Nettles
 

  Be Nice to Nettles Week
  a CONE initiative
Nettles
 
“Stinging nettles give us an insight into both the capacity for nature to flourish even in some of the hardest urban conditions, and how plants are essential in providing us with some of the neccessities of life.

Not only do they provide excellent food for some butterflies and moths, but we can make tea from their leaves, use them as dyes, and once stung we will never forget their power to protect - as good a piece of environmental education as any.”

Mathew Frith
Urban Advisor, English Nature

 

 
 
 

Nettles in the garden

Although just a weed to many gardeners, the nettle has a lot to offer the resourceful gardener.

In the organic garden the nettle is responsible for rearing an army of ladybirds in the early part of the year ready to march on the aphids attacking the crop plants later in the summer.

The leaves when used to pack fruit can help prevent moulds forming and the whole plant is reputed to prevent fungal attacks of other nearby plants.

Perhaps the best use of nettles in the garden is as a nutritious plant food that can be easily brewed. As well as providing a rich supply of minerals to your garden plants if sprayed over the foliage it deters pest species and prevents fungal diseases.

Nettles leaves are also a great addition to the compost heap being rich in nitrogen they provide the fuel for the bacteria to break down the more woody material in the heap.

All in all no garden should be without a patch or two!

 

 
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Did you know?
Nettles were often hung in bunches in larders because of their fly repellent properties.
 
 
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