When do the nettles tend to sprout, and over what timeframe do they die back? I'm definitely intrigued by the idea of a tag team, where you choose a successor plant that becomes established over the same window that the nettles die back.
the place i collect my nettles locally is the same way. i just collect and harvest what i can before the blackberries overtake the nettles. at the end of the season the tall nettle stalks are the only survivors and i use those for rope.
blackberries would definitely win this particular fight. I could see trying to get some of the local trailing blackberry (Rubus ursinus) established. that stuff can make a nice dense groundcover that probably wouldn't interfere with the nettles too much. might not get enough sun to make much fruit, but that's not the prime concern. some wild strawberries might work.
Travis Philp wrote:
What about transplanting the nettle to another location, or letting some of it go to seed and planting those somewhere else. To me this means a lot less work than fighting blackberry.
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Unless you expect the saponins to harm some fish, you might look into quinoa to go along with the clover. If you sow the right variety early in October, it will probably be ready for harvest before the goats need to be let in.
Scott Reil wrote:
At least two people have noted that blackberries and nettles seem to grow together...
Are we possibly missing that blackberries and nettles IS the guild? If so a trip through the woods might offer ideas... Thistle is a favored habitat for coccinellids (read ladybugs), so perhaps try some seed near aphid vulnerable plants? But it sounds like nettle and rubus have already reached agreement, so who else shows up? Take suggestions from nature...
Is it simply the dominating nature of this plant or the invasiveness which everyone objects to?