Dealing with Stinging Nettles

Discussion in 'Holistic Farming' started by SouthWestConvert, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. SouthWestConvert

    SouthWestConvert New Member

    Location:
    Honiton (Devon)
    I took on some land just over a year ago of which some of the fields have a decent amount of nettles. Am after some ideas in dealing with them.

    Although not organically registered, I refuse to use any chemical sprays etc due to how a harmful they are. Land only has sheep which are mob grazed and moved daily.

    I do not have a tractor either so most mechanical means are out.

    I was thinking of a bacterially dominant compost tea spray as nettles would be more fungal dominant than grass but not sure if it would be effective.

    Ideas welcome.
     
    Farmer Roy and Kiwi Pete like this.
  2. puppet

    puppet Member

    Location:
    sw scotland
    Does mechanical rule out a scythe?
    Very friendly to the environment.
    Either that or keep your sheep hungry in the spring and they might eat them
     
    davieh3350 and MF135 like this.
  3. SouthWestConvert

    SouthWestConvert New Member

    Location:
    Honiton (Devon)
    I have been strimming patches this year and tighter grazing is an option. At the moment I put mineral licks in any patches and they are eating those by the mineral buckets.

    Other creative ideas welcome though!
     
    Farmer Roy likes this.
  4. Roy_H

    Roy_H Member

    Mow them down then after they begin to re-grow sprinkle some salt on them, (preferably after rain or a heavy dew). They will turn black overnight!;)
     
  5. SouthWestConvert

    SouthWestConvert New Member

    Location:
    Honiton (Devon)
    Interesting. Will report back!
     
  6. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Even a good bruising hurts them, like heavy chain harrows or a clod-crusher sledge leveller type of gadget.
    Bacteria are easy, just supply them some type of nitrogen source is generally enough.

    I have a few patches here and just tow my heavy chain harrow across them both directions, spin some salt on, turn in the stock. Soon fixes them.
     
  7. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Member

    Location:
    Leicestershire
    If you're avoiding sprays I assume you're keen on helping nature, can you live with some nettles? They are fantastic for all sorts of wildlife, especially insects and anything that eats them. Remember, tightly managed grass with no 'weeds' is a monoculture and a poor provider of habitat
     
  8. Will Blackburn

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Salt is a more toxic chemical than glyphosate!
     
  9. SouthWestConvert

    SouthWestConvert New Member

    Location:
    Honiton (Devon)
    I am working with nature and I absolutely can live with a few nettles, but two fields especially are overrun with them and would like to rein them in a bit.
     
    New Puritan, Farmer Roy and GeorgeK like this.
  10. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Member

    Location:
    Leicestershire
    If it's larger areas then contract in someone to mow it a couple of times a year, aim to get them before they seed. Be sure to remove the mineral buckets/feeders/anything else that could damage the mower
     
  11. Kiwi Pete

    Kiwi Pete Member

    Location:
    Owaka, New Zealand
    Yet we put it on our food to improve the flavour.
    Nobody seems tempted to do that with glyphosate, however much they love the stuff.

    Nettles are bloody good food but I have found sheep often need a little encouragement to discover them, bruising the stings off is often enough.
    Cattle don't seem to mind them either way, but it is a treble whammy to give them a crushing, poison them, and then have animal impact on top.
     
  12. Roy_H

    Roy_H Member

    I know which I would prefer to have on my fish and chips! ( Note to self, never paddle in the sea):whistle:
     
  13. Roy_H

    Roy_H Member

    You might have to have 2 or 3 goes at them over the growing season, remember nettles have a vast root system.
     
    Kiwi Pete likes this.
  14. Will Blackburn

    Location:
    Cheshire
    Nettles are a sign of elevated phosphate levels. (y)
     
  15. hit them with animals - or a sycthe - or go really complicated and make a fungi heavy compost tea and spray that as a foliar onto them
     
    Kiwi Pete likes this.
  16. Poorbuthappy

    Poorbuthappy Member

    Location:
    Devon
    I let my daughter put her 2 sows on a heavily infested area. It'll need some seed throwing around afterwards but the pigs love the stingers and the roots - and it's the huge root structure of nettles that makes them hard to kill.
     
  17. farmerm

    farmerm Member

    Location:
    Shropshire
  18. SouthWestConvert

    SouthWestConvert New Member

    Location:
    Honiton (Devon)
    Well I have just purchased a salt block and will chip it up and spread it over a patch that the sheep are in and are going into tomorrow. Will see if they eat the one's in their section and what happens to the others where the sheep were.
     
  19. Blaithin

    Blaithin Member

    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Salt for weed control is like vinegar for weed control.

    Apply too much and you’re fudgeing up the soil pH and killing everything. Salt is an indescriminant killer of plants from increased salinity. And it does tend to stick around in the soil longer than glyphosate. You might prefer it on fries but it’ll keep stuff from growing longer than round up will.
     
    Farmer Roy likes this.

Share This Page