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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 6:02 am 
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I am finally starting to see some of the dandelions bloom which means they are ready to harvest since they are at their peak in nutrient density, but I've found that using a standard hand blade, it's tiring, and takes too much time to harvest them so I am going to try out one of the garden weeders. I use dandelions as organic fertilizer before putting down garden plants because most tap root plants in general seem to have the best effects for plants such as luffas, tomatoes, or anything that makes a significant root system.

Here's the video of what I'm talking about


It was an investment of $35.00/shipping included off Amazon so this didn't cost much. I have no idea why dandelions work better than most typical weeds in terms of burying into a planting hole for organic fertilizer, but I'm guessing the deep tap roots probably do a good job in taking in more nutrients than most other plants, and take longer to decompose.


Dandelions are alright, but one probably is that it takes a lot of time to get enough harvested since they are pretty small so I'm going to try growing some comfrey for better organic fertilizer. It's also more versatile since it can be used as a tea, eating, medicinal purposes, etc. I bought the Russian Bocking type which was 13.35 off eBay because I don't want a seeding type.


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Last edited by stevelau1911 on Sat May 17, 2014 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu May 08, 2014 1:41 am 
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I generally do the same steve.

Tap root plants tend to break up hard soil, dig way down and pump nutrients from pretty far down where they arent usually accessible. Comfrey is an amazing plant in that respect and they pump 6 or more minerals from the sub soil, grow rapidly and have many uses like compost accelerator and especially tea which is made like compost tea. Ive heard of people mixing a bunch of deep rooted plants for their "teas". You might want to use some yarrow.

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PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:57 am 
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Yarrow looks pretty, but due to it's size, I just don't think it's enough bio-mass to compete with comfrey which is supposed to grow really fast. Using this stuff to add to the alfalfa tea sounds like a good idea. I actually purposely leave some dandelions around so they can reseed all over the place. I hope the fiskars weed puller can get a dandelion out every 2-3 seconds or faster. If they can.

I got the comfrey in today, and have it potted up. I definitely left good feedback on eBay because a plant for 13.35/ free shipping will hardly ever be a solid 5-6lbs with 3 solid crowns when they only posted it for 1 crown.

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Here are the 3 separate plants.
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I took some of the roots off to create even more plants because this is supposed to be very easy to propagate.
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On 2 of the plants, I just split them in 2 to see how well they do that way.
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I am hoping to get a dozen plants out of this.
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On one of the plants, I left it alone taking no roots off or dividing it to see how much faster it will sprout in comparison to the others.
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 5:52 pm 
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It turns out that comfrey has surpassed my expectations in it's ease of propagation, and growth rate. It is even more vigorous than dandelions because it only took 5 days for root cuttings to bud, and leaves to come out on the top pieces. The new root growth was also very impressive. You can basically turn one plant into thousands within a season.

Here's all of them.
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Here's a root cutting producing lots of little shoots so it's possible for me to divide it up into lots of them, but I just split this one in half.
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Here's one of the halved pieces growing fairly vigorously after only a few days.
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It was easy to split that into 3 plants.
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I ended up tripling my plant stock so now I should have over 30 plants if all of them sprout up. Just cutting one in half can reveal how the inside is pure starch and stem cells.
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With more plants now, I obviously need more pots, but this is the easiest plant to regenerate that I've ever seen. I'm glad I picked the non-seeding type because comfrey grows very easily.
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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 6:39 pm 
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Just dont rototill up a clump of it by accident when starting your veggie garden....unless you want a comfrey jungle you have to fight with every spring...for the rest of your life!

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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 6:52 pm 
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Wow, you have an incredible patch of comfrey there. You could probably get all of your bamboos fertilized with that many leaves eh.

I don't intend to plant these anywhere close to vegetable gardens because I can already see it's amazing regenerative capability.

I have a honey locust stump which I intend to plant some comfrey onto to hopefully make it look prettier, and could use it on some of the fruit trees. I have a couple dozen fruit trees total.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 7:28 pm 
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It might grow quickly, but it disappears just as quickly once the deer come through, at least in my garden. My one plant keeps getting cut back to the ground.

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PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 11:13 pm 
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Alan, Couldn't you put a 4ft fence around the comfrey plant, or get a fence around the entire yard so they can't enter anymore?

I've found that deer netting has always been effective because they seem to get confused when they run into it, and go somewhere else.


One thing that I've found to be effective without barriers is using wilt pruf on plants which seems to keep the deer off, at least until new leaves grow in.

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PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 2:50 pm 
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Last Winter was particular hard on the wild life, which resulted in the deer being particularly destructive.

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 2:00 am 
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Here are some more recent comfrey pictures. I gave one of them away because I know I can literally turn this batch into thousands if I wanted to, but I intend to plant most of them out, and keep a few for propagation.
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Some of them already have another bud forming which can be split again.
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Down the road, I did notice that somebody else is also growing comfrey already, but they must have had theirs in the ground for a year or more already. I'm surprised no deer are eating it.
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Another plant I'm looking into growing is stevia which is supposed to be a natural sweetener good for cooking.

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 1:52 am 
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They just aren't growing fast enough, maybe because temperatures haven't been that warm so I decided to order a couple more from the same source for 21.35. My objective is to get a good number of plants planted out, and ready to harvest for leaves this year.

They do look decent. One thing this plant doesn't do is spread without digging and separating.
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 4:15 pm 
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Today, it looks like the questionable divisions are stabilizing, and the other ones have grown bigger. I will start fertilizing them pretty soon. Some of the root cuttings are starting to sprout too.
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 9:30 pm 
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Turns out that my neighbor has a good-sized comfrey patch in their front yard and the deer don't bother it. Hmmm.

I'm going to get a few divisions to give my plant a bit more company -- maybe that will help.

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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 1:53 am 
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You could even use stem cuttings for propagation because some of my stem only pieces are rooting.
Does your neighbor have a different cultivar of comfrey?

Here's my largest plant, and based on how dark green it is, this plant is super efficient in sucking up fertilizer. I might add some 10-10-10 once they get a bit bigger.

Here's my largest one so far. I believe these plants grow as fast as sunflowers once established.
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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 2:13 am 
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It has been a while so the ones in the pots are starting to get crowded. They definitely grow faster whenever it heats up, and I believe that stem cutting is likely the easiest form of propagation because they have the most auxins for rooting, and obviously have eyes for producing shoots. I try to get pieces that have tuber and top growth for the quickest results. I am out of my well decomposed compost so I guess I need another truckload to have stuff to plant this comfrey.

I did buy another order of this because I was satisfied with the comfrey, and want to have leaves to harvest as soon as possible.

Here they are prior to planting. These look like a giant dandelion with their massive tap roots. I guess I really need to decide where I want them before planting, because it looks like if I want it removed, it may take many applications of glysophate to stop regrowth completely. It's not as tough as honey locust which is still producing survival shoots 3 years after being cut down despite regular mowings. It's starch reservoir must be bottomless.
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