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Growing Stinging Nettles

 
Jeff McLeod
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Location: New Hampshire
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Hi everyone - I figured this was probably the best place to ask this one. Has anyone had any luck growing nettles from seed? For whatever reason I'm having a hell of a time, which is pretty ironic because back in the UK where we used to live nettles are so prolific folks spend a lifetime trying to eradicate them from their gardens. So far our best effort in peat pots has resulted in extremely small sprouts that appear to have stalled in growth. The seed we sowed outdoors against the side of our garage managed about the same amount of growth before the birds/critters decided they looked good and ate the lot ::

We're up in southern NH so zone 5+ Our latest effort is now in the greenhouse to see if it's just simply too cold for them. Any ideas would be greatfully taken. Oh and we're growing them for brewing and food.

Peace

Jeff
 
Jordan Lowery
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What temps/season are you germinating at? What is the environment like where your planting? And how are planting the seed?

If you can find some locally, root divisions are much easier to establish patches with.
 
Jeff McLeod
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Location: New Hampshire
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Jordan Lowery wrote:What temps/season are you germinating at? What is the environment like where your planting? And how are planting the seed?

If you can find some locally, root divisions are much easier to establish patches with.


Hi Jordan - I'll have to take a guess at the temps. Indoors our germinating temperature was around 66 degrees air temp. I would imagine outdoor temp was slightly lower say around 60. We started planting mid April onwards. Environment varies - outdoors sown against a concrete garage wall (pretty well drained sandy soil), outdoors in potting soil, indoors in peat pots.

So far I've had no luck at all finding nettles in the 'wild' in New Hampshire.

thanks

Jeff
 
Julia Winter
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I was under the impression that nettles like more mucky soil, not sandy and well drained. They are said to be an indicator species for rich soil, with lots of fertility.
 
Jeff McLeod
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Location: New Hampshire
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Julia Winter wrote:I was under the impression that nettles like more mucky soil, not sandy and well drained. They are said to be an indicator species for rich soil, with lots of fertility.


Hi Julia - not sure. I know that back in the UK I've seen stinging nettles growing on demolition sites in piles of bricks and sand. Perhaps a different strain of nettle? It's pretty common to see nettles grow just about anywhere even between paving stones and out of blacktop.



 
David Goodman
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There are multiple species of nettles. The variety I had popping up in my Florida garden (which I eradicated - SHAME!) was growing in hot sandy soil.
 
Julia Winter
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that explains why the nettles I harvested on Monday looked rather different than the pictures I saw on the web. Still tasted delicious (although just about anything cooked with a good amount of "ham yum" is going to be great)!
 
Jeff McLeod
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Location: New Hampshire
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Wiki came to the rescue. I had no idea there were so many species of nettle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nettle
 
Celia Revel
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I'm wondering if number of frost days has anything to do with it. They grow abundantly and wild in northern California in late winter, early spring. That time of year it is wet and and frosty in the mornings.
 
Jeff McLeod
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Location: New Hampshire
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Celia Revel wrote:I'm wondering if number of frost days has anything to do with it. They grow abundantly and wild in northern California in late winter, early spring. That time of year it is wet and and frosty in the mornings.


That's what I am beginning to wonder about. Certainly New Hampshire has way colder weather in general than the UK and certainly AFAIK more frost days.
 
Jeff McLeod
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Location: New Hampshire
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Quick update .... I have nettles They just decided to take their merry time. But I now have three good sized nettles which hopefully will be a base for more next year. The only question is should I plant them outside and take a chance with the NH winter?
 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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IME, nettles are super winter hardy. they grow wild very successfully at 9500 feet here in Colorado, where it gets super cold. though they are buried deep under the snow by the time temps get down under 20 below.
winter cold shouldnt be a problem if well established
 
Jeff McLeod
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Location: New Hampshire
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Thanks Adam - I'll get them in the garden this weekend once the weather cools down.
 
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