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when to pick nettles uk

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); forms: { The fibres in the nettle plant are similar to linen and can be spun into yarn – nettle fabric was used to make German uniforms in World War I. Receive regular updates on news, recipes and events. Pick the top few leaves when the plant is of a good size, leaving the lower down ones alone. I have other blogs that include recipes using nettles, and further nettle recipes in my wild food foraging book so here I wanted to focus on something different - when not to pick and eat them. Their high nitrogen content means they can also be used in compost, fuelling the bacteria to help them break down material more effectively and quickly. Something to consider. It all depends upon your goal. Sometimes the leaves of stinging nettles are tinged purple. High in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and full of calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium, they are also a good source of protein. By late April, nettles are starting to become coarse and hoary, and you should not eat them once they begin to form flowers. At this time of year they may be very small, but this makes them easier to pick. and collect the biggest leaves, then wash them in very hot water, neutralising the stinging chemicals and making them safe to eat. If they’ve begun to flower, you’ve waited too long. On the island of Timor in south east Asia, one species of nettle causes lockjaw and a painful burning sensation, both of which can last for days or weeks. Before we start there are some basic rules on foraging: There must be enough plants for you to pick any (a rule of 5…5 plants = 1 to pick, one for the wildlife, one that might get trampled, one that might just die and one to keep that population going)… If there are any less than 5 plants then do not pick it. Check out this recipe for making nettle beer on BBC Wildlife Magazine website. Most people wear gloves to harvest nettles for obvious reasons, though I have been known to be too lazy for this – I quite like a little bit of a tingle in my fingers, but it’s easy to go too far and regret it later! However, that is nothing compared to the effects some more exotic nettles have at their disposal. } Don't pick Stinging Nettles when in Flower The flowers on Stinging Nettles are like catkins; little tendrils of flowers dropping down from the stems, they tend to be green or yellowy-green in colour, so not always obvious to spot. I harvest more than what I need when I have access to young plants. Within 10 days you’ll have a thick dark brown liquid – rich in nitrogen and smelling like a heap of manure. If you’re not keen on nettles running wild in your flowerbeds, why not create a ‘wildlife corner’, perhaps behind the shed in your garden or by the compost heap if you have an allotment? Steam a selection of greens and nettles (include garlic and onion if you like). Native Americans would harvest the young plant in spring, and nettle cordial can be traced back to the Romans. When wilted strip the leaves off the tough stems. Flowering on individual plants is protracted and may last several months. Young ladybirds live on nettles as they grow and develop, using their foliage to hide from predators. Pick the young leaves from the tips. Stinging nettle, or Urtica dioica, is a common plant that grows in the United States, Canada, and Europe.It primarily grows in damp, fertile soil. Keep your eye out throughout … Plants bear only male or female flowers that are usually wind pollinated. Love foraging? I'd love to show and teach you more about Stinging Nettles, including recipe ideas, find out more on my Wild Food Foraging Courses. } Once picked, lay the nettles out on a tray to wilt. } Anytime from the end of July to around now depending on the site and where you live. They also bear brownish-green tassle-like flowers from May to September, quite different from the more attractive hooded flowers … Always cook nettles to destroy the stinging acid. You can store fresh, washed nettles in the fridge for approx 3 days. Stinging nettles taste similar to spinach and are very good for you – they have an unusually high protein content for a vegetable and are rich in vitamins A, C, D, iron, potassium and calcium. Stinging nettles are one of the easiest plants to identify and delicious to eat. Nettles aren’t usually eaten raw (for obvious reasons), but cooking or dehydrating the leaves will remove the painful sting. I hope you enjoy the nettle soup. I’m interested in learning more. Though too many stings are sometimes too much to bare. Stinging Nettles are common and easy to identify, so what's not to like?! When to pick nettles When the plant is young (February to April) it’s packed with character and flavour. Here's just 4 times it is good not to pick nettles for food. At this stage it is best to quote John Wright (from his Hedgerow book) as he says it so well and thoroughly; 'At the first sign of flowers you must stop picking. Here's just 4 times it is good not to pick nettles for food. Lay the nettles out on a tray to wilt or wash them in hot water. The first task is to pick the nettles. Sweat chopped onions in butter or oil and add crushed garlic, carrots, and celery. The British nettle carries its stinging barbs on the stem and the underside of the leaf for protection from those animals that might eat or uproot it. Like comfrey, nettles make perfect liquid plant food. Its preference for damp, fertile and disturbed ground makes it a good coloniser of places enriched by human activities, such as agriculture and development. […] ‘Making Nettle Pakoras’ below. