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Container Gardening thoughts - Comfrey

Grow yer own!

Post Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:32 pm

Posts: 92
Since I live on the top of an Ozark mountain that has a only a few inches of inches of soil (grrrrr), most folks around here resort to raised bed gardening. I've become enamored of container gardening in fabric bags. That's a good thing for a lot of herbs who want to run away. I'm thinking mint...... but that's irrelevant here. Never mind. :geek:

On one Facebook group, someone asked about container growing comfrey. Now I'm curious too.

His question was basically about what would happen with the long taproot since the plant would be in a bag?
The fabric bag allows air-pruning of the roots and works well.

But my question to add to his is..... since the root won't be going down deep into the soil and bringing up nutrients, will the medicinal quality of the plant be diminished?
Or since it's gonna be in good potting mix (I have a good recipe), will that compensate for the lack of taproot input?
Or should the bag just be a real deep one? :confused:

Thanks,
Martha
The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas first.

Post Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:20 pm
IdahoHerbalist Site Admin

Posts: 1119
It is my feeling (not scientific) that there is NO man created soil mix that is even close to nature. You would need to get natural composted stuff from LOTS of different trees, shrubs and grasses. That only takes care of that part. Not sure about how many minerals that would provide although I am sure there would be some.

I don't know of anyone that has done a side by side study.

Doc Jones User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 1049
The impact of growing wild herbs in a garden is an interesting question. I don't have all the answers but my suspicion is that the closer we can match the natural environment of the plant, the better the medicine will be.

IdahoHerbalist Site Admin

Posts: 1119
I don't have a problem with in the GARDEN. It is in a CONTAINER with artificial soil that concerns me.

Doc Jones User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 1049
IdahoHerbalist wrote:
I don't have a problem with in the GARDEN. It is in a CONTAINER with artificial soil that concerns me.


I like herbs in the garden too. But I think if the growing conditions are really different, the plants constituents may be different as well. For example, if the plant is used to fighting for water and you water it every day the constituents may be affected. Yellow dock is a prime example. Grow it in a pasture where it only gets watered by the rain and the roots are rich, dark yellow. Grwo it in a garden box and water it every day and they're white and fairly useless.


Posts: 245
This topic really parallels a lot with growing cannabis--- in states where it is legal to grow, mind you. :wink: Obviously, the best environment to grow cannabis, or any medicinal plant in, is outdoors, in the ground. But sometimes that is just not possible-- for example in states where it is only legal to grow cannabis indoors, in your own home, behind a locked door....

In which case, your only option is to grow in pots, under artificial conditions. The idea is to replicate, as closely as possible, the natural growing conditions the plant needs: full spectrum lighting, correct temperature and humidity, and ventilation/air movement. Growers use room thermometers, hydrogmeters, space heaters, area fans, humidifiers, de-humidifiers, etc. to grow high quality medicine.

It's tricky, but if you live in an area that is not well-suited to the plants you want to grow, you can learn a lot from people who grow cannabis indoors, or even outdoors, in pots. And fabric pots seem to be very popular with home cannabis growers.

Oh and water/soil ph is another aspect of cannabis growing that I never thought of before, but now I realize giving ph a thought can help other medicinal plants to thrive and yield a better harvest too. Cannabis growers test the ph of water going in, and the ph of the run-off that comes out. Too alkaline or too acidic, and the plant cannot take up the nutrients and water from the soil as effectively, and thus will not look as healthy or yield as much product. The same can be said for other plants as well.

Post Fri May 12, 2017 11:51 am
Doc Jones User avatar
Site Admin

Posts: 1049
Ad it isn't just the nutrients...it's the life the plant is living. Many of the phytochemicals we want as medicine are produced by the plant to protect itself from disease and pests. So, a little stress actually improve the potency of the medicine.

That said, I've never seen a comfrey plant that looked stressed. LOL


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