May/June is usually about the only time they are worth eating. As young plants, the leaves are eaten in salads, boiled as a vegetable or steeped to make a medicinal tea. … They do spread, so take care to plant them where you won’t mind the spreading. Common nettle is favoured by conditions in woodland clearings and at the early stages of coppicing. It can grow in a wide range of soil pH - from 5.0 to 8.0, so rarely that is a problem. The perennial stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial, herbaceous plant with creeping roots. Nettle seeds are tiny. It does well in low areas. But I figured that nettles were not only very easy to identify (if in doubt, touch it and you will soon found out! Stinging Nettles Three species of stinging nettles grow in the American southwest. It would not be accurate to say that we grow stinging nettles (Urtica dioica), because they grow themselves. And for this very reason, it’s not liked by many, plus it has tiny spiky hair, and if you happen to touch them, they prick your skin and inject a dose of chemicals like histamine and formic acid. are herbaceous, fast-growing plants native to the U.S. and Europe. Connect With Us! There is variation in taste from different plants, so the first time you find one, take home some of the upper leaves, cook and see if they taste good. Don't worry about the stings unless you are one of the people allergic to bee stings. Where lies the difference between brew and manure? And when you do, it will definitely be an experience you will never forget. Habitat: Nettles generally appear in the same locations every year. How can I use Nettle Leaf at home? This species, along with its subspecies, is distributed all over the world, from Africa to Europe and in North and South America. U. d. gracilis is the only perennial of the three. 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The plant is native to parts of Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but now it can be found worldwide. Is it Gluten-Free? The best time to harvest nettles is the first few weeks after they come up in the spring, before they grow to be a foot tall. If you do have children and/or pets and you still want to grow it, I strongly suggest growing it in a fenced in area. The stinging nettle is one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. Answer. Since nettles can grow up to 8 feet tall, going through a large patch of nettle can be a daunting prospect. though they are buried deep under the snow by the time temps get down under 20 below. A distant mint relative, stinging nettles probably developed their stinging hairs to discourage feeding by animals. Nettles grow well in nutrient rich, moist soils. As well as being delicious, nettle tea is reputed to help combat several ailments, … Description. An easily made green tea with a slippery mouthfeel, nettle tea is loaded with antioxidants and other nutraceuticals that bring benefits to every system in the body. Stinging nettles are an herbaceous, fast growing plant with leaves as well as stems, which are covered with tiny, hollow silica tipped hairs and can grow to about 4 feet (1 m.) tall. Asked by Wiki User. Stinging nettles’ European cousin has a similar looking without the dreaded sting. (The aphids might stunt the nettle growth, too.) Our main stinging nettle patch is thriving with about 4 hours of direct sunlight in the summer. Distribution map courtesy of U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA Natural Resources Service) and used in accordance with their policies. 1 2 3. If you aren’t interested in growing stinging nettles to ingest, you might still want to grow them to Stinging nettles are an herbaceous, fast growing plant with leaves as well as stems, which are covered with tiny, hollow silica tipped hairs and can grow to about 4 feet (1 m.) tall. The stem and leaves are covered with tiny hollow needles filled with formic acid. Be the first to answer this question. You should get a lot of seeds quickly. No! This plant will grow in full sun and partial shade. Once you get it established in a spot, it just produces year after year. The medicinal properties of nettles were first harnessed in medieval Europe. Register to get answer. The plant grows a large main stem and from that leaves grow in pairs opposite each other, making the plant seem somewhat four-sided. Pick the leafs from the stems to collect them in a nearby basket. Answer. As I had been reading about how good stinging nettles are for the soil I decided to leave them in the flower beds and just let them grow alongside my flowers and just see how they all get along. Nettles, Urtica spp. Its preference for damp, fertile and disturbed ground makes it a good coloniser of places enriched by human activities, such as agriculture and development. What Stinging Nettles Look Like in Spring. But the plants are definitely happiest when I pop them into the veggie patch with sun and rich soil. Viburnums: Nannyberry, Highbush Cranberries & Others, GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2, Ecoagriculture or Eco friendly agriculture, Interactive USDA distribution map and plant profile, The Biota of North America Program (BONAP) distribution map. Nettles will grow just about anywhere, but they prefer rich soils and benefit from the waste humans produce. U. d. gracilis is the only perennial of the three. It is perhaps most troublesome in loose, newly cultivated soil, especially where phosphate levels are high. At this stage both the leaves and stems are tender and edible. First year ones like this are not as good as the tops from mature rootstock. The combination of wood ash and manure where they grow will make them grow so thick and tall you won't beleive it! Stinging nettles have tiny, fuzzy-like white flowers. What this translates to, is that if you want to grow really tasty Stinging Nettle greens, you need to find or make a location that is damp in the spring where the soil is very rich. If planted in a spot it likes, each clump of it will grow more stems each year. Your email address will not be published. It is native on riverbanks and in hedgerows, grassy places, near buildings and where the