Does Comfrey Need TLC?

Comfrey is an incredibly robust plant but giving it some love just makes it produce even more. Here are comfrey plants that were all planted at the same time (6 months ago) and are only a few feet away from each other. They were all started from Bocking 14 root cuttings.

This root was planted in poor soil (hard, crusty clay) and not given any attention. After 6 months all it has produced is 2 little leaves. If I had given it any attention - extra moisture/nitrogen/mulching it probably would be thriving just like my other plants.
Just a few feet away is another plant that is in better soil but still didn't receive any extra attention. Several leaves and growing well but nothing amazing.
And finally these plants were planted in a low lying area that receives significant moisture and nutrient run off. They are only 6 months old but easily look like plants that are a couple of years old.
So to answer the question - does comfrey need TLC? Yes and no. If you just want some comfrey to grow and don't need leaves immediately, then putting it anywhere will do. However, if you want to see all that comfrey can do then you'll need to put it somewhere nice. A perfect place can be downhill from a compost pile. It will receive nutrients that runoff the pile and will put on significant growth in no time.

Comfrey as Mulch

Using comfrey as a mulch in your garden/farm is a great idea depending on your needs.  If you are looking for a mulch that can start feeding your crops really quickly, this is your answer. The leaves of the plant are low in fiber so it breaks down quickly after mulching with it. Depending on several factors, it can easily decompose within days providing nutrients to the soil underneath it.

For mulching with comfrey there are 3 options all of which have big benefits.

Move to location – This simply involves cutting the leaves off a comfrey plant (or harvesting the entire plant) and using them as mulch elsewhere. This is what we do for our raised beds on the farm. We have a comfrey patch that is near the beds, and when needed, we cut off leaves and bring them up to the bed. A small patch can be used to mulch a rather large raised bed.

 This is one of our <1-year-old comfrey patches used for that purpose - 
Once established this patch can produce a ton (yes, 2000 pounds!) of comfrey leaves a year. 

Chop and Drop – If you've planted your comfrey plants near (within the drip zone) the trees you want to fertilize you can simply cut off the comfrey leaves where they are and leave them. Almost as easy as possible.

Let die in winter – As easy as possible. Again for comfrey that has been planted near trees you can simply let the comfrey die back each winter fertilizing the ground around the plant. You don't get as much mulch as you would if you cut it back a couple of times during the year, but it requires absolutely no work. Some call it lazy, I call it being efficient. 
Here is comfrey as it begins to die back during winter. The dead leaves are very dark in color which makes the soil darker as it enriches it. -