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Comfrey taking over...

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by Mel on July 13, 2004 10:16 PM
I'm renting a house with a sizable yard and the tenants before me planted some [Big Grin] comfrey... There are four different areas where I have huge comfrey mounds (one of the plants is about six feet across)... Digging it out only seems to have encouraged it... [Eek!] I would like to remove a few of the plants - how do I keep them from coming back?
by obywan59 on July 14, 2004 06:13 AM
I have the same problem. I had an entire bank of comfrey that I would cut once or twice a season as I had it makes excellent compost.
Now, though I have daylilies on that bank, and the old comfrey roots keep resprouting and trying to take over. So, this spring, I dug out all the roots I could find, layed black plastic (cutting holes for the daylilies to come through and covered the plastic with mulch. Now, I periodically walk through the bed looking for any comfrey shoots trying to come up next to the daylilies and I pull them up as I see them. They seem to be weakening. I just need to keep up the pulling till they run out of energy.

If you don't have other plants to worry about, just cover them with a solid sheet of plastic and mulch them to keep the plastic from deteriorating. Otherwise, the plastic may start to break down after a season and you'll have a big mess. It might take a couple of seasons or so till the comfrey dies out.

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May the force be with you
by weezie13 on July 14, 2004 06:19 AM
Well Mel, you go to China and start digging the
(BIG SMILE [grin] AND A WINK~WINK [Wink] [Wink] )
I am just joking I promise!!!

I know exactly what you are talking about.
My brother gave me a clump of it *and I had to put it in two places because I thought it was so pretty, and he didn't know what it was, but his exact words were, "It grows real good for me" should have been my first and only clue NOT to take it from him if it grew for HIM! [Frown]

I have to say, my clumps were small and after I figured out they were quite hardy to say the least and I wanted them gone, I pulled the leaves or now I cut them with my pruners as the there's tiny little hairs in the stems and undersides of the leaves that will stick into your skin and hurt.
The more I cut their leaves the more they are intent for me anyways, just to replenish new leaves for it's self where it is, I haven't had too much of it rooting in directions to the left or right *I thought it had a big tap root and goes staight down, and hence not a side shooter or runner*
It is just staying a managable size, or declining slowly, the more energy it puts into trying to re~grow some more leaves it wastes energy because I keep cutting them off, and it's hard for a plant to give it's self nutrition when it's leaves are continuously cut off...
Does that make sense??
*I am a rotten explainer sometimes*
I also don't give it water unless it rains...
and no fertilizer either!!! And one clump I pulled all the leaves on, dug a hole and put in another plant I knew was hardy but not too brute like for the rest of the garden, and I only foliar feed that plant and keep nipping the new leaves as they shoot up.
And it's not doing too bad of a job!

How is yours located???
Is it by it's self???
You could cut it off at or attempt to get a bit of it below the dirt line and cut into that....
Put some X's in it with a shovel or trowel.....
Pour some boiling water into it, some salt and some strong vinegar, and then put some card board over that, heavy layers, a plastic tarp over that, and a brick on top of that, especially right where it was coming out...
I'd wait a season at least and that should get it to die out!

I know it's supposed to be a usefull herb and all, I think I would have a bigger heart for it if I'd of gotten the purple variety, but I got the white color!!

Hope some of this info helps!!
Hopefully some one else will be by with a bit more help as well!!!
And please keep us posted on how you make out with the plant!!!


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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Ginger B. on July 26, 2004 04:15 AM
Has anyone got comfrey plants they are willing to send me? I will pay postage. I have had a terrible time trying to find some for over a year now. Please let me know, e-mail me privately if you have extra PLEASE.

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Our NaturesTouch Farm, Fresh Eggs,
Natures perfect food, enjoy them every day, Ginger

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