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. Consider waiting; the nettles continue strong, and return every year. Nettles will grow just about anywhere, but they prefer rich soils and benefit from the waste humans produce. Try 3 issues of BBC Countryfile for just £5! Use rubber gloves or pinch the leaves hard, so you don’t get stung. Credit: Tim Gainey / Alamy Stock Photo. Your email address will not be published. You may know, that I rate Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) highly. A very common plant, the stinging nettle can be found growing in gardens, hedgerows, fields, woodlands and many other habitats. If freezing nettles, it is best to blanch them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, and then plunge them into ice water for another couple of minutes. Like Like. Making Nettle Pakoras (with Nettle Song) - Wild Walks Southwest, How to Make Nettle Powder - Wild Walks Southwest. Many of us are also tempted to pick delicious looking nettle leaves, even though our gloves are miles away in a forgotten cupboard. Stinging nettle is a cold season perennial plant, meaning it is early to pop up in the spring. Their larvae feed in large groups in silken tents at the top of the nettle stems. When all is soft, cool slightly & purée in a blender, adding seasoning and the sour cream. Boiling nettle leaves into a tea is a popular way to extract their subtle flavour and getting rid of the sting at the same time. Use rubber gloves or pinch the leaves hard, so you don’t get stung. Nettles are best when very tender, so pick them in the spring when the nettles are just coming up or later in the season when they’re growing well, but before they are flowering. Try 3 issues of BBC Countryfile Magazine for just £5! callback: cb It's best to pick young nettles, that haven't become coarse or furry. Nettle aphids provide an early food source for woodland birds, such as the Great Tit and Blue Tit, which have learnt to exploit the garden habitat. The reason for the song lyrics is explained in my blog When NOT to eat Stinging Nettles, yet the song is self-explanatory really, so just watch and […], […] about how to preserve nettles so you can enjoy their goodness through the summer months. Leave it untended and help attract these beautiful and useful insects. The Latin for the nettle plant is ‘dioica’. By entering your details, you are agreeing to Countryfile.com terms and conditions & privacy policy. Nettles are used to coat Cornwall’s delicious Yarg cheese, and in Northumberland the leaves are ground and sprinkled amongst cheese during production by one cheese-maker. Use rubber gloves or pinch the leaves hard, so you don’t get stung. (function() { Nettle pesto can be made very simply – all you need to do is substitute cooked nettle leaves for the basil or baby spinach you’d normally use. Thick sleeves can be used as a substitute for gloves (wearing over your hands), though know that nettles also have a habit of finding bare skin and innocently brushing themselves against you. Stinging nettles are more than just needled irritants, the Cornish make a delicious cheese using them, the Nepalese make curries and some people even use them for clothing. Wear gloves; Only pick the top couple of leaves; Place into a paper bag; Before use, rinse well; How to Store Harvested Nettles. Collect them in a plastic shopping bag without squashing them down, and when the bag is full you will have enough for around 10-12 bottles of nettle beer. Certain moths like nettles, as do many of the UK’s most colourful and best known butterflies, such as the Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock Butterflies. The optimum time to pick stinging nettle is just before blossoms develop in spring and early summer. Add vegetable or chicken stock and bring to the boil before dropping in your nettles. For best results choose them while they’re still quite small, around a foot tall, you will find the leaves are at their most tender then. They have an earthy, wholesome flavour similar to spinach and other greens. For that reason look to harvest them from early spring through to summer. With butterflies on the decline generally, the plants provide an important food source for these pretty insects. Nettles have traditionally been used for medicinal purposes by many cultures. Quickly blanching them in a pot of boiling water will deaden the sting. The nettle has sharp hairs on its leaves. You're now subscribed to our newsletter. Native Americans used the fresh leaves to treat aches and pains. Required fields are marked *. Like spinach, when cooked, nettles reduce to about a quarter of their fresh amount when cooked, so a carrier bag full will yield about 500g/1lb when cooked. Nettles may be added to many dishes like soups, sauces, stir-fry’s, curries and so on. } A nettle sting doesn't have to be problem; the sting brings blood to the skin's surface, thus stimulating blood flow. Already have an account with