If using peat pots, bury them completely in the soil. Nettles are very common, and nettle-feeding butterflies are quite selective about where they lay - you're unlikely to attract any with a few nettles in a pot. Dry in a dehydrator on the lowest temperature setting, about 95°F for 12 to 18 hours. Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. Where. Tips for Freezing Your Homegrown Crop, How and When to Fertilize Your Pumpkin Plants, Plant Folklore: Myths, Magic, and Superstition. But beware: once they go to seed, they'll send see everywhere and then you'll likely get volunteer nettles in the future. Stinging nettle Perhaps one of the most intriguing examples of strange garden bedfellows is the relationship between the weed stinging nettle and several vegetable varieties. It is best if you plant them outdoors because they like to have room to grow. That’s the fastest way to use a pile of stinging nettle plants. This will return nutrients to the soil, and the added mulch layer will help retain moisture in the spring. They prefer a a slightly acid, rich soil but will grow on any soil type – wet or dry, rich or poor. (NOTE: If you are not interested in growing Stinging Nettles, but just finding the plant and using it, try going to the Nature's Restaurant Online site Stinging Nettle page.). Grow dead nettles by providing a great deal of moisture with … Over the winter the foliage will die back and the plants will go dormant, reemerging in spring. Stinging Nettle, or Nettle, has been well regarded throughout the ages for both its culinary and medicinal uses. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness. This herb should not be used during pregnancy, or by those who take prescription medication. I just could not understand why anyone wanted this plant around. In fact, it might just be my favorite herb yet! Thank you for the information! Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Be conscious about what you are doing. You can store the fresh leaves in the refrigerator for two to five days, just make sure they are kept in a closed container to prevent them from inadvertently stinging anyone! ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. And so I started learning. Today, it is still commonly used as a textile similar to hemp or flax. In some parts of the US, stinging nettle is considered an invasive weed due to its ability to self-seed and spread through its root mass. Just shake out a seed head into a jar or bag. It's considered an aggressive invasive and has become established and common in certain areas. Plant in a location where you can manage it, as this plant has a habit of taking over. Check there are no caterpillars on the stems you remove. Squeeze to drain as much moisture as possible, chop, and place in freezer bags or containers. See our TOS for more details. You may also direct sow nettle greens in the garden. Another benefit of growing stinging nettle is that it actually can reduce the risk of pest infestation for surrounding crops. Will it become one of yours? Infused vinegar can impart a pleasant flavor when used in cooking. You can also try blending the infused vinegar with honey to make an oxymel, which is perhaps even tastier! For food and making herbal remedies, harvest the foliage when the stems looks juicy, before flowering. In the spring, broadcast seeds and press them lightly into the soil or cover with a very thin layer of soil, only about 1/4 inch at most. With additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu. One of my favorite recipes is this iced fennel and nettle tea from our sister site, Foodal. Stinging Nettle Benefits – Butterflies & Edible In the US, there is a history of Native American use in food, medicine, clothing, and ceremonies. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Dried leaves can also be ground into a powder for use in cooking, to make tea, or as a nutritional supplement. Soil. Upon contact, the tiny needles pierce the skin and release chemicals including acetylcholine, formic acid, histamine, and serotonin, which trigger inflammation and pain that can unfortunately last for up to several hours. They spread from seed and from the roots so to control nettles you need to attack on both fronts. of soil. According to Maria Noel Groves, author of “Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies,” one cup of tea infused for 4-12 hours contains “approximately 500 milligrams of calcium in a highly bioavailable form,” meaning it is easy for the body to absorb and put to use. Yum, that soup sounds delicious, Onwuka, and I would love to try it! The study concluded that the extract may decrease cardiovascular risk factors and other complications in patients with type 2 diabetes. The drying time can vary depending on your location and the relative humidity, and it could take anywhere from one to a few weeks. As long as you use one of these methods, nettle leaves can be a part of practically any dish, used in a similar way to spinach or other leafy greens. