Nettles
 

  Be Nice to Nettles Week
  a CONE initiative
Nettles
 
“Stingers are a vital part of growing up, giving us one of the most painful early memories of close contact with nature.

It is much later in life that most of us realise just how valuable they are, especially for some of our most beautiful wild creatures.

Without stinging nettles, peacock, small tortoiseshell and red admiral butterflies would have nowhere to lay their eggs, so do please find a space for nettles somewhere in your neighbourhood.”

Professor Chris Baines
Environmentalist and Broadcaster

 

 
 
 

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?
Horse breeders have often added nettle seeds to horse feeds to give the animals a sleek coat.
 
 
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