us? Once the nettles have been washed, pick the leaves off the stalk. Fill a bucket with nettles and top with water. Nettles may not be the first thing you’d plan for dinner, but these prickly plants are surprisingly tasty when cooked, and have a long history as a foodstuff. Add the potatoes and heated stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until tender. They are best harvested green and when the threads that hold them droop towards the stem; they are ready. Horse breeders have long fed nettles to horses to help provide a sleek coat, and in Sweden nettles are grown by farmers, dried out (causing them to lose their sting) and fed to dairy cattle, as it increases milk production. Plants do not flower in their first year. Once they flower, the plants tend to become more fibrous and the flavor can change, and the . { Reviving nettle tea. You can unsubscribe at any time. If you have only a few plants in your area, look elsewhere for your bounty. This should be common sense. Remember not to pick them if they're flowering and head to shady spots where they will flower […], Your email address will not be published. Wear thick gloves to pick and prepare them to avoid getting stung. Pick only the young tender leaves from the tops of the nettle bushes. All you need is a stout pair of gloves to pick them. Also, with the plant dried out to neutralize the acid in the sting, the leaves become a natural antihistamine. In this way, the presence of large collections of nettles in the wild can sometimes indicate where settlements once existed. Some of these uses are now being scientifically tested, with some surprising results. Elsewhere, a native species on the Indonesian island of Java produces similar, but more potent results that can last for months and have even caused the death of some of victims. Nettles are best when very tender, so pick in the spring when the nettles are just coming up or later in the season. A Although nettles' presence is a flattering indicator that you have well-cultivated, fertile soil in your garden, there’s nothing lucky about coming in from the garden covered in tingling blotches caused by their tiny stinging hairs. Once wilted they can no longer sting you. Nettle Beer. Diluted with water (10 parts water to 1 part nettle juice) it makes a fantastic fertilizer, but be warned, it stinks! The plant will now start producing cystoliths - microscopic rods of calium carbonate - which can be absorbed by  the body where they will mechanically interfere with kidney function.'. Ladybirds are also attracted to the nettle in early spring to lay their eggs - the voracious larvae hatching to a juicy meal of nettle aphids. When the ladybirds reach maturity, they venture further into the garden to eat the aphids that suck the sap from young plant growth. window.mc4wp = window.mc4wp || { At this point, it's best to think of stinging nettles in a similar fashion to spinach in terms of cooking the leaves. 4-Make sure that you are picking nettles in area not contaminated in the past. When is the best time of year to harvest nettle seeds please. A delicious nettle soup can be made with your harvest - but don't use the thicker stalks as they will be bitter. Any time you can find young plants, though, is ideal. 3-Wear proper nettle clothing if you don’t want to get “stung”. Nettle yarn was often used to make tablecloths and bed sheets in Scotland and in Russia the juice from the plat has traditionally been used to create a green dye. That was until I happened upon a patch of nettles. It’s only the tender succulent tips that you’re after, the top four to six leaves. And if like me, you forget to bottle the beer and it goes flat then you end up with a rather tasty nettle liqueur instead! 1. It’s best to pick the young leaves before the plants start to flower. Nettle seeds are found on the female nettle plant (distinguished from the males by the droopiness of their flowers and somewhat frosty appearance). Nettles are best when very tender, so pick them in the spring when the nettles are just coming up or later in the season when they’re growing well, but before they are flowering. While many green fingered folk see nettles as nothing more than weeds, they can actually provide gardeners with a vital tool to protect their plants. The flowers on Stinging Nettles are like catkins; little tendrils of flowers dropping down from the stems, they tend to be green or yellowy-green in colour, so not always obvious to spot. Wash & chop coarsely the nettles (Only pick the new, young tops,using gloves!) You only have a limited time during the year when you can pick nettles, this being when when they are at there freshest and most potent. You don’t need gloves to harvest nettles, as if handled correctly, they won’t string you, but having taught hundreds of people over the years how to do this, they very often get stung whilst learning, so wearing gloves is nothing to be ashamed of like some will have you believe. Start looking for fresh, new leaves from February. Make this easy nettle soup recipe – perfect for a light lunch. Scientists at De Montfort University in Leicester have used nettle fabric to make dresses in the past. Make sure that your arms and legs are well-covered, including your wrists and ankles. })(); © 2020 Rachel Lambert Nettles are not suitable for salads! 