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Michelle Heath

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since Feb 26, 2012
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Recent posts by Michelle Heath

A few months ago I planted the cuttings from last year and had a few root pieces to break off.  As an experiment, I cut those roots into 1/4" to 2" pieces.  Nearly everyone has put up new leaves.  Now I personally would not recommend someone just starting out with comfrey to make 1/4" cuttings, but it was a good experiment.  
2 years ago
My husband and I make a living selling used items at flea markets.  We regularly shop at thrift stores and yard sales for our inventory and a few years ago we ran across a lady who had lost her job and was having yard sales at her home every week to make ends meet.  On our fourth or fifth visit she admitted that most of the items she sold were from dumpster diving at Goodwill and other thrift stores.  In most instances, the items were in pristine condition.  She was happy to sell to us and we were happy to buy, knowing that we had gotten a good deal and that we were helping a friend in need.

We did dumpster dive a few times with some success.  I would drop my husband off at the dumpster and park at the fast food restaurant next door.  On our last dive, the restaurant employees were taking turns watching the dude in the dumpster and we figured the cops were going to show up.  Of course we are not shy about helping ourselves to curbside garbage either.  I always score a supply of plastic pots and seedling trays every year.  A few years ago we found two fairly new push mowers with minor problems.  My husband fixed them, sold one, used the other one for a year and sold it too!  Of course my favorite road side find was a week ago, when we found four huge hanging baskets of petunias just in time for Mother's Day.  There's a greenhouse near the spot where we found them and we assume that they fell off their truck negotiating a sharp curve.
2 years ago
If you look on YouTube, Jack Spirko has a video on propagating comfrey from root cuttings.  My internet is incredibly slow right now, but I'll try and post the link later.
2 years ago

Eric Hanson wrote:Todd,

Yes, I do believe that I have been bitten by the Comfrey Bug and I have big plans even though I only have two viable plants (for the moment anyway).  Given that I am planting them on the outside edge, will they be sending shoots into the garden or does that happen if I break roots when trying to propagate, etc,?



In my experience the comfrey just produces a big clump.  It's the pieces of root that are left behind that sprout into new plants.  You could probably dig up one of your new plants next year, replant the crown, and cut the remaining roots into 1-2" cuttings to increase the number of plants.
2 years ago
I have "accidental" comfrey coming up just about everywhere I sat a pot of cuttings to root.  I assume it is the seeding variety as I originally bought one pot at a small flea market a few years ago.  I divided it in its second year and put the divisions into pots.  When the pots were later moved, the pieces of root left behind formed new plants.  I leave most where they are at but dig up some to give away and make cuttings.  Last year at this time, it took leaves from all my plants to fill a five-gallon bucket to make tea.  Yesterday I started my first batch of comfrey tea and still have enough leaves and stems left to make another batch, so the plants have definitely increased!

I also purchased cuttings of bocking 4 last year and started them in a very deep and long window box with intention of getting them in the ground as soon as the plants were big enough.  Well life, hot weather and many other issues got in the way and I never got them planted.  About a month ago I separated them and ended up breaking a handful of roots off while trying to untangle them.  I just cut those roots into pieces and replanted them.  I already have three nice-sized plants already coming up from those roots plus three or four plants coming up from roots that broke off in the ground.  So really once you get it established, it's possible to propagate just about all you need.
2 years ago
I'm planning to incorporate chicken litter in with my wood chips, but would it hurt to add some blood meal too to speed up decomposition?  Also in the event that someone doesn't have access to chicken manure, would blood meal be a good alternative?
2 years ago
Sure!  I'm in zone 5b so it will be interesting to compare the growth rate and flowering time.  
2 years ago
I got them from a gardening friend who lives nearby.  The person she got her start from said that they were an improved variety from LSU's breeding program.
2 years ago
I will definitely be watching this post.  I acquired a few tubers and will be potting them soon.  My plan is to let about half of them get established and use the other half for propagation.  
2 years ago

Charles Kelm wrote:Hi Nancy - I have purchased Bocking-4 & 14 from you before (darn chickens got it though before it had a chance).  My friend has a bunch of comfrey in his back yard.  I want to take some from him if it's not the true comfrey.  How can I tell if it's true comfrey or a Bocking variety?  It's too early to tell from flowers.  Are the roots any different?  Leaves?  Thank you.



I was wondering the same thing.  I have a patch of what I assume is true comfrey yet it hasn't seemed to spread other than by root.  Also planted cuttings of blocking 4 and 14 in large pots last year since I was staying away from home and when I brought them back, the tags on three of the four pots got lost.  So I have two pots of bocking 14 and one of bocking 4 that need transplanted and not sure which is which.
2 years ago