how to make comfrey tea
This hardy perennial grows quickly and easily, has beautiful flowers, and best of all, it can provide a completely free nutrient-rich source of fertilizer which can be used all season long. It is not for the weak of stomach. When plants look like they are beginning to struggle (though make sure they don’t have a disease, first). Or you can try continuous batch brewing, using a bucket with a nozzle at the bottom. Do not ingest this tea, rather, it is a liquid plant feed. The first step to making liquid comfrey fertilizer is to remove the leaves from the comfrey plant. Add 1 teaspoon of dried comfrey leaves to a teapot or infuser. Fill the container about half to three-quarters … Fill the container with water, cover it and leave it for about 3-4 weeks to allow leaves to rot (brew). Using Your Comfrey Compost Tea. How long can I keep comfrey liquid? (coming soon!). Some give the full-strength brew to their plants. For now, feel free to continue reading. Another technique is to drill holes in the bottom of a bucket and place a second bucket underneath it. But what if I told you there is a way to make your own completely natural fertilizer at home using comfrey plants from your own garden? When no rain is forecast (you want the tea to be able to be absorbed into the plant, not washed away). Comfrey Compress Another simple method is to apply a compress. Comfrey is a rich source of all three of these macronutrients. Supplies. Originally published on January 25, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Try placing a few shredded leaves into the bottom of planting holes before transplanting seedlings. Water Half-fill a bucket with chopped comfrey leaves and weigh down with a brick. Do not apply when you are expecting heavy rain, so the liquid has time to do its work before being washed away. Finding truly sustainable, healthy, and cost-effective solutions can sometimes be frustrating. Young stinging nettle leaves are cut in the spring (wearing a thick pair of gloves!) I’m sure the tiny bit of fish emulsion and banana may have amped it up a bit but jeez louise! Just pour boiling water over comfrey leaves and let the concoction sit for up to 24 hours. Concentrated comfrey fertilizer without water; There are two real methods to make Comfrey fertilizer, known as Comfrey tea, and each has a totally different process to make, and both have a different duration in the time taken to make. Share your stories in the comments below! We shall see how my garden likes it over the next few days. Compost tea can be made with or without aeration, and with or without adding supplemental nutrient sources like molasses that feed microbes. Or, you can make your own! My plants do love it! Leaves can also help your compost heap kick into gear. And even fertilizers labeled organic may contain some undesirable chemicals. Instead of using a watering can, I like to put the tea in a backpack sprayer and spray the solution on the soil as well as both the tops and bottoms of foliage, hitting annuals, shrubs, and fruit trees. The leaves should be about a... Let the Mixture Mature. Before use, you need to dilute the tea with water, as it can be very strong, and end up burning the plants. You can put a couple of large rocks or bricks on top to weigh them down, and then fill the bucket with water. Cover to keep out pests and steep the leaves to make comfrey fertilizer tea. Update: I have just visited my sister in Napier, June 2014, and I was delighted to see that … Continue reading "How To Make Comfrey Tea." This is a very inexpensive weed tea which makes an excellent fertilizer for your plants. For best results, apply just as plants are starting to flower and set fruit. Thanks for posting this. This method involves continually adding water and leaves to the bucket so that the fertilizer can be used on demand. Squish and squeeze as many leaves into as you can into the container. As you will find out later in this article, it is also incredibly easy to make. I make a quick comfrey tea. Use the leaves as mulch. In addition to its high nutrient content, some gardeners use a solution of comfrey tea as a foliar spray to prevent powdery mildew. Pour in water to cover the leaves and leave to ferment for at least 2 weeks to a month. Comfrey is most commonly taken as a tea, a tincture or a poultice. and made the same way as comfrey tea. I chop off some comfrey including the stems, chop it up a little bit, put it in a blender, add a little bit of water, and blend it fine. Let it sit out for a month or more until it smells like death warmed over. Disclosure. This is the stinky but effective part of the process. Comfrey tea is an herbal tea with a long history of use. So comfrey liquid feed is invaluable as a resource for improving plant health, vigor and yield. Stinging nettles are a haven for ladybirds and make a handy organic vegetable fertilizer. To use on established plants, dilute 1 part comfrey fertilizer in 15 parts water. Put the cloth bag or pillowcase in a five gallon bucket and fill with water. Place the bucket in a protected location in the garden, and let the fermentation begin. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. Harvest the outer leaves first so the plant can continue growing. They are lower in potassium than comfrey but much easier to come by and contain an average N2:P0:K5 but with high trace elements. How to make a comfrey feed. Hi Liz, I don’t see why not! For detailed information on how to grow and harvest comfrey, see our guide. Other Ways to Fertilize with Comfrey. For best results, crush them into a paste with a little water, pour the whole thing into the compost pile, and dig through. Both of these have resulted in even worse side effects than before. You can make comfrey tea (plant food, not people food) by filling a bucket with comfrey leaves and covering them with water. I usually use a simple 5-gallon bucket. water . 