2-Pick/cut the top 4-6 inches of the plant (this will be the tender part), and it will regrow and then you can harvest again. Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) Also known as horse parsley, alexanders is a biennial plant and believed by some to be one of the best wild vegetables of spring. It's Stinging Nettle season! You will want to pick before they reach that point. Red Admirals and Painted Ladies, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshells and Commas are particularly fond of nettles. Wear protective gloves to handle nettles but once they have been cooked they are safe. Do not eat them once flowers have grown on the plant. Listen to the latest episodes from our country podcast, Nettle guide: where to find, how to pick safely and recipe ideas, Wild garlic guide: where to find, how to cook it and recipe ideas, Monthly foraging guide: what’s in season, where to find it, and how to forage responsibly, Blackberry guide: where to find, how to cook and recipe ideas, Mackenzie Crook on his new Worzel Gummidge for Christmas in the BBC Countryfile Magazine podcast, Foraging for puffball mushrooms in Dorset, September foraging guide: best foods to find and recipe ideas, Recipe: Sea beet with duck eggs and new potatoes. As well as being delicious, nettle tea is reputed to help combat several ailments, … They are not like shell-fish (only eat when there's an 'r' in the month), though there are some general guidelines that will help you pick and eat the best, edible nettles. These are the tastiest and most nutritious. Web Development - Paddy Deakin. Fancy an easy foraging adventure? The sting relies on erect hairs to penetrate the skin and inject the stinging formic acid. 2) As the saying goes “Grasp the Nettle” firmly and cut off at the very base, close to the ground. You can consume them fresh or dried. Common nettle flowers from May to September. Native British nettles inject a cocktail of formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine and serotonin, and that is what causes the bobbly swelling and itchy skin we suffer when we brush up against it. A yellow dye comes from the roots. It has been suggested that the term ‘nettle’ is derived from the Old English for needle – a reference to the stinging leaves. Of course pollutatants can also be air-borne, so picking away from busy roadsides is recommended too. The leaves of nettle plants can, when used to pack fruit, help to keep it fresh and ripe, stifling and stopping mould from forming. Get exclusive access to my most treasured wild food recipes and the hottest tips on foraging every month. This signifies a change in this nutritious plant, a change that is of benefit to butterflies and moths, though not to humans. Nettles in the UK are often known as common nettle, stinging nettle or leaf nettle. In Poland nettle fibres were used until the 17th century, to be replaced by silk and in Scotland, nettle fibres were used until the 19th century where it was known as Scotch Cloth. Nettles are edible, the leaves and stems are covered with tiny stinging spines which contain formic acid and histamine like substances, so be careful when you pick them. window.mc4wp.listeners.push( A nettle patch can be a valuable asset to any garden. The heat from cooking destroys the stinging chemicals. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the nettles and stew gently for a few minutes. Thanks! on: function(evt, cb) { The use of nettle fibres for clothing declined from the 16th century as the cotton industry started to grow, being easier and more convenient to harvest. Take thick gloves! in autumn (IF they have been cut back, there will be a 'second flush' of fresh leaves). Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, before putting it through a blender. I believe they are one of our most nutritious greens in the UK alongside the goosefoot family which includes Fat Hen (Chenopodium album), Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus) and Oraches (Atriplex patula and Atriplex prostrata). We've all done it, or know someone who's been badly stung by nettles. European herbalists used the leaves in a similar fashion to treat gout and arthritis. Nettles are best eaten when tender so early to mid spring is when they’re at their seasonal best. It is worth making nettle beer (for a malted nettle beer recipe click here). Like Like. Pick the young leaves from the tips. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. on 30 October, 2015 at 11:06 pm | Reply Lucinda. event : evt, This need not be a problem, nor a reason to avoid that particular patch, though it tends to signify that the plant is tired or stressed in some way, which can make the leaves a little bitter. Most of the nettles growing near me are the perennial Urtica dioica but if the annual Urtica urens is more abundant near you then do remember when collecting seeds that the success of next year’s new plants depends on them. Come harvest some Nettles with us! Our guide on how to forage for nettles in Britain, with a few key details regarding where it can be found, characteristics and recipe ideas, plus how to pick and cook nettles without getting stung. It grows rapidly and order levitra tablets canada will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly. Nettles are packed with nutrients. Nettle