Comfrey is one of the most useful plants for permaculture, organic gardeners. This deep rooted plant is very good at drawing nutrients from far below the soil surface. It grows quickly and provides a good quantity of nutrient rich biomass. What is more, it also has flowers which are not only attractive but which also attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. Here is a guide to some ways of using comfrey in your polytunnel:
Though comfrey will take up a fair amount of space when fully grown each summer, it can be valuable as a companion plant to several common polytunnel crops. Comfrey leaves contain a good mixture of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and when chopped and dropped in place, can help with the fertility needs of nearby plants. When in flower, comfrey will help to attract bees and other insects to pollinate nearby plants.
While its space requirements mean that you may not wish to grow comfrey actually in your polytunnel, comfrey should certainly be considered for planting close to your polytunnel, where it is easily accessible for use within.
You could, of course, transport comfrey leaves from where the plants are grown into your polytunnel. Plants such as tomatoes will benefit greatly by the addition of comfrey leaves beneath them, laid as a thick mulch. The leaves will quickly decompose and return their nutrients to the soil where they can be taken up by nearby plants.
Another way to use the nutrients accumulated by comfrey in your polytunnel is to create a liquid plant feed – sometimes known as 'comfrey tea'. You can make this comfrey plant feed by submerging comfrey leaves in water and allowing them to break down. Choose a large bucket with a lid, and be careful not to position it too close to your home or to seating areas (it really stinks!). Once the leaves have rotted down, and the comfrey water mix is a deep brown sludge, you can dilute this mix with water (until it it the shade of a strong cup of tea) to make your plant feed, which is perfect for tomatoes and for other fruiting plants.
Whether or not you have the space to actually grow comfrey in your polytunnel, there are plenty of ways you can make use of it inside, if you grow it elsewhere on your property.