Nettles as Gardeners’ Helpers

You can use this hated weed to your advantage. Nettles make a biological spray and fertiliser in one. And they are free …and everywhere!

Nettle harvesting

Nettle is strongest by May. It’s a good idea to wear gloves when picking, and if you still get stung by nettles, use sorrel to neutralise them. Nettles can also be used in the home pharmacy thanks to their medicinal properties. Various nettle dishes are also popular in spring. But in this article we will focus on the use of nettles in the garden.

Production of nettle extract

Use 100 g of nettle leaves before flowering, pour in a litre of cold water and after 2-3 days you can declare war on aphids without killing off the beneficial insects that also help you in this fight.

If you are in a hurry, bring the leaves to a slow boil in water. Then leave them to soak for 5-10 minutes. Once cooled, you can use them immediately.

If you prepare this extract in bulk and leave it to ferment in the sun for 10 days, you will get a great fertiliser to support growth, including the root system. It is quite strong, so when watering, use 10 parts water to 1 part fertiliser. Fermenting nettles give off quite an unpleasant odour, so if you are after positive neighbourly relations, place the container with the extract in a suitable place.