comfreyComfrey is a forgotten hero of the gardening world. It has a higher fertilizer analysis than most animal manures and compost. It has a tap root that goes metres into the earth and drags up minerals. I grow it at the edge of my bed as it is very good at suppressing weed and as a barrier to couch grass.

No rash or itching from comfrey on me

Most articles I have read state that it causes rashes and itching if it contacts bare flesh. I must be immune as it doesn’t worry me at all. Either that or most articles are copied by people who have never touched comfrey or had the personal experience of growing it.

WheelbarrowComfreyThe easiest way I have found to use comfrey is to shove it into a 200 litre barrel three quarters filled with water and let it sit for a few weeks with an occassional stir. A piece of electrical conduit makes a perfect stirring rod. I pulled up the wheelbarrow load and shoved it into the drum with no covering on my hands or arms. The comfrey grows quickly in the hot and wet summer here and the drum gets a wheelbarrow load every month to six weeks.

jiggle SiphonAfter letting the comfrey break down in the barrel for some time, you have to get it out. I purchased a  jiggle siphon from Supercheap for $11. It was too short so I got a 13mm dripper irrigation barb joiner and added a bit of old hose.

This made the hose long enough so that when the water level dropped, I could lower it further into the barrel and stop it from getting blocked by all the comfrey still breaking down in the barrel.

Comfrey is bullet proof and easy to grow and all you need to do is to dig it up or cut it in half with a spade. Leave half where it is and transplant the other half. It is like sweet potato, once you have it, you have it for life as it is practically impossible to kill.

Siphon comfrey tea from a barrel

Siphoning Comfrey Tea

I have comfrey growing in a number of locations. Where it is irrigated it grows all year round. In the dry season (winter in Brisbane) the comfrey disappears where it is not irrigated. As soon as the rain starts, it magically appears again.