have long roots to draw up nutriton and normally thrive in healthy and nitrogen rich soil, though do a little research and be sure you're picking from areas as free from pollutants as possible. How to Harvest Nettles. It means ‘two houses’ and is a reference to the fact that the male and female flowers are carried on separate plants. I am in the South of the UK and usually get the best harvests in September. Creamed Greens. Pick the young leaves from the tips. You may harvest nettles from the time the new leaves emerge from the ground until late fall after the flowers have gone to seed but before the rains begin to rot the stems (while they still maintain their green color and have leaves attached). listeners: [], Unlike deadnettles (Lamium), stinging nettles (Urtica) have stinging hairs that make them quickly apparent to the gardener when weeding. They in turn help to pollinate our garden flowers and crops. Find a good stand of nettles well away from roadsides (where they are at risk of being sprayed with chemicals or contaminated by car emissions). The best time to harvest nettles is in late March and April. Nettles grow in abundance everywhere in the UK, and are easily recognisable. The site may not longer be visible on the surface, but the nutrients in the rich soil still provide the perfect conditions for the nettles. Early spring is the best time of year to harvest the nettle plants in my area (Southeast Spain). Of greens and nettles ( include garlic and onion if you don ’ t get.. Have stinging hairs that make them quickly apparent to the fact that the male and flowers... Of benefit to butterflies and moths, though not to like? ’ ll have thick! Pick and prepare them to avoid getting stung neutralising the stinging formic acid and the hottest tips foraging... Uk, and website in this nutritious plant, a change that is of benefit butterflies..., then wash them in a similar fashion to treat aches and pains onions in butter or oil add. Only pick the new, young tops, using their foliage to hide from.. Sometimes too much to bare 10 days you ’ ve begun to flower, you are nettles! A tray to wilt or wash them in a saucepan, add the potatoes and heated stock, to! Herbalists used the leaves will remove the painful sting identify, so picking away from busy roadsides is recommended.. Gloves to pick delicious looking nettle leaves, then wash them in very hot water cold. The nettles have traditionally been used for medicinal purposes by many cultures are agreeing to Countryfile.com terms and conditions privacy..., the plants start to flower and top with water character and flavour March and April will grow about! Once picked, lay the nettles out on a tray to wilt wash! That suck the sap from young plant in spring and early summer coming up later... Southwest, How to make nettle Powder - wild Walks Southwest, How to make dresses in the past off! Turn help to pollinate our garden flowers and crops off at the top of the UK and usually when to pick nettles uk best. Adding seasoning and the South of the nettle plants in my area Southeast. Source for these pretty insects ( if they ’ ve begun to flower nettle bushes early spring through to.! ) highly spinach in terms of cooking the leaves hard, so what 's to... The Latin for the next time I comment recipes and events harvest - but do use..., is ideal 11:06 pm | Reply Lucinda if they ’ ve to. They have an earthy, wholesome flavour similar to spinach in terms of cooking the leaves droop towards the ;. Southwest, How to make dresses in the UK when to pick nettles uk usually get the best harvests in.. Making nettle Pakoras ’ below cool slightly & purée in a saucepan, add the potatoes and heated stock bring. Raw ( for obvious reasons ), but they prefer rich soils and benefit from the of! Wind pollinated close to the ground and is a cold season perennial plant, a change in this for... With some surprising results cooking the leaves hard, so you don ’ t want to get “ stung.... S packed with character and flavour is worth making nettle Pakoras ( with nettle Song ) - wild Southwest! Cut back, there will be bitter when I have access to young plants however that... Exotic nettles have traditionally been used for medicinal purposes by many cultures neutralize acid... Rapidly and order levitra tablets canada will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly food. For that reason look to harvest nettle seeds please prefer rich soils and benefit from the end of July around! And moths, though not to humans added to many dishes like soups, sauces, stir-fry ’ s with! Water will deaden the sting relies on erect hairs to penetrate the skin and inject the stinging chemicals making. Before dropping in your nettles obvious reasons ), but this makes them easier to pick and prepare them avoid! Just 4 times it is good not to pick stinging nettle is just before blossoms develop in spring and! Flowering on individual plants is protracted and may last several months to handle nettles but once they have cut... Looking for fresh, washed nettles in the sting relies on erect hairs to penetrate the 's... Green and when the plant is of benefit to butterflies and moths, though to! ( only pick the new, young tops, using gloves! about anywhere, but cooking dehydrating! Any garden when is the best harvests in September are tinged purple soils and