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, Kansas State University: Stinging Nettle (PDF). I remember my mum using it to treat wounds on people. Once planted, stinging nettles need to be cultivated to keep the plants under control, as they may become invasive if not managed in the garden. We're offering 3 options: 1) Single Plant - which will give you a nice solid set of roots you can plant out or divide a bit to get started, 2) Nettle Patch - which will give you enough root material to establish at least 10 plants in year 1. All Rights Reserved. Though seen by many as an irritating weed, nettles have been appreciated by foragers for a long time, and they are so much more than just a menace to be wary of. Fibers can be dried, pounded, and twisted into rope or cloth. I use around four ounces of dried leaves to 16 ounces of vodka or vinegar. Native in many places around the world, this herb can be found in north Africa, North America, Asia, and Europe. Once you’ve harvested the greens, you can use them as you would any leafy green. Grow the quick-growing ground cover in moist but well-drained soil in partial or full shade. Plant one to three seeds in peat pots filled with potting soil. This may also help to reduce spreading if you are concerned about the patch getting away from you. This valuable plant also has long been part of culinary and medicinal practices. Nettle is an herbaceous, quick-growing plant whose leaves and stems are covered with tiny, hollow, silica-tipped hairs which can cause irritation. Nettle, Urtica dioica, is an herbaceous perennial in the Urticaceae family that is often found growing wild in the understory of riparian zones, on the edges of meadows, in open forests, or in disturbed soils near pasture. As young plants, the leaves are eaten in salads, boiled as a vegetable or steeped to make a medicinal tea. I didn’t grow up eating much okra myself, but I have grown to love it as an adult, especially in Indian subzi recipes. Once your nettle seedlings are several inches tall and look strong and healthy, cut the bottoms off the compostable pots, transplanting the seedlings pot and all into an area where the nettles won't be a nuisance. These are actually tiny hollow tubes known as trichomes. Here is more about what we do. Stinging nettles need nutrient-rich soil and should be cut back in June or July, to stimulate new shoots to grow, providing more food for caterpillars. Hippocrates recorded 61 medicinal uses of the plant in the fourth and fifth centuries BCE. Nettles will grow in full sun or part shade. When we take the time to appreciate their value and learn to handle them with care, nettles are really an incredible herb with so much to offer us. Plus it is flavorful, resembling celery but much easier to grow. Peat pots work great for nettles. It can grow from two to four feet tall at maturity. Choose a sunny, warm location that is well drained and fertile. Females can be identified by dense, heavy flower clusters that may look like they are pulling the plant down. Stinging nettle seeds need to be kept moist to germinate, which takes 10-14 days on average. Fresh leaves can also be used in cheesemaking as a vegetarian substitute for rennet. Though it stings the hands, it does not sting the gut. Nettles prefers rich soil with good moisture content and especially favors the edges of streams or nutrient-dense pastures. Before freezing, you’ll want to blanch the leaves to remove the sting. In this article, we will be discussing whether comfrey or nettle tea or both are better in the garden. Just bundle up six or seven stems, and hang them in a dry, dark place with good air circulation. Frequently, I would be out peacefully weeding my beds and daydreaming – until I was jolted back to earth by an unexpected sting, the effects of which could last for hours. This unique plant helps to draw in beneficial insects that will help to protect your plants against hungry, marauding invaders. Frozen nettles are a great addition to any food that would be good with added greens. Let’s learn more. The stinging nettle is one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. Use this to your advantage by planting it in a thick perimeter around your grow. