Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Courgettes & Comfrey


 This is son Billy's first year plotting with me, he had said they use quite a lot of courgettes and was looking forward to seeing them grow and picking fresh ones.I thought you will have some job coping with a glut so just put in 3 green and 1 yellow courgette plants.They have been very slow with the cold nights we had been experiencing but this week they have been reaching glut proportions! The smaller ones were almost overnights and the larger one was deemed a bit small the previous day!



I wanted to make some Comfrey 'tea' to feed our new plot. We always had it on the Hydro Farm so while I was in Blarney recently I paid a visit to catch up with plotting friends. I met Zwena, Rosie & Tom and came home with an armfull of Comfrey which grows wild  there and some rhubarb !
Comfrey should really be used before setting flowers when it is at its most potent but as with everything else this year I am like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I am late !
I removed the flowers and chopped the stems and leaves, I had invested in a small covered plastic bin for the purpose and put the leaves etc into a hessian sack.
I had found a 'handy' bit of stick to cross the bin and attached the bag to it and  filled the bin with water.I covered it and it is recommended to leave it 4 to 5 weeks to 'mature' by which time it will stink to high heaven when the lid is removed! The resultant 'tea' should normally be diluted at a ratio of about 15 to 1 before spraying the crops with it.Comfrey is a very rich source of Potassium which is essential for plants that fruit, flower or set seed. The bag can be disposed of in its entirety onto the compost heap when its finished with, by putting loose leave in even held down with bricks etc you get  slimy bits which clog up the watering can!

 Pic courtesy of  The organic centre , I looked for a pic online to be doubly sure I was using Comfrey as I was recently surprised to see on a gardening programme that what I know as Borage was being called Comfrey? They may have the same benefits but I would prefer to know the correct name.
There is lots of info out there on Comfrey and its benefits, I found the Wikipedia article here a good source.
Last but definitely not least, a ladybird doing her 'thang' gobbling up greenfly on the broadbeans. I have blasted them a couple of times with the hose and also removed the tops to deter them , the greenfly not the ladybirds!
We are enjoying exceptional warmth and sunshine here this week and hopefully for much if not all of July, its been 7 years since we had anything resembling a heatwave over here!

5 comments:

Ann said...

We had a terrible attack of black fly on our broad beans, I hate these things, they seem to appear in huge numbers out of nowhere don't they.

Sorry to hear about your hens that died, and it was funny that the two you took on an outing wanted to go home! I didn't realise hens were so short lived.

Peggy said...

Thanks Ann,this year seems to be greenfly/blackfly/aphids year with the heat!
I didnt know about the hens either when I got them it was only explained to me later, the two remaining hens could live on even though they have finished laying now it seems!

Matron said...

I found some comfrey yesterday when I was walking Leo next to a local lake. Making some stinky feed as we speak.

Peggy said...

Matron,its the business!I think I will bring a bit of the actual plant to the new plot and put it in a corner to grow so I have it to hand when i have time to make it.

Dee Sewell said...

Great tip with the comfrey in a bag in the bucket, must try it as I usually add it directly into the bucket then have to figure out how to strain the stinky mess!