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Comfrey pro tip

 
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I initially learned this from the edible acres YouTube channel a few years ago, and I've been using it ever since. If you have an area where you are using comfrey to fertilize and keep weeds down, you may not want to cut it. People also like to let it grow for the much-loved-by-bees flowers. Problem is, if comfrey gets too tall and isn't growing near something for support, it tips over. The solution to the problem is to lean it in the direction you would like it to go, and step on it in that direction, right at the base. When you break the stems off this way, the plant will regrow brand new sprouts from the base. Meanwhile the large stalks that you broke will keep the flowers alive for some time and the stalks stay green and suppress weeds for much longer before they rot. I did an area tonight around an apple tree. I'm not sure how well it will show up, there is a riot of plants around the tree, but hopefully you can see what I did. I'll try to remember to take another picture in a week or so showing the regrowth and the old stalks.
20200706_203507.jpg
 Stomped comfrey
Stomped comfrey
20200706_203510.jpg
More stomped comfrey
More stomped comfrey
 
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I planted over 10 comfrey plant and only 1 survived and is about two feet tall.  had purple flowers.
 
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Trace, how tall did it get?  Was it leaning?

I have a number of my comfrey plants on steep hills; I'm hoping to stabilize the soil.  It never occurred to me that they could fall over!  But it's good to know there's another solution if one doesn't want to cut it off while it's blooming.
 
Trace Oswald
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Anne Pratt wrote:Trace, how tall did it get?  Was it leaning?

I have a number of my comfrey plants on steep hills; I'm hoping to stabilize the soil.  It never occurred to me that they could fall over!  But it's good to know there's another solution if one doesn't want to cut it off while it's blooming.



Mine will get 5 feet or so before they tip over. They usually go out to all sides and make a big circle outwards from the spot the stalks come out of the ground.

I took a couple more pictures. One is new stalks coming up from a plant I stomped down about a week ago. The other shows new stalks coming up one day after being stepped on.


20200707_190740.jpg
New stalks a few days old
New stalks a few days old
20200707_190649.jpg
New stalks after one day
New stalks after one day
 
Trace Oswald
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Michael Moreken wrote:I planted over 10 comfrey plant and only 1 survived and is about two feet tall.  had purple flowers.



I'm sorry to hear that. It always surprises me to hear that someone had trouble growing them. They are the easiest, most trouble free plants I have.
 
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