Nettles : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a question about nettles: how do I grow them. Are they from seed or plant and what is this plant all about. Karole

-- Karole (, February 15, 2000


Karole, just why do you want to grow nettles? Most people that have them would be happy to let you harvest all they have. You can process them for fiber but they aren't a lot of fun to work with.

If you really want to grow them, they grow prolifically from seed, or you could spade up a chunk from a patch and transplant them. They are considered weeds for good reason. If you are thinking about using them in some sort of recipe or herbal preperation, I'd make the whatever first using someone else's nettles to be sure I liked the end result before trying to grow them. If you do decide to cultivate them, wouldn't be a bad idea to do it in an out of the way area where the neighbors and county weed inspector won't see them. They'll spread. They are a misery both green and dried. Nettles in hay are not good. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, February 15, 2000.

You can come to my house and have all you want!Nettles are a pain in the butt! They will spread every where .Also they sting when they come in contact with your skin. I would look for a wild source or maybe a neighbor .

-- Patty Gamble (, February 15, 2000.

you can take a stalk of nettles, peel it and use it just like celery, it will even thicken suops and stews

-- stan (, February 15, 2000.

Nettles, poison ivy, and too much lemon balm are the three things that I have used herbicide sprays on. Nettles invaded my perenial bed a few years ago, and the herbicide was the only thing that got rid of it without risking major skin irritation. Nettles (carefully cooked) are supposed to be a very healthy green, and the dried herb has medicinal qualities--just make sure that you know the risks. The leaves are pretty, and so are the flowers, but OUCH. The sting is painful.

-- Leann Banta (, February 15, 2000.

Someone has to stand up for Nettles here! Yes, I agree that Nettles grow prolifically, but they provide such amazing medicine that one could use them every day! In the old days people would "whip" fresh nettles on arthritic pains to stimulate circulation. Not that I recommend it, just some fun history. Dry it and make a tea instead! Nettles won't sting you if you are gentle with it and tell the plant what your intentions are. I'm sure these other people who wrote in about it being a noxious weed get stung all the time. By making an overnight infusion, you get all kinds of highly asimilable vitamins and minerals (esp. Calcium and Magnesium). She is an unfailing kidney ally, tonifying to the digestive tract, aids respiratory illnesses and allergies, heightens fertility and mellows menopause, nourishes your skin and hair, and stops profuse bleeding. The seed and root can also be used medicinally. It makes a great tea for your compost and your house plants will grow stronger if you water them with the tea. And it's edible, too. With so many uses, you can't go wrong growing nettles (I simply keep it in its own planter box and harvest the tops before seeding, since the plant is toxic medicinally if you use it after going to seed anyways). And a little helpful hint if you do get a nettles sting-- rub some fresh yellow dock leaves on the area and you will be relieved in moments. They normally grow next to each other in nature for this reason. Check out Healing Wise, by Susun Weed, for more info on Nettles.

-- Jasper Snyder (, February 15, 2000.

pouring vinagar over the rash from nettles greatly reduces the sting

-- Susan (, February 15, 2000.

Thick leather gloves, long sleeves, long pants, hot compost heap. Nettles cook like English spinach. but not as good. Nettles make fibre - related to ramie, but not as good. Does make an excellent liquid manure: infuse in water for a fortnight. I can't agree with the previous contributor about nettles being a pain in the butt, but I've been stung most other places, and the sting stays long after the nettle's gone.

Gently, gently grasp the nettle and it will burn you like the flames. Grasp it like a man of mettle and it to you like silk remains.

(or something like that).

Tiny syringes with poison bulbs at the bottom - brush them and they'll stick in and inject, mash them hard and they can't (much).

-- Don Armstrong (, February 15, 2000.

It is only partly true that if you grasp nettles firmly you won't get stung. In my experience, they still sting, but maybe not quite as bad. But the YOUNG plants do make good greens, cooking takes the sting out.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, April 13, 2000.

Karole, If you are going to grow nettles, avoid the hassles of the first couple contributers by growing them in thier own garden. I am a pro nettle person. It is more nutritious then any green vegetable that you can find in the supermarket. It gives a substantial amount of assimible protein as well as being vitamine and mineral intensive. It loves rich soil. volunteer plants can be uprooted and planted in your patch. This,Canada thistle, and other "weeds" have thier own beds where I grow food. Nettles are one of the most important medicine plants for the First Nations where I live. Seeds and or roots should get you going, just be gentle and let the nettle know what it is you are planning. Use it in the place of spinach in lazagnas spanakopitas, etc, as a steaming veg, as tea, powdered as an additive to anything. If you want lots of medicine info, I can provide it. It is best gathered whcn it is less than two hands high, as it become two woody, and by most herbal definitions, heading toward flowering, and therefore not as suitable for eating. The seeds are protein/vit/min rich and can be sprouted sometimes. Esperiment, you will have success. Be careful what you wish for.

-- roberto pokachinni (, December 28, 2001.

We have two nice beds of it here, they are the first green vegetable we harvest in the spring, long before anything else is available. My husband started the beds by planting root rhizomes from another patch. I like to wear gloves when harvesting them. Other people have said that the sting actually relieves arthiritis. My husband picks them barehanded and doesn't mind it at all!

-- Rebekah (, December 28, 2001.

I would like to know more about nettles and arthritis , any info would be appreciated.

-- Patty {NY State} (, December 29, 2001.

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