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. harvesting and using stinging nettle roots here, You can find more tips on freezing herbs here, 9 Reasons Why Tulip Leaves May Turn Yellow Prematurely, How to Identify, Prevent, and Treat Scab in Stone Fruits, A Flavor You’ve Come to Love: How to Grow Brussels Sprouts, How to Identify, Prevent, and Control Common Cauliflower Diseases, Can You Freeze Fresh Tomatoes? Here’s how – and why – you should grow it at home. Stinging nettle is mentioned in the Nine herbs charm. The leaves can be preserved and consumed in a number of ways. In a study by David James, associate professor of entomology at Washington State University, from 2011 to 2013 researchers monitored beneficial insect populations in U. dioica patches at three locations in the Yakima Valley. It doesn’t mind cooler weather. Nettles grow 2 to 5 feet tall and have opposite leaves. Keep the growing stinging nettle seeds moist. Fill peat pots or other growing containers with potting soil and plant one to three seeds per container. This versatile edible and medicinal herb is not often cultivated, but foraging it from the wild is certainly not your only option. 3) Nettle Massive Patch - enough root material to plant out or pot … If this article hasn’t quite won you over yet, I encourage you to taste some nettle tea for yourself. I learned, for instance, that it is one of the most nutrient-rich native herbs known. Click here to get yours! What is your favorite way to use stinging nettle? The main consideration is moisture. If you have a friend with a thriving patch, ask if you can dig up a couple of plants in late fall and replant them in your yard. One of the most interesting ways of enjoying nettle that I’ve ever tried is in cheese- it’s popular in the Netherlands, and the herb adds just a touch of flavor that combines nicely with creamy dairy. These are hearty perennials with a tendency to become invasive, so choose wisely. To prepare for planting, look for an area with rich soil and sufficient moisture. Or, why not find them in the woods? Seeds are very tiny and require light for germination. Germination should occur by about 14 days. Keep in a dark place, such as a pantry. Once planted, stinging nettles need to be cultivated to keep the plants under control, as they may become invasive if not managed in the garden. If you want, you can incorporate some leaf mulch around the plants to help retain moisture during dry spells. Bring a basket, bucket, or paper bag, and a clean and sharp pair of scissors. Leaves, roots, and seeds have all been used medicinally, and each has different applications. If you are unsure if the seed has been stratified, place the seed in the refrigerator or freezer for 30 days before planting. Don’t plant near smaller plants or they may be overtaken. The stinging nettle is one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. You can also hang leaves to dry in small bunches. Fill peat pots or other growing containers with potting soil and plant one to three seeds per container. Obviously, the nitrogen from the horse manure gets washed into the field there. Some people purposely sting themselves to encourage the release of an anti-inflammatory response. If you’re using fresh leaves, it’s best to chop them and use about eight ounces of leaves to 16 ounces of liquid. A very hearty plant, this herb will do well in a variety of climates and conditions. Contact dermatitis from stinging nettle?, Garden, 11 replies Barnegat Bay infested with Jellyfish..(Stinging Sea Nettle's), New Jersey, 6 replies News Video, UK hosts nettle eating contest., Food and Drink, 3 replies Plastic Plant Pot or Clay Plant Pot?, Phoenix area, 6 replies It has been used in Europe for centuries as food in early spring when other sources of food were scarce, as a nutritive spring tonic and to build the strength and milk production of pregnant and lactating women and livestock and as medicine for various conditions. Pick a place where you are certain that you want them, perhaps not directly next to your veggie patch! The more I researched, the more I began to change my tune on nettle. Stinging nettles will benefit from organic compost added as a soil addendum or applied as a mulch around the plants. What’s more, is you can make stinging nettle manure by steeping just 28 grams of nettles in 240 ml of boiling water and leaving it to steep for 20 minutes. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. It can grow in full sun to partial shade and will tolerate soil with a wide pH range, anywhere from 5.0 to 8.0. Alternatively, if you do find a patch growing wild, you can gather the tiny seeds in early fall, once they have turned brown. Choose a spot that has rich, moist soil a little ways from any other herbs. Nettle does especially well on the edges of meadows, pastures, or streams where the soil stays moist but isn’t waterlogged. Plant in a location where you can manage it, as this plant has a habit of taking over. Water the plants often to keep the soil around them moist. Transplant outdoors in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. Start stinging nettle seeds indoors four- to six weeks before the last frost date for your area. You can also cut off the flowering seed heads when they form, which will encourage a better crop next year, as less energy will be diverted to seed production. It has been grown, foraged, and harvested for thousands of years. Often maligned due to its painful “stings,” stinging nettle is actually a flavorful, high-protein superfood with a long history of use as a culinary, medicinal, and fiber plant. Just be sure to wear gloves, long sleeves and pants, and closed-toe shoes. You can leave the nettle soup for up to an hour and dilute at a ratio of 1:10. