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Talkback: Stinging nettles

I am having a real problem with nettles, docks and creeping buttercup in our wild flower patch - we have been clearing 10 years of overgrown garden for the last 3 years and all these weeds are having a great time!! I don't really want to use weedkiller as we have some free range chickens and have we tried the digging up method for the last couple of years to no avail it seems. Does anyone have any ideas even if it is a weedkiller that won't harm my chucks?


  • Hi, I would use some RoundUp weedkiller to be honest.

    I try to avoid it, but with nettles and docks it seems to be the only thing that works. I choose this one because it is safe for our dogs. Basically once it's dry after application its animal and bird safe, so if you can keep the chooks away from it until the plants are dry after application you should be fine :)
  • compo5compo5 Posts: 3
    Is are the gardners world control freaks sponsored by Monsanto?

    Nettles are a tremendous resource and folk
    should think themselves lucky to have them.

    They make tremendous fertiliser tea and can easily
    be controlled by regular harvesting.
  • Gary HobsonGary Hobson Posts: 1,892

    Four of our most popular butterflies require nettles to lay their eggs on, and to raise their broods.

    They are - the Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, and Comma.

    It's very desirable that your nettle patch should be in a sunny and sheltered spot; and with some nectar plants nearby, so you can enjoy the butterflies.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    You don't seem to have addressed the buttercups - dig them out or weedkiller - or the docks - definitely apply weedkiller.

    If you buy Roundup, do so from an agricultural merchant  as dilutable concentrate. Expensive, but cheaper in the long run. And follow the instructions exactly!

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,007

    I occasionally use glyphosate based weedkiller on stubborn weeds in paths but not in beds so I wouldn't use it in a wildflower meadow except painted on to individual plants if I really had to.  I would never us a Monsanto prodcut on prinicpal.

    Nettles are an indication that your soil is probably too fertile for a good wildflower meadow and, as a previous poster said, they make excellent compost or liquid feed, depending on what you do with them.   They are also host to native insects so definitely a part of a wildlife friendly garden.  

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Green MagpieGreen Magpie Posts: 806

    There is now a gel version of Roundup that you can use on individual plants. That would minimise the effect on the surrounding plants, and reduce the amount of stuff you use. I haven't tried it myself. Or apparently (again, not tried myself) you can mix some glyyphosate liquid with wallpaper paste and apply that as you would a gel.

  • Laura CorinLaura Corin Posts: 59

    I've used glyphosate and wallpaper paste to eradicate creeping buttercup from amongst heathers.  It worked really well.  It was a slow and backbreaking job, but the alternative was ripping out 2m x 2m of mature heathers.  I've seen mention online that you can use glyphosate/Roundup if you have chickens, but you'd need to do some research on that.

    I have a large patch of nettles that I allow to flourish for the wildlife in the far corner of my garden.  Any that I find elsewhere I pull up/poison.  I poison docks and pull up/poison creeping buttercup, except in a large boggy area where I have nothing but buttercups so they just do their thing.  One day I might have time to dig it all out and make a bog garden/natural pond.

  • well I like this web site but it doesn't say much about the problems that they cause only how they spread which is not what I searched for so maybe a little more infomation would make this website more usable.
  • Jo FinnJo Finn Posts: 1

    My garden backs onto a farmer's barley crop, there is 5' deep of stingers, apart from chopping off the tops to prevent them towering over my fence, would the RoundUp weedkiller be safe to use? 

  • Muffymoo, I have the same problem.  Those country stinging nettles can get really tall.  They are good for wildlife but I can understand wanting to get rid of them.  On a still day, you should be able to kill the nettles without harming the crop, but it is going to be obvious to the farmer that you were spraying onto his land, which he is probably meant to leave unsprayed, so he might not be too happy.

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