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Dealing with nettles
Wed 2-Mar-11
3:35 pm
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Sooliz
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Husband has asked me to seek advice from you good and knowledgeable people.

The bottom of our garden is festooned with nettles, mainly covering an ancient (and huge) compost heap, in the area where he is digging and creating an allotment plot.  I should say that this area of the garden hasn't been tended for years (we only moved here last Easter).  He managed to dig 2 veg plots last year and is probably tripling the size/quantity of plots and veg space this year (hero that he is.....I don't do digging, having a bad back and being a fair weather gardener). 

Husband was valiantly digging/pulling out as many nettles as humanly possible last year (he doesn't want to use chemicals), but the blighters were clearly mini triffids and were hell bent on invasion every time his back was turned.

Can you recommend an easier way to get rid of them?  And, to make life a whole lot better for him, a method of KEEPING them away?  And are they useful for anything?  Like fertilizer, I mean....don't mention soup, I've had enough of a struggle learning to like/eat veg without feeling like I'm being poisoned, without getting to grips with some ghastly weed that in my view certainly doesn't belong in my kitchen!

Thank you in advance kiss

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Wed 2-Mar-11
4:24 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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That's a very interesting thought, Sue, as only today, I read an article about nettles. (Thankyou Martin Burkinshaw - Two Crows Wild School)

When you get stung by nettles, 7 neurotransmitters are released - one of which is serotonin - the feel-good "molecule of happiness". Nettles are packed with vitamins and minerals, especially iron, and in the easiest form the human body can absorb. It is also a galactagogue which means it promotes milk flow in nursing mums.

If you have a touch of rheumatism, stinging yourself on the joints can relieve the pain. The substances in the stings draw toxins out to the skin and promote healing. The author uses it after a mosquito bites to relieve itching too.

Sue, this bit is not for you I imagine (smile) but he suggests collecting a pan full of the top four young leaves from each stem at this time of year only, as, after they flower they're not as good for you; wash but don't dry them. Throw into a pan and cook like spinach, with lid on, and after a couple of minutes, add a chunk of butter and serve.

Sorry, though, I haven't fully answered your question, have I ? big_laugh 

 

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Wed 2-Mar-11
4:40 pm
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Sooliz
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Hmm, the serotonin bit could be useful for me right now....but somehow I think I'd rather wait for my doc's appointment - antidepressants sound rather more user-friendly, reluctant though I am to take them.  And as for the nettle 'spinach'.....sorry, but yuck!!  Don't even like spinach, let alone the 'weedy' version eeek.  Thanks Val, you're an absolute mine of, erm, useful (or not!!) information today (but I do appreciate the thoughts! Ta muchly big_hug).

Husband might appreciate the stinging yourself on the joints bit (for his arthritis) - at least, that's what I'll tell him when he comes in complaining about being stung again wink.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Wed 2-Mar-11
5:11 pm
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brightspark
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These B vitamins can help - Thiamin and riboflavin - that's what's needed - and can be found in:

Thiamin: fortified breakfast cereals, legumes, nuts etc

Riboflavin: same cereals, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, almonds and (sorry, Sue!) spinach  big_laugh big_laugh

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Wed 2-Mar-11
5:18 pm
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Sooliz
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You won't get me eating it Val, no matter how hard you try! winkaargh (spinach I mean, I'm not even going to mention the nett....). 

Now, have you any info on getting rid of the blasted things for hubby?  He's just come in, moaning about the stings, and gave me a bit of a look when I said "It's good for you to get stung!!  They told me on the forum......." whistle

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Wed 2-Mar-11
5:28 pm
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brightspark
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Okay, Sue, I give in laugh

Have a look at this Q&A session.

There are some suggestions for you - hope it helps this time .......  big_laugh   big_laugh

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Wed 2-Mar-11
6:21 pm
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JoannaS
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Nettles make an excellent fertilizer for you compost heap and as a nettle tea ie soaked in water to feed plants.

I do like nettles for eating, they are not really like spinach at all but cooked like them. Along with ground elder they are the first things to come through in spring and are good to throw in with some pasta, hazelnuts and onions and something to moisten it with like mayo, cheese or yogurt.

Nettle root is also apparently good for prostate trouble

If you must get rid of them then keep cutting them down, about five times a year and they may give up the ghost. Do this particularly in spring as that is when they are likely to be putting most of their energy into the root system.cheers

 

Wed 2-Mar-11
7:35 pm
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maria

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toffeeappleJoanna you pipped me to it, Nettles are so high in nitrogen they are brilliant for composting, the ground will be good for growing stuff!      here in Bulgaria the locals feed their turkeys nettles the leaves any way they quite often wonder around picking it.

Sooliz a dear old Irishman called Mr Morriaty told me to always eat the top 3 or 4 leaves either steamed or in tea, excellant for arthritus he used to feed it to his old german shepherd who lived a ripe old age!

So there you are lots of good things to do with stinging nettles!!

Wed 2-Mar-11
7:49 pm
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Sooliz
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Wow, thank you all for the info¦..sounds like it will benefit my husband, anyway (he's at the right age) whether he eats or drinks it (rather him than me), waters his plants with it or uses it on the compost! eeekok

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Wed 2-Mar-11
9:15 pm
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Terrier
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Hi Yes I'd heard they were excellent for liquid fertilizer and even rival comfrey water in thier powers.

One old country tale for erradicating is to keep cutting the tops off, the top 6 inches or so, regulalry and they'll eventually die down. Not sure if it works, we go full throttle with the strimmer (but make sure you're wearing long sleeves and long trousers...first time I did it was high summer and I itched for days afterwards.) - this was in the summer field, and the nettles are still there, but not as rampant as they were. The horses eat them as well once they start to dry out after they've been cut, so we don't have to pick them up.

Thu 3-Mar-11
12:44 pm
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Toffeeapple
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Might this help?

I'll try that again!

Thu 3-Mar-11
12:57 pm
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Sooliz
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TA, I'm probably being completely thick and am currently unable to think straight anyway, so forgive me for not understanding that link.  I see it's for a flower bulb, like an orchid, and it is very lovely, but I don't understand how it will help our nettle problem?  Perhaps I haven't read it right, sorry.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Thu 3-Mar-11
1:00 pm
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Toffeeapple
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doh I somehow managed to post a reply to Maria, about Spider Lillies, on your nettle thread!  For which I apolgise, like anything and, blushing, will take myself off immediately to try to rectify the embarrasment! Gulp.

I'll try that again!

Thu 3-Mar-11
1:18 pm
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Sooliz
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And I thought I was the only mad scatty clueless one!! LOL TA, don't worry about it - and they are very lovely flowers anyway!

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Thu 3-Mar-11
1:23 pm
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Toffeeapple
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No, no, I'm the queen of mad and scatty and clueless, truly!  I've found an even more useful link for Maria now anyway so not all is lost!

I'll try that again!

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