Fertilizer can make the difference between success and failure in your garden; especially if, like me, you grow an array of fruits and vegetables each year. More nutrients means healthier plants and better yields.
Unfortunately artificial fertilizers can be expensive, heavy to carry and can come with a wealth of safety warnings. In this article, however, we’re going to look at one of my favorite alternatives: comfrey fertilizer. Its organic, its quick and easy to make, costs nothing and yet produces fantastic results. What’s not to like?
Supplies For Making Comfrey Fertilizer
Comfrey fertilizer is so simple to make that very little is needed in the way of equipment. You will, of course, need some comfrey plants to start with. Fortunately comfrey is a vigorous, fast-growing plant which can spread like wildfire in the garden. It is therefore easy to grow from seed, or you may well find that one of your friends is over-run and will gladly give you some unwanted plants.
Besides the comfrey itself you’ll also need a large container (like a trash can) and plenty of water.
Making Your Comfrey Fertilizer
Remove the Leaves
The first step to making liquid comfrey fertilizer is to remove the leaves from the comfrey plant. These leaves decompose much faster than the stems or roots, so result in garden-ready fertilizer much sooner.
Crush or Chop the Leaves
To speed up the decomposition yet further many gardeners opt to chop up the comfrey leaves, or to crush them.
Add Water to the Leaves
Place the crushed leaves into your chosen container and just cover them with water. Over time the leaves will rot down, releasing their nutrients into the water.
Position the Container Correctly
To prevent contamination or unpleasant smells it is a good idea to place a lid over the container. Placing your container in a warm area – such as one that receives plenty of sunshine during the day – can also help to speed up the decomposition process.
Monitor the Mixture
Every now and then check on the progress of the fertilizer. Eventually, you’ll start to see a brown colored liquid collecting at the bottom. This is the liquid fertilizer you want. Once you see that brown liquid remove it by pouring it into a small container.
Dilute Before Use
Once you have enough comfrey fertilizer you can dilute it. You’ll want to have about ten parts water for every one part comfrey fertilizer liquid. It’s vital that you dilute the fertilizer because it will otherwise only end up being too powerful for the plants you plan to pour it around.
Apply the Fertilizer
When you make or apply the comfrey fertilizer to your garden it’s a good idea to wear gloves because the comfrey leaves can irritate some people’s skin. Comfrey plants have some long, spiky hair on their leaves which can cause scratches and cuts. So, to be on the safe side, wear some tough gardening gloves.