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Nettle problem

Goodmorning. Thank you for including me on this gardening site. I have a problem with nettles. We have an acre area with three goats and chickens. And I can not control the spread of the nettles. Is there a company who will clear them for me? I am 64 and my partner is unable to help me due to illness. I have landscaped the back garden myself. And I do everything myself, but this problem is causing me sleepless nights. Our garden looks nice, but I'm ashamed of the paddock area. What would your advice be. I would be so grateful for any import. Jane


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,527
    Nettles will not survive regular mowing. Do you have a rotary mower that you can use on rough ground?
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234
    Welcome Jane.
    I'm afraid I had to bite the bullet and spray mine. With individuals I dug them out but after clearing a huge overgrown area I was left with nettles everywhere and I went out last week and sprayed while they were still quite small. I used Roundup Concentrate and spot sprayed as best I could. I had brambles regrowing too so they got a dose of SBK.
    You'll need to keep the animals off until the solutions have dried. Read the instructions to be sure to be sure!  ;)
    I love goats...any chance of some pictures over on the companions thread. It's mostly cats and dogs so we'd like a bit of variation. 

  • Thank you so much for replying to my post.  We have a normal lawn mower which wouldn't work on such a big job. So I was trying to research the best machine for the job. In the past I have pulled them out by hand, used a strimmer and tried to dig them out. But they just come back three fold. There is very little grass now. Just three foot nettles! It's on my mind all the time as I am perplexed what to do. I am usually a very determined person but this time I feel quite beaten. Do you know the machine that might tackle such a infestation? Kind regards, Jane :)
  • Thank you so much Plant Pauper for you reply. I will gladly send so photos of my darling goats and chickens. It does seem that a chemical intervention is the only way forward. It's a shame as I would of loved to do it naturally. But the more I cut them the stronger they grow. I will do some research on sprays for grazing land. I do have a small fenced off area for the animals while the land recovers. But I will still like a machine to help keep the nettles at bay. Something not to heavy and clumbersome! Thank you for you kind reply. And I will send some photos! 🌻
  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234
    I strim. Wear a face guard and button up tight because all the little bits sting. There is a thing you can hire but it's probably very heavy duty and might require help. Believe it or not it's called a BillyGoat.
    That would take it down initially but there's still the clear up and the regrowth to deal with. Your goats will eat them once they've been cut down and wilted for a day or two and if you could keep on top of the mowing as fidget says then you'd be well on your way.
    Try not to be overwhelmed. I'm still clearing an acre and a half after four years. I do it one bite at a time (like eating an elephant). This Spring I found a twelve feet wide raised stone flowerbed that I didn't know was there. Yes it was that bad!  
    Feel free to come on the chat threads too for a bit of moral support. People are quite free with their hugs on there if you need any...or even if you don't!  

  • Oh bless you. It's funny you should say that. But when I first cleared the land I found a brick Pig sty! 😁 I felt like Dr. Livingstone! It was very over grown with ivy, dead trees and brambles. But since I cleared all that the nettles have taken their place! Thank you your kind words. It's given me lots of food for thought. I do feel overwhelmed at times as my partner cannot help me because of his illness. But your supportive words will spur me on to grab those nettles by the horns! It will be nice to share my story and listen to others about their intrepid gardening tales. It will stop me moping! 😊 Have a lovely day. The suns shining! 🌻
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,440
    The best machine for mowing rough grass and weeds is a flail mower. You can hire petrol flail mowers for about £150 to £200 for a week. Depending where you are, you might be able to get a local farmer to 'top' it - they usually use flail mowers on grazing fields for the same reason - keeps down the thistle and nettles and lets the grass grow.

    If you have a sturdy lawn mower of some kind, you could use the flail mower to get it all down and then your lawn mower to keep it mowed. Flail it once or twice a year - the first spring cut at least - and then keep it mowed and the nettles will give up in time. But it does depend how rough the ground is - whether you can reasonably get a mower in there.

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Good morning Raisingirl. Thank you for your kind reply. That sounds a good idea. I will do some research as we speak! We live in Lincolnshire so there are a few farms around us. We will be looking into buying a heavy duty mower once the present nettles are squished. The land is quite even so that is a relief. I've gone from feeling defeated to more uplifted since joining this informative furum. It's good to talk to like minded people. Thank so much. 🌻
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,356
    I have a useful tool called a 'grass whip', a bit like a short bladed scythe but with notched edges.
    I use it for keeping down the nettles in my sheep field (they are encouraged by all the nitrogen) and it is brilliant for getting into awkward corners and along the fence line. I
    try to do the first cut early, when they are still small, and then repeat two or three times. Most of them give up after that, but a few may need another cut.

    An approach I use for big, heavy or overwhelming  jobs is to put them on my 'Hour a Day' list. I don't manage all of them every day, but it is surprising how much you can get through in a week or two this way, and it feels much less daunting.
    Nettle cutting, gravel weeding, thistling, clearing out the sheep shed and removing an invasive Persicaria are all on the list at the moment and I shall be going out to get on with one of them soon!

  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234
    See? One bite at a time. 
    Me? I do half an hour followed by a (insert restorative beverage here) break. 

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