how do you grow stinging nettles?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Nickolas, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. Nickolas

    Nickolas Junior Member

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    Can someone please tell what I need to do to grow a large bed of stinging nettles? i.e. what type of soil do they need, what time of year do I sow the seeds, do I need to do anything special to get the seeds to germinate, how long do the seed take to germinate, how much do I water them and finally do they grow best in full sun/part shade or full shade.

    I goggled how to grow stinging nettles but I didn’t have any luck (unlike when I Google something like how to grow sweat corn(which I get a lot of hits when I look that up:p).

    p.s. one of my friends has a few stinging nettles (that are about to go to seed) growing wild at there place which they kindly said I could harvest the seeds when they are ready
    :rofl:.
     
  2. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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  3. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Where I am stinging nettles are weeds, kind of like catnip, and reseed freely. I am actually afraid to start them for fear they'll get loose, although I want to use them in manure teas, they are fabulous.

    When I was a kid, before anyone was thinking organic or Permaculture, the orchards where I grew up were always planted in stinging nettles, and as we ran through them in tennis shoes and no socks I remember out ankles really getting it. They plowed it under, maybe left a few to reseed.

    We have clay soil and not a lot of rain from the end of spring through the beginning of winter, like almost zero. They are a summer annual, so if established in a wet spring will grow happily like a weed in a dry summer.
     
  4. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    It depends on what kind of nettles you want and why you want them. There are perennial nettles and annual nettles. The annuals self seed prolifically and grow in nitrogen rich soil (eg in paddocks with grazing animals). They will grow in quite dry conditions. The perennial also likes nitrogen, but needs more moisture. It can be propagated by dividing the root, as well as sowing seed.

    Perennial nettle is considered an invasive weed in NZ, not sure about Oz but you might want to be careful about what you say to who if you are looking for some. If you have the annual growing locally wild (which you almost certainly do), it will be in seed now. I'd just go cut a whole bunch of the tops and put them in your garden with some compost or animal manure where you want them to grow.

    You want to be a bit careful where you put nettle. The perennial spreads by a rhizome, and can be hard to completely remove if you change your plans for that bit of ground. The annual will self seed, but it's pretty easy to weed out.

    Here's a page on the difference nettles. Australia and NZ both have native nettles too.

    https://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/...8d04-0605030c0f01/media/Html/Urtica_urens.htm
     
  5. teela

    teela Junior Member

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    god no...they dont need moist soil. They were weeds where I used to live....300mm rainfall a year. Of course they grew better when we had a good year and where I watered and they grew in sandy soil.
     
  6. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Weird. I wonder why they won't grow for me?
     
  7. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    You probably need the right conditions to get them established.
     
  8. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    On my property the nettles prefer shade. I am waiting to see if they survived the winter currently.
     
  9. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    That is very helpful info. I think I will try them in moist shade to see if I can get them started....
     
  10. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    My sister is very good at infesting everywhere with stinging nettles and snails hmmmmmmmmmm
     
  11. sweetpea

    sweetpea Junior Member

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    Start them indoors as transplants, then you can see what they respond to.
     
  12. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Could you have her stop by? I would rather have nettles then blackberry! The snails I am sure will be welcomed by my chooks. :)
     
  13. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    I would love to have both nettles AND blackberry! :)
     

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