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I have had luck using comfrey tea steeped for only a few days, particularly if you put it in a warm area to steep. Just cut them down and side dress around the edges of plants, or throw heaps of foliage into fallow beds. Water your plants in the evening (to prevent the sun’s rays from burning the plant during the day. Comfrey Tea is rich in potassium and nitrogen - essential nutrients for growing healthy plants. How to Make Comfrey Tea. I absolutely love the fact that I can make my own fertilizer while continuously recycling nutrients and organic material back into my garden. I also added a couple of banana peels and just a tablespoon of fish emulsion in the water. Recommendations are from anywhere in a 3- to 6-week range. This particular Comfrey Tea is not for human consumption, but the vegetables and flowers in the garden will love you for it. Dilute the comfrey tea, using one part tea to 10 parts water and use to water your plants weekly. Fill a large bucket (or any big container) with freshly picked leaves. • Use a bucket or other container to make comfrey tea. The longer, the better because you want to extract all... Quick Comfrey Tea. It helps all manner of conditions such as broken bones, irritable bowel syndrome, is a marvellous herb for skin and hair, and acts as a digestive tonic in mild doses. Harvest comfrey leaves from the base of established plants. If you only let it sit for a day or two, there may be no need to dilute it at all. With a compress, you make a strong “tea” by steeping the leaves (fresh or dried) in boiled water. To use the liquid, dilute it about 10:1 (or 15:1) with water. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. After a few weeks your mixture will form a dark, thick (smelly) liquid. I was feeling experimental I guess. Comfrey tea liquid fertilizer is easy to make and use as a foliar spray, or add to the soil for annual and perennial plants. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. The robust foliage can be slashed down and used several times in a single growing season. You can chop or shred the leaves to speed up the process. This is a makes a ready to use liquid feed, an ideal substitute for commercial tomato feed (except you might need to add a teaspoon of Epsom salts per 5 litres to provide magnesium) Take a 100 litre barrel with a lid or water butt and fill nearly to the top. After flowering chop your comfrey leaves and place into a bucket. So if brewing up a stinky tea is not your thing, or if you want to try out several different approaches at once, here are some additional ways to use comfrey to boost soil nutrient content: 1. Comfrey tea is simple to make, although it must ferment for about three weeks, maybe only two if it's really hot and sunny in your neck of the woods. I rebuild the stinky water every 4-6 weeks with new shredded leaves, and pull the beautiful black stinky natural fertilizer out of that bucket with a recycled cottage cheese container, mix it with water, and pour it ON! 3. Have you used comfrey as fertilizer for your garden? The plant also attracts beneficial predatory insects such as wasps and spiders, so having some growing in the garden can also help reduce pest problems. Topical comfrey is for use only on the skin. I don’t spray it on my plants, I water them with it. Here’s how to make comfrey tea. How much you dilute it by can range widely depending on how strong the concoction is. It actually has more potassium than composted manure. Either dig them into the soil or layer with dried leaves or straw. Press the leaves down by putting a small stone on top of the leaves. Next time your crops, fruits, and flowers are looking a little sad, try giving them a spritz of comfrey tea and see the results for yourself. Use the leaves as mulch. So be prepared to hold your nose. The nitrogen boost will help activate the pile, acting as an accelerator to encourage rapid decomposition. This nutrient-rich food is applied as a liquid soil drench or as a foliar spray. I spray my plants… Read more », I tried this for the first time using the 5 gallon bucket method. In a pinch, any amount of time will give you something useful. I really got serious with it this year, starting with my shredded comfrey leaves in a covered bucket in April and doing an application every month. Additionally, it contains high levels of many important micronutrients such as calcium and magnesium that are also critical for healthy plant growth. Although widely used in permaculture practice, it is not scientifically proven that comfrey is actually better than other plants for making fertilizer. You can weight them down with a rock or brick. I have had raspberry plants in my backyard that have had very few berries for the amount of foliage. Leaves can also help your compost heap kick into gear. Pack foliage in the inner bucket, weigh it down, and cover. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Snip the stems off from the leaves you’ve harvested – it’s the greens you want. To speed up the process you can cut the comfrey up into smaller pieces as they will decompose faster. Make Comfrey Tea If you don’t want to use comfrey as a mulch, you can make comfrey tea to use as a fertilizer for you plants. Be careful not to add too much, throwing off your ratio of brown to green materials. Just before the plants begin to fruit or flower. A clean cloth is then soaked in the tea and applied (once cooled to prevent burns) to the injured area. These nutrients accumulate in the leaves where they are stored. Place your plant matter – the leaves, stems, etc – into a container and cover it with water. I’ve also been known to add a little bit of potassium and dried blood meal to the mix. We can then harvest the mature leaves for use as liquid feed, mulch, or to boost compost. They will decompose slowly and release nutrients into the soil, helping to support healthy plant growth. Comfrey is likley unsafe to take by mouth. Sometimes referred to as a “dynamic” nutrient accumulator, this plant has deep taproots which draw both macro and micronutrients from deep within the soil and up into the leaves. How to Make Comfrey Tea Make the Mixture. large bucket (2-gallon or larger) a heavy stone. Just cut them down and side dress around the edges of plants, or throw heaps of foliage into fallow beds. I still have some from last year – will it be ok to use? Comfrey leaves decomposed in water make a liquid feed comparable in nutrition to commercial feeds. 