

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You can also make a liquid feed using the leaves of bracken, clover, groundsel, nettles, borage, chicory and strawberries

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