• Comfrey – the organic gardeners best friend – a ‘dynamic accumulator’ packed with nutrients is added into the Wool Compost range
• ‘Bocking 14’ variety has high levels of potassium, phosphorous & nitrogen for healthy plant growth, larger flowers & bigger crops
• Comfrey now being grown sustainably at Dalefoot farm as company scales up peat-free compost production to supply many more garden centres and nurseries across the UK, plus online for home delivery
• Bracken for Dalefoot’s products sourced from Exmoor, Northumberland & Wales, helping farming communities & local biodiversity further afield
Dalefoot Composts, the Lake District peat-free compost maker, has added comfrey into its peat-free Wool Compost range giving an extra super charge of nutrients and trace elements for blooming, healthy plants.
Now with a hat-trick of performance-packed natural ingredients - comfrey, bracken and sheep’s wool - the Wool Compost range feeds plants for at least a season, requires less watering, as wool cleverly retains moisture, and is Soil Association-approved for organic gardening. Wool Compost is available in Potting, Seeds, Vegetables & Salads, Tomatoes, Double Strength and Ericaceous1.
Comfrey is renowned in the gardening world for being a plant superfood. It has very long roots so is able to absorb nutrients deep in the soil as it grows, and when harvested and then added to compost or a traditional comfrey tea, the nutrients give a growing ‘kick’ to other plants, encouraging strong, healthy growth.
The introduction of comfrey to the compost mix marks the culmination of a five-year project by the Dalefoot team to grow the plant on a commercial scale, sustainably on the farm, and harness its extraordinary qualities. The fast-growing comfrey crop can be harvested four times a year, so there is plenty on tap to meet rising demand for the company’s premium composts in the future.
The company is also now sourcing bracken from Exmoor, Northumberland and Wales, as well as locally in Cumbria – helping a diversity of farming communities and local landscapes. Bracken is an invasive plant but when harvested sustainably and composted, provides rich potash for plants and acts as a fantastic soil conditioner. Sheep farmers are benefitting too as supplying wool for the compost means they have a market for a product they struggle to sell.
Dalefoot’s peat-free products are unique as they use a fully-traceable, sustainable blend of wool, bracken and now comfrey to make composts for every gardening need. Wool releases a steady stream of nitrogen and other must-have nutrients which, when combined with bracken and comfrey, means no further feed is required over the growing season.
Professor Jane Barker of Dalefoot Composts said: “Comfrey is a truly remarkable plant offering a multitude of uses and we’re excited to grow it right here on the farm for our compost. We’ll be looking at how we can use it in other products for the gardener in the future.
“Our farm’s bees, insects and wildlife are also benefitting from the biodiversity boost the new comfrey fields and their nectar-rich flowers bring to the local environment.”
Over the past 12 months, compost production has doubled at Dalefoot, with 177 garden centres and nurseries now stocking its products.
The Dalefoot team also restores peat bogs, some of which were once owned by peat compost companies, across the UK for the likes of Natural England, NatureScot, South West Water and wildlife trusts. Peat bogs store more carbon than forests and many in the UK are now in poor condition, releasing carbon rather than just storing it. To date, this work equates to 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions - equivalent to 500,000 flights from London to New York - saved since Dalefoot started two decades ago.