days to maturity: 70 days
plant spacing: 1 plant per 2 square feet
sunlight requirements: 8-14 hours
look out for: mealy bugs at the base of plant
harvest notes: harvest leaves from base as needed
Comfrey species are important and useful herbs in organic gardening. It is used as a fertilizer and as an herbal medicine. The leaves can be made into a compost tea, and also used fresh as a “poultice” to help heal the skin. Comfrey tends to die back when stressed so you may one day find it suddenly missing from your garden however it has a hardy root crown and will spring forth from the ground when conditions are suitable once again. We have a handful of comfrey plants in our exhibition garden and they thrive in partial shade with little to no maintenance. Although people have consumed comfrey leaves medicinally over ingestion can lead to liver failure, so we suggest keeping it around for its myriad of non-edible uses. If you have a food forest consider planting multiple comfrey plants as companions to your fruit trees. Comfrey leaves are used as a living fertilizer in a “chop n drop” method where you just harvest the leaves and lay them around your fruit trees allowing them to compost in place and be of use to the trees. Comfrey is a “dynamic accumulator” which means it uses its powerful root system to find and absorb minerals from the soil and store them in its leaves, which is why it makes such a good living mulch/ source of compost. You can start comfrey from seed or take a mature plant and divide its root crown up and plant the pieces, they will all make new plants.