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. If you have experienced the pain of a Stinging Nettle plant, wisdom would tell you to avoid it. Insects found included predatory bugs, predaceous flies, parasitic wasps, and native bees. Nettle leaf tea can have diuretic properties and is often used to relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infections. Garden centers generally don't sell stinging nettle plants, so if you want seedlings, you will have to start the plants from seeds first. Growing flowers in an existing nettle bed is a simple way to create a butterfly border." Nettles Help Heating Up The Compost Pile By Supplying Nitrogen. Common stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial plant found in temperate regions throughout the world. Males have a stringier, compact cluster of flowers that tend to point outward. To use, dilute a few drops of the tincture in half a cup of water and drink as a general health tonic. To blanch, place in boiling water for a minute or two, and then quickly douse in ice water. To store, remove leaves from the stems and secure in tightly lidded glass jars. When I first started gardening, I absolutely hated stinging nettle. Stinging nettles growing in spring over a 4 week period Filmed by Neil Bromhall for www.rightplants4me.co.uk Nettles are a garden weed. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Nettle was once widely … In the 80’s, we used to go into the wild in search of stinging nettles. While the stinging nettle can withstand drought-like conditions after becoming established, young plants need consistent moderate to heavy watering. There are quite a number of claims about the healing properties of some root and leaf extracts, but many of these are inconclusive and largely anecdotal. The finished product can range from fine and soft to thick and rough. Use it mask your smaller stealth plants from the neighbors, and to season your favorite soups.Stinging Nettle: No one likes the prickly itch that comes from a brush with stinging nettle. There’s one way to find out! Tip: Varieties with silver leaves often need more light to maintain their color. Plants can later be thinned to an inch apart. It spreads by vigorous creeping rhizomes, and often forms dense clusters. A sure sign of spring is the new nettle shoots that are growing on the perennial nettle Urtica dioica (below left) Urtica urens (left) is the other common variety which is annual stinging nettle or dwarf nettle which I have been eating all winter. Before puttingt them in the garden, harden them off for a week. The needles are generally pointed downward, so work from the top of the plant downwards. She goes on to say that it is also high in magnesium, potassium, silica, and chlorophyll. They leaves and … Drinking it reminds me of sitting in a peaceful forest. The action of disturbing the hairs breaks off the fragile silica tips, and the hair acts like a needle, injecting you with chemicals. All parts of the nettle plant are edible and are used by some practitioners today in herbal remedies. Documented accounts of its use date as far back as 1200 BC, and its uses are widespread. To harvest, cut back the top third of the plant, just above a node where leaves branch off, which will encourage new growth. They can be used to make a fresh nettle soup, added to stews, used in baking, or simply sauteed in a little butter and garlic as a side dish. Although this particular recipe calls for store-bought nettle tea bags, I substitute those with a handful of fresh leaves from my own garden, or a smaller quantity of home-dried leaves. Just needed to know why my landlord insisted so strongly on maintaining that pesky nettle patch the patch away... Are best harvested during the winter the foliage when the stems and secure in tightly jar... Shade and will tolerate soil with a tendency to become invasive, so wisely... Fastest way to use a Pile of stinging nettle roots here of dried leaves can also used... Protein, 2.3 % fat, and then strain grow dead nettles by providing a deal..., Asia, and the added mulch layer will help to protect plants. 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