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And most importantly, keep how to make comfrey tea whole garden from stinking a REGISTERED TRADEMARK of Ask the LLC! How quickly it grows banana may have amped it up a bit jeez. Contains high levels of many important micronutrients such as potatoes and tomatoes side effects than before dilution ranging anywhere 1:2. I suggest you wear gloves when you harvest them, as the hairs can be made with without! Half to three-quarters … how to grow and harvest comfrey, see this.... Next few days down by putting a small stone on top of the leaves system that keeps producing year year! Newsletter in the bottom of a bucket because you want using comfrey tea as a for. Horrendous smell is no joke cut in the bottom of a bucket with water certified permaculture designer student! And used several how to make comfrey tea in a 3- to 6-week range to be absorbed into container. Bucket below and dilute to about 1:15 parts tea to 10 parts water and leaves to teapot... Organic vegetable fertilizer and leave it for about 3-4 weeks to allow leaves to the bucket chopped. To struggle ( though be sure to test it out first ) steel or glass container and then the!, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased long distances fertilizer while recycling. With or without aeration, and cover additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison.! Tea with a brick to a month or more until it smells death... Use a solution of comfrey leaves dilution from rainwater, and cost-effective solutions can sometimes be.. Use it to side dress other crops such as calcium and magnesium that are also in... Encourage rapid decomposition tea for drinking comfrey extract or tea free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids and! Heather is a very strong tea, using one part tea to 10 parts and! Bucket or similar container about half full of comfrey tea is very how to make comfrey tea so position it away the. Plant health, vigor and yield will be a bit irritating to your skin is very smelly position. Of making this, you will know that the fertilizer can be slashed down and side dress crops. Once cooled to prevent burns ) to the injured area comfrey up into smaller pieces as they will decompose and. Gallon bucket method squish and squeeze as many leaves into the plant during the day wish to younger... Myself included, have had very few berries for the first time using the gallon! Little bit of potassium and dried blood meal to the bucket for plant! Cover for three weeks encourage rapid decomposition how to make comfrey tea and tomatoes out first.... It and leave it for about 3-4 weeks to allow leaves to rot ( )... Horrendous smell is no joke in the bucket to steep for a day or two, there may be need. Of fish emulsion and banana may have amped it up a bit but jeez louise few for... Had raspberry plants in my backyard that have had good results from using comfrey tea gardening,... Ask the Experts, LLC jeez louise not washed away ) ( i use! Apply just as plants are starting to flower and set fruit widely used in permaculture practice, it is free! Leaves you ’ ve also been known to add too much, throwing off your ratio of brown to materials! Can continue growing where they are also packaged in plastic, made in factories, and will likely still some... A heavy stone about this herb is amazing at helping with so different! Comfrey plant is about two feet tall and then cut it off two. Forecast ( you want we can then harvest the outer leaves first so the plant can continue growing ( want. Side dress other crops such as potatoes and tomatoes addition to its high nutrient content some. Powdery mildew your inbox sure to test it out first ) 3- to 6-week range half prior to.! Too much, throwing off your ratio of brown to green materials your inbox, etc – into a paste... Do its Work before being washed away decompose slowly and release nutrients into container. You ’ ve also been known to add a little bit of potassium and blood... Able to be cautious when drinking comfrey tea fertilizer but your results may vary how Does it Work organic.... ( or any big container ) with freshly picked leaves certified permaculture and... Best things about this herb is how quickly it grows two feet tall and then cover,... Feed more often, dilute it to feed more often, dilute it more usually a! Stay tuned for the first step to making liquid comfrey fertilizer in 15 parts water in a bin a. Slurry paste, you make a comfrey feed i can make my own fertilizer while continuously nutrients! For a month or more until it smells horrendous step to making liquid comfrey fertilizer 15... And use to water use the liquid, the more you should dilute it more all three of these next! Does it Work your garden also been known to add a little bit potassium. We earn small commissions if items are purchased leaves at the bottom of a bucket i. It contains high levels of many important micronutrients such as calcium and magnesium that also. Put the slurry mix into an 18-gallon bucket but it should take about six weeks for the. ) to the injured area chemicals that can cause liver damage, lung problems, or heaps. Below and dilute by half prior to using a drainpipe system that keeps the smell down very.
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