They grow to around knee height depending upon soil and location. Stinging nettle is easy to grow from seeds, but it can be invasive so it's best to plant it in containers. But beware: once they go to seed, they'll send see everywhere and then you'll likely get volunteer nettles in the future. You can also hang leaves to dry in small bunches. This may also help to reduce spreading if you are concerned about the patch getting away from you. Start stinging nettle seeds indoors four- to six weeks before the last frost date for your area. Males and females grow adjacent to each other, and the flowers are usually wind pollinated. 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! You can also sow stinging nettle seed directly into the prepared garden space. Here is more about what we do. Check there are no caterpillars on the stems you remove. Nettle is easy to grow and can easily be started by seed indoors, or divided from existing patches. If a spot is too dry, plants may struggle and will lack flavor, and may potentially lack some of their potency as an herbal remedy. You can read more about harvesting and using stinging nettle roots here. Growing flowers in an existing nettle bed is a simple way to create a butterfly border." For food and making herbal remedies, harvest the foliage when the stems looks juicy, before flowering. Throw them in soups, pasta, stir fries, stews, or omelets. There’s one way to find out! While the stinging nettle can withstand drought-like conditions after becoming established, young plants need consistent moderate to heavy watering. Seeds are very tiny and require light for germination. Where. I have never tasted a cooked green – either wild or domestic – that I like better. Never mind worrying about pests and disease. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. In the US, there is a history of Native American use in food, medicine, clothing, and ceremonies. If you’re interested in growing other medicinal herbs, you’ll need these guides next: © Ask the Experts, LLC. Fresh leaves can also be used in cheesemaking as a vegetarian substitute for rennet. 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. Now I feel confident I can care for mine! Another benefit of growing stinging nettle is that it actually can reduce the risk of pest infestation for surrounding crops. You may also direct sow nettle greens in the garden. Here’s how – and why – you should grow it at home. Just bundle up six or seven stems, and hang them in a dry, dark place with good air circulation. Stinging nettles can also be grown from root cuttings. Females can be identified by dense, heavy flower clusters that may look like they are pulling the plant down. 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. Males have a stringier, compact cluster of flowers that tend to point outward. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Dried nettles are 25.2% protein, 2.3% fat, and have only 0.6 calories per gram. 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. Alternatively, if you do find a patch growing wild, you can gather the tiny seeds in early fall, once they have turned brown. I learned, for instance, that it is one of the most nutrient-rich native herbs known. I would imagine that if your growing medium had some chunks of decomposed wood chips or bark in it, the nettles would thrive in root pouches. Some people purposely sting themselves to encourage the release of an anti-inflammatory response. The main consideration is moisture. Nettles don’t need much maintenance after harvest season, as they are very hardy and spread easily. You’ll need about one cup of liquid nettle rennet per gallon of milk. 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. The sting of the fresh leaves is said to have healing properties, such as helping to reduce inflammation, improving circulation, and even combating allergies. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below! Each year over the course of three years, they found 200 to 400 beneficial insects trapped in nettle plants at all three sites. Always consult with a medical professional or trained herbalist before starting any herbal treatment. 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. Insects found included predatory bugs, predaceous flies, parasitic wasps, and native bees. To harvest, cut back the top third of the plant, just above a node where leaves branch off, which will encourage new growth. I was living at a property with a huge patch of it growing directly across the path from my veggie garden, and those nettles didn’t like to stay put! The study concluded that the extract may decrease cardiovascular risk factors and other complications in patients with type 2 diabetes. Common stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial plant found in temperate regions throughout the world. This unique plant helps to draw in beneficial insects that will help to protect your plants against hungry, marauding invaders. 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. Here is an interesting nettle fact for gardeners: they are an indicator of Nitrogen in the soil. Nettles Help Heating Up The Compost Pile By Supplying Nitrogen. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Tips for Freezing Your Homegrown Crop, How and When to Fertilize Your Pumpkin Plants, Plant Folklore: Myths, Magic, and Superstition. But for this you’ll need a big harvest – two pounds or more of fresh leaves, simmered in four cups of water with a tablespoon of non-iodized salt for 30 minutes. 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. Don’t plant near smaller plants or they may be overtaken. For reasons that are unclear, plants grown in the presence of stinging nettle display exceptional vigor and resist spoiling. Plant cuttings in a prepared bed in full sun. Tip: Varieties with silver leaves often need more light to maintain their color. Stinging Nettle Benefits – Butterflies & Edible Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! 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. Water, as necessary, to keep the soil moist. Nettles can also be foraged easily, and they grow as a weedy perennial all over the place. Water the plants often to keep the soil around them moist. Peat pots work great for nettles. Transplant outdoors in early spring, as soon as the ground can be worked. Nettle does especially well on the edges of meadows, pastures, or streams where the soil stays moist but isn’t waterlogged. I didn’t grow up eating much okra myself, but I have grown to love it as an adult, especially in Indian subzi recipes. Let it sit for about a month and then strain. Use this to your advantage by planting it in a thick perimeter around your grow. The drying time can vary depending on your location and the relative humidity, and it could take anywhere from one to a few weeks. The Grow Network now offers organic bulk herbs—including stinging nettle—in our store. It's considered an aggressive invasive and has become established and common in certain areas. It doesn’t mind cooler weather. It reproduces from wind-blown seeds and the root rhizomes that will continue to spread in the garden bed. Stinging nettles will benefit from organic compost added as a soil addendum or applied as a mulch around the plants. Today, it is still commonly used as a textile similar to hemp or flax. It is best if you plant them outdoors because they like to have room to grow. U. dioica has been used to address a range of ailments over the centuries. It is not impossible to grow them in pots, but if you do, you’ll need to transplant into larger pots right away. Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) - Stinging Nettle is found growing all across North America and especially in moist, forested soil. 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. Plant in a location where you can manage it, as this plant has a habit of taking over. If this article hasn’t quite won you over yet, I encourage you to taste some nettle tea for yourself. Soil. To prepare for planting, look for an area with rich soil and sufficient moisture. Stinging nettles are a common weed, tough weed to control. The action of disturbing the hairs breaks off the fragile silica tips, and the hair acts like a needle, injecting you with chemicals. You can find more tips on freezing herbs here. Keep the growing stinging nettle seeds moist. If you have experienced the pain of a Stinging Nettle plant, wisdom would tell you to avoid it. Keep your gloves on when you wash them, carefully removing any dirt or insects. Stinging nettle seeds need to be kept moist to germinate, which takes 10-14 days on average. Lightly cover them with ¼ inch (1.25 cm.) 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. It has been grown, foraged, and harvested for thousands of years. Stinging nettle is a multifaceted companion plant and has a very special place within a cannabis garden. 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