ground is littered with rubble. The tastiest seem to grow in damp, rich soils by river banks as soon as you can get them. This plant has a spinach-like taste. They can be used in soups, baked dishes, anything. You see, cooking or drying neutralises the toxic components. A kindly fairy instructs her to gather nettles in a graveyard by night, spin their fibers into a prickly green yarn, and then knit the yarn into a coat for each swan brother in order to break the spell -- all of which she must do without speaking a word or her brothers will die. True to its name, stinging nettle imparts a painful sting through tiny hairs on the underside of its leaves and on its stems. Touching any of these needles will inject you with the formic acid which causes an extremely painful burning sensation. If you see the tiny flowers forming, you are too late for this year. They usually occur where the soil has been recently disturbed or cultivated and they're a good indicator that the soil is quite high in nutrients, especially phosphorus. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) range. That's it – you will have some in the spring. Who doesn't love being #1? Soil & Site: From my experience, the taste varies with location and time of year. It has also been found in parts of Europe, Asia, and Australia. The soil should open, organically rich and loamy. If you want to grow some, these seed heads will provide hundreds of seeds. The main butterfly species that use the nettle are: Peacock, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell and Comma. I need to say from the beginning that I am just a beginner at this and if you would like to do the same I encourage you to get expert advice on what to pick and what not to pick. All Drawings Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 David G. Mills except where noted. Originally native to Europe, much of temperate Asia and western North Africa, it is now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America. Please do not miss to put on gloves as not to come in contact with the stinging hairs. They superficially look similar to the common nettle, however they do not sting. Leaves are about 2-5 inches long with jagged edges, found in opposing pairs along the upper half of the stalk. Is the growing of this plant compatible with Natural farming, Ecoagriculture or Eco friendly agriculture, Ecological farming, Sustainable agriculture, Agroforestry or Agro-sylviculture and Permaculture: This long lived perenial root system is ideal for Natural farming or no-till garden methods. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a fast-growing herbaceous perennial that gets tall in the summer and dies back down to the ground in the winter.It bears small greenish flowers in the spring. If you are older and have arthritis, the stings are good for you, and you will notice you feel better for a couple of days after getting a few stings. Stinging Nettles Three species of stinging nettles grow in the American southwest. Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:51 am Can someone please tell what I need to do to grow a large bed of stinging nettles? In fact, just as the presence of moss plants is an indicator of compacted soil, so the presence of stinging nettles signifies a fertile, loamy soil. without written permission from the author. These are basically biological hypodermic needles. It spreads from rhizomes, and it can be either erect or sprawling. The first beat will be something short-term, something you’d love to improve on or get better at because it will help your effectiveness right now. I did that, and do they ever like it. Because they prefer nitrogen-rich, well-aerated soils, however, their favorite habitat is garden borders. Solanum carolinense, the Carolina horsenettle, is not a true nettle, but a member of the Solanaceae, or nightshade family. Keep picking with force by breaking at the end where the leaves join the stem. In this way, the presence of large collections of nettles in the wild can sometimes indicate where settlements once existed. Stinging nettle will grow in dense clusters, and stalks can reach 5-8 feet at maturity. Where do stinging nettles grow? This makes them ideal for utilizing areas you might not otherwise be able to grow a crop in. I don’t mind them being around as they are useful and provide splashes of luscious green colour. Disclosure. The stingers that defend the plant. One, Urtica dioica ssp. How do nettles grow? So knowing this, don't even bother eating the greens from them the first year they come up if you do plant by seed. Because of this, whenever I have moved, I always hunt around for mature specimens to take home and plant. You can only take a few leaves on each one at a time, and unless you have a few, you won't get a lot. But seriously, be prepared to get stung unless you have the skill of a surgeon no matter how you do it. Adjust to taste. Stinging nettle is native to western North America, Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and introduced elsewhere. Their larvae feed in large groups in silken tents at the top of the nettle stems. As it happened they all got along very well. Finding nettles is usually quite easy, and they grow in every Canadian Provence and US state, with the exception of Hawaii. By the way, each stinger is actually a natural hypodermic needle, and what it injects is anti-inflammatory (unless you are allergic to bee stings). After the harvest season, you don't have to do any maintenance, but you can do a couple of things. Nettles grow 2 to 5 feet tall and have opposite leaves. I have never tasted a cooked green – either wild or domestic – that I like better. Stinging nettles are growing very well around my garden. