We are always keen to find natural/organic ways that help to grow produce in a sustainable manner. And one of those natural ways is by making your own liquid feed/fertiliser from the herb Comfrey (Borage is equally great for this too).
Liquid fertilisers are a great way to nourish your plants – they provide nutrients in a readily available form, so they’re quickly absorbed by plants’ roots.
You can buy chemical fertilisers at the garden centre, but by making your own using Comfrey leaves, you’ll have a steady supply of organic, nutrient-rich feed for free.
Comfrey has very deep roots, which means it extracts large quantities of nutrients from far below the soil’s surface, inaccessible to other plants. These nutrients are stored in its leaves. By harvesting the leaves and letting them break down, you’ll have a rich, dark, nutrient-rich plant food to use around the garden. It’s especially rich in potassium, making it the ideal feed to promote flowers and fruits in a range of plants, including tomatoes.
Comfrey is very much a super plant around the garden:
Mulch: Leaves can be cut and left to wilt for a couple of days before piling them around hungry plants such as potatoes and tomatoes as a thick mulch.
Dig in: Wilted leaves can be dug into the ground that is being prepared for a new crop and will break down to give an excellent feed.
Potting Soil: Comfrey leaves can be shredded and mixed with leaf-mould to produce a balanced soil for plants in pots, although it is a little strong for young seedlings.
Compost Activator: Adding high-nitrogen sources is a great way to boost ‘hot-composting’ if you have the right balance of green and brown shredded material. Comfrey, being high in nitrogen, is ideal for this and should be well combined with the whole mixture rather than adding it as a layer.
Here are the steps to make a Comfrey liquid fertiliser/feed:
- Harvest comfrey leaves from the base of established plants. The hairy leaves can irritate the skin, so wear gloves if necessary.
- Remove flowers and tough stems, then chop up the leaves and pack them tightly into a water-tight container. If possible, choose a container with a lid, as the solution can smell as the leaves break down. Use a brick to weigh down the leaves.
- Check on the progress every few weeks. The leaves will break down gradually, releasing a smelly brown liquid. Collect any liquid, storing it in a cool, dark place. Top up with fresh leaves.
- Dilute the collected liquid at a rate of one part comfrey to 10 parts water – the darker it is, the more you’ll need to dilute it. Use the solution as a potassium-rich liquid fertiliser to encourage flowers and fruit set.
The above process can also be used with Borage.
Buy Comfrey [HERE]
Buy Borage [HERE]