How to Convert Comfrey Area to Garlic Patch

PandoraeJune 22, 2005

I've tried digging it up, burying it in leaves and grass clippings but the Comfrey keeps coming back. It is in a perfect area to grow my garlic if I could get rid of the comfrey.

I do not want to blast the darn stuff with toxic weed killer since I will be putting garlic there in the fall. Any suggestions how to get rid of it?



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gardenlad(6b KY)

Unfortunately, digging it up is your only alternative. But you must make sure to get every bit of root, or it will come back.

Although time consuming, you might try screening the soil as you dig the comfrey, to help assure getting all the root pieces.

When I moved my comfrey it took two years to get rid of it from the original site. The upside is that if you dig as much of it as possible, the new growth is manageable. Just treat is as a weed, and keep removing it (with the roots) as soon as it appears.

This will probably affect a small portion of your garlic bed this year, as you might disturb some of the cloves while removing the comfrey roots. But by next fall the area should be clear of it.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 9:52PM
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As long you think there is hope, I will keep digging. Thanks for the info. I like your idea very much!


    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 9:28AM
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Dig up as much as you can, & then spread newspaper (like at least 12-20 sheets thickness) over the entire area. Wet down the paper & the cover with a thick (8-12") layer of compost or mulch.

This may not eradicate everything, but should take care of a lot of it - not to mention leaving you with a nice planting bed.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 12:55PM
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Will try the dig and smother method. Sounds promising:))

Many thanks!


    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 3:01PM
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gardenlad(6b KY)

Breezy, I don't think the newspaper will work in this case.

Comfrey is a very strong-growing plant, that seems capable of piercing just about any mulch or weed guard. Even the commercial plastic weed guards are no match for it.

I've grown it for years (it's a major part of my medicinal garden), and it can be very persistent. It'll even spread by self-seeding.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 4:24PM
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I'd read this post earier without any ideas to help, and then received a post about comfrey on a pastured poultry group I'm in. Posted herein is the email -- hope it helps (do you or anyone you know have any chickens, or, even better, turkeys?)

"Comfrey is very high in protein, minerals and vitamins, especially B vits and calcium. I'm not sure if donkeys care for comfrey, but all of my poultry dearly love it... chickens, ducks, and especially turkeys.

"My first year with turkeys, they ate down the plants so much the 10-ft square stand of comfrey nearly died, so I fenced the comfrey. The turkeys then flew over the fence and decimated the stand again, then screamed to be let out, so I fenced the turkeys, lol. Chickens and ducks are nearly as bad.

"Now I have comfrey planted around the poultry yard and birds peck their fill of leaves through the wires. Pastured birds love chopped comfrey.

"Rabbits will eat it, but goats are put off by the leaf hairs though they sometimes will eat dried comfrey."

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 9:43AM
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What a hoot!! If all else fails, I'll bring in the chickens for reinforcements.

Thanks for forwarding the email :))


    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 2:16PM
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If you want as I did to eradicate the comfrey entirely,cut it to the ground & cover the area with black plastic.

a year later, you should be comfrey-free.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 2:46PM
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This may be off topic but comfrey tea is a really good fertilizer. It contains a lot of potassium which is great for fruiting vegetables. Just clip the leaves and add water to it. Wait for several weeks and you will have a nice fertilizing liquid.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 7:07PM
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tweetson1998(Z9 SW La)

I just planted some for the first time this year so I haven't been able to try this solution. I want to try and let a plant get well established and then cover it with a piece of 3/4 inch plywood that has 2 cinderblocks or something heavy on it and let it stay that way without disturbing it for a season. If one season doesn't work, try two seasons. Maybe this will smother and kill it. If this works, the roots could leave a massive amount of organic matter and minerals where garden plants or fruit trees can be planted. I grew a plant in a wide hanging pot for about 2 or 3 months. I removed it from the pot and it had a lot of small fibrous roots surrounding some small taproots.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2014 at 5:11AM
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