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applestar
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Does anyone keep a stinging nettle patch?

When I was pregnant and post partem, I drank stinging nettle tea to support the kidneys and encourage lactation. I bought the herb then, but wanted to grow some. So when a volunteer appeared in my garden, I was thrilled, and I encouraged the small plant which was growing in a rather rough area, then collected seeds and scattered them under the espalier fruit orchard and the semi-dwarf apple tree.

Well, for some reason, they didn't grow there, but a patch started to grow in the corner of my veg garden. It's inconvenient because grass gets into that corner and it's hard to maintain.

So now I'm thinking of relocating the patch if I can... Especially since the nettle is starting to spread by underground rhizomes, and I can't really let the nettle have this garden bed. Last year, the cherry tomato vines got into the patch and it was nearly impossible to pick the fruits without wearing kitchen gloves. I got stung a couple of times.

Does anyone keep a nettle patch? Where would be the best location for it (if you don't have a remote area to devote to it?). I really want the patch to grow much bigger so I can use it for making fertilizer tea as well as for my own tea. Is under the fruit trees a good idea? I think it was mentioned as a good plant community combination, but the prickles could cause problems too.
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hendi_alex
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Re: Does anyone keep a stinging nettle patch?

I don't keep them, they keep me. With the deep rhizomes, control is almost impossible. They come up in beds and between beds all over the yard. It is hard to figure how you could contain them, except by placing such that the mower has access all around the bed.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
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Cola82
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Re: Does anyone keep a stinging nettle patch?

Haha, when I was a kid I fell into stinging nettle patch wearing shorts and a tank top. Oh the pain!

I love the idea of eating them, but what's the expression? Once bitten, twice shy? Maybe if someone else does it for me. ;p

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applestar
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Re: Does anyone keep a stinging nettle patch?

If you boil them or freeze then, they don't sting. :wink:

They are said to be good for allergies if fresh or freeze dried (sold as supplements in capsules).

But I just find it easiest to freeze them, then they crumble in the zip bag and is easy to put in tea balls.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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Cola82
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Re: Does anyone keep a stinging nettle patch?

Yes, but considering pot holders and aprons don't stop me from getting splattered and burned by oil and steam when I'm cooking I don't see how having stinging nettles around isn't inviting disaster. My point is I'd be too afraid to go anywhere near them except in a hazmat suit...

But I'd eat them if someone put 'em in a soup. I ate a leaf on a dare once, so you know. It's the same thing, right? ;p

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