Overgrown nettles!

(2 Posts)
hazelisours Wed 25-May-16 13:48:10

Am a complete beginner and would be really grateful for some advice smile

This is our first summer in this house and I have a very adventurous toddler (20 months). Do you know the best way to tackle these nettles without damaging other plants that are growing in the same area?

Is it a case of strimming the lot...seems a shame as the butterflies love it! Thanks.

shovetheholly Wed 25-May-16 17:23:31

Aw, your dog is CUTE!

It looks to me like there are strips of garden with richer soil that haven't been mown, and these have been largely colonised by weeds and nettles. Nettles tend to like good soil, so it bodes well for planting in future!

Personally, I would get some really long, tough gauntlets and a thick long-sleeved top and some tough trousers (ideally with wellies over the top) and a garden fork. Then I'd just root up the nettles, trying to get all the roots. You can use them to make pesto if you are adventurous! You'll be surprised what you can clear in an hour. I'd then mix in loads and loads of compost (the soil will probably be a bit clumpy) and PLANT or COVER with thick mulch! The key is to get stuff in to cover the ground to reduce the weeding you need to do in future. The more plants you have that you love, the less room there is for weeds to establish. (You'll still have to do weeding, just not as often and it won't be so much hard work).

Alternatively, if you're very pressed for time (and who isn't with a toddler?) you could dig up what you want to keep and replant in a bed elsewhere, then cover the lot in weed sheeting or cardboard with compost on the top. The nettles will die naturally through lack of light and the cardboard will gradually break down and in a year or so you will be able to plant through it. In the meantime, though, it will look a bit meh, and weed seeds will land on the compost and germinate so you will need to turn it. sad

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