I am so blessed to have a hubby that not only takes an interest in my herb garden, but he has so much knowledge in the topic of cultivating and managing soil. Because of his continual commitment to that goal, my garden is flourishing. 4 years ago we used the entire area as a parking lot and now it’s housing almost 100 plants. I know that sounds almost impossible, but unlike many gardeners I cheer when I see a crop of cleavers, dandelion, plantain, and violas pop up in a place they never grew before. I consider those free medicine. They grew and I didn’t have to do a thing AND I don’t have to go further than my garden to gather them. What a gift!
The story of my herb garden
This is where we put my herb garden. You can see it’s all gravel, plus you get to see a baby moose
When we first created my garden, we brought in topsoil, and it was completely dead. By that I mean there were no microbes, no worms, no life. We knew we’d need to feed the soil and get it hopping with all those things in order for my plants to thrive.
We started out by taking straight rabbit manure and adding it as we added the soil, we simply layered it in there. You can’t do that with all manures but rabbit manure is one that you can.
After we had the entire place set with the topsoil/rabbit manure, we immediately threw out a cover crop of white clover. White clover is a nitrogen fixer and can easily be tilled under the soil to add nutrients, Sean then began adding the rabbit manure and comfrey fertilizer “teas” that he had made. We added these things almost every week. We didn’t drench it, but we added it. Finally we planted a few trees and herbs then topped it with about 4″ of mulch to get things going.
Another really great addition that was added was duck dropping fertilizer. This happened because one of our ducks was injured and needed a safe place to recover. We chose my herb garden and we put a small kiddie pool in there for him to have water access. I would take buckets of the water that was now clouded with duck manure a couple of times a week and pour that liquid gold all over my garden. After the pool was almost empty I’d dump the last bit in the area that the pool was sitting and refill the pool.What happened the next year?
The area that the pool had been grew some of the BIGGEST plantain I’d ever seen, the cramp bark was booming and the other plants in the area really boomed. It was amazing. That last bit of duck manure that was dumped managed to nourish that area tremendously. When I pulled back the mulch we could see tiny white trails of mycorrhiza and worms squirming all over. It was incredible!
Since that first year, things have grown exponentially. 2020 was its fourth year and honestly I’ve had a tough time keeping up with it this summer (I missed having in person herbal students who would help me by harvesting some herbs for themselves). But one of the major contributors over each of these years has been the comfrey tea Sean makes. Does it smell good? UHHHH NO! Frankly it smells disgusting so I don’t let him put it in my garden if guests are coming over that day!
Growing comfrey is an easy addition to any garden. We believe you should always aim to use fewer and fewer products from the outside for your gardens because it saves money and recycles your “waste”. Comfrey can be used as a chop and drop or to make a fertilizer tea, PLUS it is great medicine!
Enjoy this how-to video from Sean. Also, don’t forget that we offer an amazing course on Permaculture, Plant Propagation, & Cultivation either as a stand alone course or included in our bundles: “The Prepared Homestead Bundle” or “Cultivating Herbs Bundle” available here