Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Crazy nettles  (Read 5713 times)

Elenepona

  • Joined Apr 2016
  • Carmarthenshire
Crazy nettles
« on: May 14, 2016, 12:48:12 pm »
Noticed the stingy nettles returning last month and just been away for 5 days to return to what looks like a nettle invasion! They are spreading fast!!!
We've only had our place since September and not had a garden before so was wondering what's the best approach to tackling them. I would rather not use chemicals if possible? What are the dos and donts? Can you spread them more by strimming them?

Be great to hear of other people's experiences :)

Thanks in advance

Louise Gaunt

  • Joined May 2011
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2016, 01:42:39 pm »
I think the warm wet winter has encouraged the nettles to grow fast and strong. We are inundated with them. I have found the only way to really get on top of them is to dig them up, with all the matted roots, which can extend for several feet away from the clump. This isn't always possible, so I guess pulling up as many as you can and constant mowing may be the other non chemical option. Whilst typing this my arms are tingling from a morning doing battle with our nettle population explosion!

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2016, 03:45:27 pm »
i always strim them down and then ferment them in water for plant fertilizer.you can also dry the leaves to make nettle tea, very good blood purifier and detoxer. if you want to permanently get rid of them I would suggest that you chop them down and then using a spade dig out the root systems, be warned though it is very hard work!
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2016, 05:38:08 pm »
Don't forget tortoiseshell butterflies use nettles on which to lay their eggs.  I watched one yesterday laying on every nettle in a patch.  Depending on the day, you can tell they're there because the leaves are a bit curled round, and become more so, held together with a cocoon.  leave patches for the butterflies and you will be rewarded with having plenty in your garden all summer  :bfly: :bfly: :bfly:

Otherwise, yes digging out with the whole root system, which is yellow, is the only way.  Mowing is second best if the digging is too hard going.
Never let them flower (light green tassels) and  seed or you'll never get rid of them.  We have had to abandon a couple of compost heaps where nettle seeds got in.  I too have tingly fingers today from pulling small nettle seedlings out of plants potted up in home made compost.

Nettle tea for plants and people, spring vegetable for a spring pick-me-up, gently steamed, mulch around plants, add to the compost heap, as long as there's not a single seed set, are all possible uses, as WBF says.  I mix nettles with comfrey to make liquid fertiliser which is well balanced, as nettles provide nitrogen and comfrey supplies potassium - it's a horribly pungent, stinking concoction while it's infusing, so leave it well away from you.

Sheep, at least primitives, like to eat the older plants at the end of the season, but don't seem too fond of the younger ones.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2016, 06:14:33 pm »
Cattle love dried nettle, if you're strumming and have beasts of your own or nearby ;)

Don't overdo the hands-on unloved pulling btw - I made myself super-sensitive to nettles doing a full day in the nettle patch one year.  I'm okay now, but couldn't stand any kind of skin contact for several years after.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2016, 09:05:37 pm »
Pull them up after a rainy day (so the soil is soft and loose).

Bionic

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2016, 08:41:04 am »
They also make good dye for fleece
Life is like a bowl of cherries, mostly yummy but some dodgy bits

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2016, 08:43:05 am »
Leave a dedicated nettle area - as FW says, butterflies love them  :)
Also, make some nettle cordial (recipe on the forum, just search) it's really good  :yum: and is good for all forms of arthritis. Once you've made and sampled it you'll be quite happy to leave some  ;)

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2016, 09:12:43 pm »
cut and dry them the goats love a treat now and then

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2016, 07:07:50 am »
You can also crumble dried nettles into your hens feed for a winter tonic.

Orinlooper

  • Joined Aug 2015
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 05:27:59 pm »
Yes just eat them, then you will be pleased if you have a p,eantiful supply

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2016, 06:33:03 pm »
Dry nettles are also very good for storing for winter, nettle teas for a  blood cleanser for both you and the animals during the winter months. Make sure they don't go mouldy though.  Read this
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urtica
http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/stinging-nettle-benefits-zmaz81mazkin.aspx
https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=What+are+the+health+benefits+of+nettle+tea%3F
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 06:39:10 pm »
Leave a dedicated nettle area - as FW says, butterflies love them  :)
Also, make some nettle cordial (recipe on the forum, just search) it's really good  :yum: and is good for all forms of arthritis. Once you've made and sampled it you'll be quite happy to leave some  ;)

Where do I find this recipe HH?

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 07:09:57 pm »
Leave a dedicated nettle area - as FW says, butterflies love them  :)
Also, make some nettle cordial (recipe on the forum, just search) it's really good  :yum: and is good for all forms of arthritis. Once you've made and sampled it you'll be quite happy to leave some  ;)

Where do I find this recipe HH?
Here we are @Ghdp
http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?topic=33884.75
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Ghdp

  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Crazy nettles
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2016, 09:49:22 am »
Thank you WBF!! :thumbsup:

 

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