• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Mike Haasl
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Kate Downham
  • Jay Angler
  • thomas rubino

How long will comfrey tea last?

 
gardener
Posts: 1847
Location: Southern Illinois
326
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello,

I have 6 comfrey plants that are quite healthy.  I occasionally fertilize them with urine and they are growing like mad.  I need to cut them down as they are starting to bud out.

At this point, my garden is nicely fertile, but earlier this spring some of my new wood chip garden beds still needed some extra fertility.  I did add comfrey via chop & drop but that was not exactly a quick fertility boost.  At the time I wished I had comfrey extract/tea to spray on my newly emerging veggies.  A goal I have for next year is to need no fertilizer of any kind that does not originate from my own land.  

With this in mind I did think about the merits of comfrey tea, but from what I have read, comfrey tea takes some time to brew up, and as I needed this in early spring I did not have time to either grow it or brew it.  I was thinking that for next year I could brew some in advance and let it sit over winter.  However I am afraid that letting it sit for months would give my s moldy, anaerobic mess.  Does anyone know of a way to prepare comfrey tea in advance or is there a better way to utilize comfrey early in the season?  I will/am applying cut comfrey to my beds check d a regular basis, but if there is a better approach, I would love to hear.

Thanks in advance,

Eric
 
pollinator
Posts: 69
Location: Alekovo near Svishtov, Bulgaria
32
dog duck chicken cooking pig sheep
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We make our comfrey tea in 120 litre batch.... "cook it" for 2 weeks, then use it throughout the garden everywhere, then make a fresh batch up.  We skim the maggots/larvae off of the top for the birds as well as it is brewing, and the like that.  We have comfrey all over our property and cop and drop throughout the year, from first flush in March through to dying on the plant in late autumn.  Has done us well for 4 years and as a mulch it has proven to be invaluable too.

Best of luck.
 
gardener
Posts: 6581
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1218
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Any tea once brewed has a shelf life and most are only 4 weeks if kept at 38 f.

For longer term storage it is best to dry the components of the tea and vacuum bag those in single brew quantities.

Redhawk
 
pollinator
Posts: 252
Location: Basque Country, Spain-43N lat-Köppen Cfb-Zone8b-1035mm/41" rain: 118mm/5" Dec., 48mm/2" July
79
purity personal care books cooking food preservation writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hau, RedHawk. Have you actually done this with comfrey, or would you recommend trying? In other words, drying leaves in the fall and storing them up to have ready to make comfrey tea in the spring, before the plant has come back for the year? Do you think this would be a good fertilizer/mineral supplement? As effective, or close, as using fresh leaf?

Also Eric, I'm interested in your comfrey management... you say,

I need to cut [my comfrey plants down] as they are starting to bud out



I don't manage my comfrey plants at all, except to harvest, which I do whenever the spirit moves me. And of course the flowers attact pollinators like crazy, so I like it to be in flower. What is the idea behind whacking them back at the blooming stage?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1445
Location: 4b
308
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I tried it once.  It's one of the most vile things I've ever smelled.  Now I chop and drop comfrey where I need it.  I'll never make it again.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 6581
Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
1218
hugelkultur dog forest garden duck fish fungi hunting books chicken writing homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
hau Dave,  Yes I dry the comfrey plants (stalk and leaves) and vacuum pack them for spring time use.
I do chop and drop as well but I give some of the plants time to grow for harvesting for tea.

One of the best ways I have found to use it is to spray the root area of my fruit trees just before I lay down a new mulch layer, I have done the same this year to our vegetable areas and it seems to be helping.
The one area I didn't spray with the tea was where we planted the zucchini , which are now wiped out by the dang squash beetles that hit us harder than ever this year.
I will be trying a few different tea sprays to see if I can find a formula that will at least chase the buggers off and make them not want to comeback.

As far as if it is as good as fresh leaves; It is my opinion that by drying the leaves the active components become more concentrated, so by using the same measure of dried leaves I get a stronger tea than if they were fresh leaves.
This is something I am investigating over this and next year to be able to come to some validated conclusions.

Redhawk
 
Posts: 15
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For longer term storage have you considered making FPJ Fermented Plant Juice using the Korean Natural Farming method. I have no direct experience but am planning on using it later this year with my comfrey. From what I understand it can be used the same way as comfrey tea but it is a bit more stable once fermentation stops.  Just thought I would add this in case others might have used that method.
 
pioneer & author
Posts: 145
Location: Hessle, North Yorkshire, England, Uk
28
goat monies forest garden fungi trees books cooking writing
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Hi Mr Hanson,

Have you tried using the extraction method where you take a container with a hole in the bottom (and cut off from UV rays), press in a pile of comfrey leaves, cover then place the container on some bricks and put a collection container underneath ?
 
That new kid is a freak. Show him this tiny ad:
Exciting Updates to Dailyish Freebies!!!!
https://permies.com/t/135568/Exciting-Updates-Dailyish-Freebies
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!