Comfrey, nettles and seaweed: Mulch, compost or tea?

Community Community General Gardening Sowing and Growing Comfrey, nettles and seaweed: Mulch, compost or tea?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Rhys 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #70695

    J S Bean
    Participant

    Hello all,

    I hope the collective brain of this forum can offer some advice.

    I understand that certain crops, such as comfrey, nettles and seaweed offer nutritious benefits to plants.

    I also understand that some people like to mulch their beds with these items directly, some will add it to their compost bins, and others will let it rot down in water so they can apply it as a tea.

    My question is: which is best? Are their pros and cons to the different approaches I should be aware of?

    Thanks,

    Jonathan

    #70699

    charles
    Moderator

    Hello Mr Bean

    Yes both methods work, but mulching with leaves has a slower effect in terms of feeding, and is less smelly!
    You can make a feed without smell by packing leaves tight in a bucket or pot with a hole, suspended over another bucket. Add no water. Black liquid seeps out and is odurless.
    Simpler to mulch but there may then be slugs.

    #70718

    Rhys
    Participant

    Jonathan

    Ai have tried them all and all have their uses.

    1. Runner Beans certainly like comfrey tea to swell pods. I believe brassicas also like it, but have not tried it out.

    2. Both tomatoes and potatoes happily respond to comfrey chop n drop strategies. I have just put part of my latest cut under a pear tree, hoping that it breaks down over the next 10 weeks to support the maturing fruit.

    3. Compost accelerates its formation beautifully if comfrey is added after hot composting is complete: I fill daleks with kitchen waste and top that up with initially hot composted material, cardboard, comfrey and nettles if available. It produces great stuff.

    This year I am also maturing composts using biodynamic ‘balls’ containing each of the five preparations. The first maturation this spring was very quick, obviously will not know until 2020 how well things grow in it, but to touch it feels wonderful.

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