The Smelliest Plant Food Ever

Comfrey Plant FeedThis smells as bad as it looks. In fact, much worse. Monty Don has a lot to answer for.

To some, comfrey is an annoying weed. It can run riot in summer if you let it, but dies back completely in winter. I have a patch that I keep under control by using it to make plant food after I saw Monty brewing up this concoction on Gardeners’ World.

Basically, you squash as many comfrey leaves as you can into a bucket. Then fill the bucket to the brim with water and leave for a couple of weeks. I store the bucket in a sheltered corner of the garden, not too near the house. Comfrey has exceptionally deep roots, and it uses these to suck up nutrients that it saves in its hairy leaves. The stored nutrients are released as the leaves break down.

At the end of two weeks, you have a foul-smelling, scummy mess of rotting leaves and brown water. I scoop out the larger undissolved leaves and put them into the compost converter. The remaining brown liquid is a potassium-rich fertilizer that needs to be diluted before use. Ideally, ten parts water to one part comfrey feed, before pouring over any plants that are in need of a pick-me-up.

It seems to do the trick; I’ve used it to perk up tomato plants and revive wilting shrubs. It certainly saves money on buying Miracle Gro. However, I’m not exaggerating: the smell is terrible.

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Saving Open Pollinated Seed
I Never Promised You a Herb Garden
All Creatures Great and Small
Bees and the State of Nature Report
Self-seeding Flowers