Friday, 8 November 2013

Nettles On The Veg Plot.

The old veg plot seem to have become a nettle patch lately.  If you want Urtica Dioca (their posh Latin name) in abundance. Just keep spreading farm yard manure on the plot.  It's also great for "Twitch" (couch grass) and our friends: 'Docks'.

It's been too wet all week to get my trusty Azada working and give the plot a thoroughly good weeding.  I have started mulching paths with flattened cardboard boxes (always remove the Cellotape) and covering it with gone off silage and musty straw.   The worms like it (so do the slugs to hibernate in) and they make it into compost.  Slowly dragging the grass stalks below the soil.  I suppose we are copying nature when the trees shed their leaves and they drop on the forest floor to make lovely friable soil.  Mole hills also make excellent compost.  Never seen any over here in Ireland.

Any gardener will tell you that sometimes it's too wet to work the soil and you have got to wait for the right conditions.  I wish I had a large greenhouse or a polytunnel.  Then I could work the soil even when its raining.

Back to the nettles.  I recently discovered the poet Vernon Scannell.  He wrote a poem about nettles.   I think it's excellent.  Do any of you write poetry?  I used to and I am just getting back into writing them.  Enjoy the poem.

6 comments:

  1. Once heard a rhyme about nettles.

    Cut them in May - Up the next day.
    Cut them in June - Up again soon.
    Cut them in July - Then they'll die.

    Dunno how true it is, they seem to appear from nowhere.

    Autumn in full swing, leaves just about gone from the trees, nights cutting in fast, cooler, windy and showery. Not too bad this morning, not raining and sun trying to break through.

    Raggy cat established its winter regime, sleeping in front of fire, developing a large belly. Haven't had a mouse for ages, idle little sod, must be feeding it too well.

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  2. "Where nettles grow - anything will grow".

    That's another very true saying. Apparently they are legumes (pea family) they release through the nodules in their roots. They are great for a garden tea. Just place some nettles in an old pillow case and weigh them in down in a barrel of rainwateror an old 'dolly tub'. I am showing my age with that one. Come back in a few weeks and you will have a wonderful liquid plant food.

    Nettles are also good for arthritis (I am full of it) and they used to make army uniforms and rope from them. They also attract the butterflies.

    Found a couple of field mice in a round bale of straw the other day. Terrier tried to chase them but they were too fast for her.

    Thanks Cumbrian.

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  3. That should have said:

    "Where nettles grow - anything will grow".

    That's another very true saying. Apparently they are like Legumes (the pea family) they release nitrogen through the nodules in their roots....

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  4. Did you know that lightening strikes also bring nitrogen to the surface. Which is why the grain growers appreciate them in August as they increase the yield.

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  5. I didn't know that lightning strikes also brings nitrogen to the surface. Thank you for telling us about it!

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