How do you keep the nettles back? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi, I was reading with interest the thread about getting rid of blackberries, and I was wondering if the same tactics would help with nettles. I know they are good for you, but we have TOO many. We also have wonderful soil - bought an old truck farm a couple of years ago and it is pretty grown over. We bring buckets of this wonderful soil to the kitchen garden, but it sprouts nettles like crazy. I don't want to sterilize it. Ideas?

Thanks, Laurie

-- Laurie (, July 28, 2001


I believe that nettles are rhizomes (someone correct me if I'm wrong) and can regenerate from any root fragment. I have had success at pulling them up by the roots and pulling out all the root runners. The soil they were in was loose and sandy so they came up easy in long pieces. The grass came back where they were, but not the nettles. If you hit them with some Roundup in the spring as they are coming up, it should kill them pretty well, root and all.

-- Skip in Western WA (, July 28, 2001.

Is it an area where you would want to keep goats for a while ? .Other wise roundup or mow mow mow.

-- Patty {NY State} (, July 28, 2001.

Laurie said: 'I know they are good for you, ...' What on earth for?

-- Kyle M. Murfreesboro, TN (, July 28, 2001.

You can eat nettles. Supposed to be quite tasty. I've forgotten what I was told about how to get rid of the "spiny" parts.

People have reported success killing thistles by spraying vinegar on them -- why not try it on the nettles too?

-- Joy F [in So. Wisconsin] (, July 28, 2001.

You can eat nettles when they are young, no more than four inches high. We use the recipe from one of Euell Gibbons books' to boil them and then serve them in a white sauce, he suggests over toast but we just eat'em like creamed spinach. My sheep love them anyway they can get them.

-- linda skountzos (, July 28, 2001.

Yes, sheep are a problem. I haven't seen nettles regrowing from roots, but they sure grow from seeds, and they grow a lot of seeds. Sheep eat them, the digestive process readies the seed to grow, they are deposited in fertiliser, and they GROW. Any old sheep camp will be hip deep in well-fertilised nettles. Fortunately, if you keep at them, just tilling the surface (even just scratching it with a rake) will uproot that crop of nettles and make room for the next. Do it enough and the nettles begin to thin out.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 29, 2001.

If goats and sheep will eat them and then poop out fertilized nettle seed, it would seem that that would be less than optimal.

How about smothering them with some old, moldy hay? That's what I do with hawkweed. I peel the bale layers off as thin as I can and make a sheet over the patch that extends a few feet out from the "infestation" in every direction. Then I put a second layer on the first, just to make sure.

-- Paul Wheaton (, July 29, 2001.

freqent mowing or smothering with plastis or organic materials.the leaves are hih in iorn and make an exelent compost. they are very nutritiouse and wer used as a tonic green.they were cooked as a pig slop and for or drying removes the sting and nettle hay is exelent for cattle that have low milk flow realy turns on the faucets. to use as a green pick the young shoots or the tip leaves of older plants there is nothing better in the garden i just boil and drain sprinkle with viniger or use in recipts in place of spinach or other greens.the romans used them in the baths to improve circulation in the skin by flogging with fresh nettles the seeds are very good for caged birds are fortunate to have some

-- george darby (, July 31, 2001.

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