Friday, 3 June 2011


We grow a little patch of comfrey beside our bench on the allotment specifically for the purpose of cutting it and adding it to the compost, or rotting it in water to make plant feed. Comfrey has super-deep roots that draw all sorts of minerals and nutrients up from the subsoil, so it's very useful this way and can add a lot of nutrition to your garden. The best time to cut it is just before it flowers, as that's when the plants have the most energy which can then be passed on to the compost. But can I ever bear to cut it then? I'd miss out on the lovely flowers, and the bees would miss out too, and then I (and my beans and courgettes and strawberries and raspberries and squashes!) would miss out on all the bee action!

Sadly the bees eventually ruin all the delicate little flowers - they make a hole at the base of the flower for easier access, and their clingy feet bruise the petals!

Some of them still do it the old-fashioned way!

The comfrey is now hacked back down to the ground, and the old leaves decomposing quietly on the compost heap. The bees hung around for ages afterwards wondering where all the flowers had gone! Comfrey makes a quick comeback - there will be more flowers soon!

1 comment:

Sue@Green Lane Allotments said...

Must admit to having the same problem deciding whether to deprive the bees!

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