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Nettle Vine has four states, but only one of these could make it grow. Does the Nettle Leaf Tea have caffeine? It’s is native to most parts of the United States and Canada. I wish I could remember where I read this, but one writer said that if they did not sting they would have gone extinct long ago, as they are so good tasting, and so rich in nutrients, that animals would have grazed them to oblivion. My husband and I were excited by the idea that we might be growing a variety of nettles that could provide health benefits similar to our native nettles with a potential for greater ease of harvest. We simply have a thin piece of bamboo bent to make a pair of tongs. Since nettles can grow up to 8 feet tall, going through a large patch of nettle can be a daunting prospect. Certain moths like nettles, as do many of the UK’s most colourful and best known butterflies, such as the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock Butterflies. Despite the stalky nature it is well digested by stock animals even pigs, fowl and rabbits. After the seedlings are up a little or after you transplant, mulch around the area well. The leaves and tops from the first year plants are not as good as from mature rootstock, so I'd pass on eating the leaves until the second year, and even those are not as good as from a plant that is many years old. Herbaceous with stinging and non-stinging hairs and with simple or branched stems that can grow to about nine feet high. The California Nettle or Stinging Nettle is a perennial plant that can grow anywhere from three to nine feet high, growing in stands connected by underground roots. This ancient herb of European lore is the most invasive herb you will ever love or hate, except for perhaps mint. The creeping surface stems can extend for some considerable distance, rooting at the nodes and producing aerial shoots. If you do live in an area with acidic soils, such as with conifer trees all around or blueberries growing in the area, the solution is quite simple. The season is very short, so you need a few plants to make up for that. Stinging Nettle in seed in my garden. Further to this, if you would like to learn more about the ancient art of pulse testing, a ... You can try this by getting some fresh nettles (very easy to grow in a pot at home if this turns out to be an effective aid) and then developing the practice of brushing or rubbing the affected area with a leaf. They have also appeared singly in my upper flowerbeds, which are near the nettle patches so I assume they seeded from them. I even found a few among some thick blackberry brambles. If you have experienced the pain of a Stinging Nettle plant, wisdom would tell you to avoid it. There is one odd, counter intuitive aspect to these greens: the greens from new, or first year plants don't taste very good. Nettle is actually quite similar to cannabis in the fact that it produces trichomes on its leaves. Who doesn't love being #1? This may not be reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, Growing Stinging Nettles for Tea. winter cold shouldnt be a problem if well established Order … Yes** and Yes! (By: Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany). Two similar subspecies of stinging nettles are commonly found growing in North America. Nettles are the number one destination for ladybirds with eggs to lay. Nettles prefers rich soil with good moisture content and especially favors the edges of streams or nutrient-dense pastures. And that's why you often see nettles amongst the cow pats in your paddocks. Once the leaves start to yellow in the fall, you can use the pair of hedge clippers to cut them back to about 10 cm (4 inches) high, leaving the stalks on the ground and cover with a layer of composted manure, compost and/or mulch. Once you get these plants established, there is no need to ever till the soil around them. What this translates to, is that if you want to grow really tasty Stinging Nettle greens, you need to find or make a location that is damp in the spring where the soil is very rich. Nettles grow well in many locations as long as they have enough nutrients, sunlight and moisture; therefore they are considered by many to be a weed. They spawn into the world fully grown, and can be harvested during the Heavy Fog and Rain of the Humid Season. The best thing you can do for it is dig in a layer of composted manure into the soil where you are going to seed or transplant to. Far too late for gathering leaves for food, but if you find some like this make note of the location, as there will be lots for picking next spring. Wearing gloves, pick the first two or three pairs of leaves from the tops of plants. However, I wanted the information to available to everyone free of charge, so I made this website. Stinging nettle is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant belonging to the Urticaceae family and is native to Europe, parts of Asia, and North Africa. When producing brew and manure from stinging nettles, the time factor is the decisive variable. Skip to the content. Text Copyright © 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 David G. Mills. gracilis, is a North American native. Lisa, the ironic thing is that you can usually find plants like Jewelweed and Plantain growing in the same area as Stinging Nettles, offering quick and easy relief that’s free for the picking. ... often referred to as urticaria or nettle-like rash. Growing spotted deadnettle from stems is a cheap and easy way to spread this terrific shade plant. Gloves are largely unknown to us. Close up of Stinging Nettle stem with stinging hairs visible. If you want to be able to eat the greens from these in your garden the first year after you start growing them, you really do need to transplant a well established plant. Caution: When collecting stinging nettle always cover up all exposed skin. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox. Impatiens flowers behind. Stinging nettles grow in such abundance (there are over 500 species worldwide,) their valuable properties can be harnessed for free by almost anyone, anywhere on the planet. Dried nettles provide excellent fodder and are readily eaten by farm animals. However many of these plants, especially in natural areas, have been recognized as a native subspecies. The leaves of stinging nettles are heart-shaped and serrated, like so… The leaves grow in pairs on the stem, with each leaf directly opposite from the other one. Add 1 teaspoon of nettle leaves per cup of tea.

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