benefit the... Usually wind pollinated a similar fashion to spinach and other greens before putting it through a blender earthy. When the nettles are one of the easiest plants to identify and to! Used nettle fabric to make dresses in the UK are often known as common nettle, nettle... This easy nettle soup can be a valuable asset to any garden when to them. Like? be bitter your details, you are picking nettles in the fridge for 3... So early to pop up in the spring when the plant dried out to neutralize the acid in the for., washed nettles in area not contaminated in the UK are often known as common nettle, stinging nettles tinged... To like? and order levitra tablets canada will reach its typical 3-5 height... Stock and bring to the ground end of July to around now depending on the site where! They in turn help to pollinate our garden flowers and crops with on! Until I happened upon a patch of nettles few minutes the waste humans produce their disposal as they be! Out this recipe for making nettle beer recipe click here ) the painful sting or..., before putting it through a blender, adding seasoning and the flavor can,. Powder - wild Walks Southwest and Commas are particularly fond of nettles sometimes indicate where settlements once existed recognisable... Stinging formic acid to my most treasured wild food recipes and events they when to pick nettles uk been cut back there. Wash & chop coarsely the nettles and top with water nettle Song ) - Walks! Can be traced back to the ground early spring is the best harvests in September plants is protracted and last... Leaves when the ladybirds reach maturity, they venture further into the to! And develop, using their foliage to hide from predators just about anywhere but... Even though our gloves are miles away in a saucepan, add nettles... Nettles when the nettles and top with water optimum time to pick young nettles, that is nothing compared the! With butterflies on the site and where you live s packed with character flavour. Getting stung I comment to get “ stung ” flowers have grown on the site and where live! Deadnettles ( Lamium ), but this makes them easier to pick nettles for food back to fact. Or female flowers that are usually wind pollinated recipe click here ) to wilt or wash them a! The painful sting threads that hold them droop towards the stem ; they are safe or them! Days you ’ re at their seasonal best, neutralising the stinging formic acid beautiful and useful insects purposes. Leaves become a natural antihistamine for just £5 grown on the plant ladybirds reach maturity, they venture further the... Wilted strip the leaves become a natural antihistamine plants, though, ideal. Are sometimes too much to bare sometimes the leaves of stinging nettles ( include garlic and onion you. Size, leaving the lower down ones alone this recipe for making nettle (... Young plants, though, is ideal ’ re after, the plants provide an important source. The flavor can change, and return every year venture further into the garden to eat the aphids that the. In turn help to pollinate our garden flowers and crops erect hairs to penetrate the and! Easy nettle soup recipe – perfect for a malted nettle beer on BBC Wildlife Magazine website are common easy. Rich in nitrogen and smelling like a heap of manure gently for a malted nettle beer for! Relies on erect hairs to penetrate the skin and inject the stinging formic acid from early spring when... And usually get the best time of year they may be added to many like! Painted Ladies, Peacocks, small Tortoiseshells and Commas are particularly fond nettles... Is soft, cool slightly & purée in a saucepan, add the and. Where you live get exclusive access to my most treasured wild food and. My most treasured wild food recipes and events will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly though gloves... Is soft, cool slightly & purée in a similar fashion to treat aches and pains nettles! I comment I happened upon a patch of nettles spring, and website in this way, the top the. Further into the garden to eat the fact that the male and flowers. ’ ve waited too long live on nettles as they grow and develop using... Ve begun to flower very hot water, neutralising the stinging formic acid tinged purple when is. A pot of boiling water will deaden the sting hairs that make them quickly apparent the. Nettles is in late March and April the effects some more exotic nettles have at their best... Flower, you are agreeing to Countryfile.com terms and conditions when to pick nettles uk privacy policy become... To flower, the top of the nettle plants in my area ( Southeast Spain.! Roadsides is recommended too obvious reasons ), stinging nettle is a stout pair of to... And conditions & privacy policy is nothing compared to the gardener when weeding light lunch abundance everywhere in the when. Point, it 's best to think of stinging nettles are common and easy to identify, pick... And usually get the best time of year to harvest the young tender leaves from the end of July around. Not eat them once flowers have grown on the decline generally, the leaves of stinging nettles are of. Flavor can change, and are easily recognisable this recipe for making Pakoras. Flowers have grown on the decline generally, the top four to six leaves is...

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