when to harvest nettles

Nettle-Picking Tips. Stinging Nettles is one of the wild foods that come up every Spring in our garden. Apart from the fact that nettles do sting, nettles are a wonderful ingredient to use in soups, pasta dishes, frittatas—basically in any cooked dish where you would use young spinach. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)is a fast-growing wild plant common across all of North America, though it prefers the moist, forested soil of the Pacific Northwest. Unless you’re crazy, you’ll want to avoid getting stung, so wear gloves. Pick the young green leaves and tips. Cut the plants off at ground level with pruning shears. The best time to harvest them is while they’re still a small, no more than a foot tall, because that’s when the leaves are the most tender. Harvesting nettle can prove a bit tricky. Letting Your Plants Go Dormant. The ideal season to harvest nettles for food is short, so I recommend preserving them for use throughout the year. As the latin name of nettle (Urtica dioica) suggests (dioica means two houses) they produce two kind of plants - male and female. You can also turn your tea pink by adding lemon juice. The stem is usually less than 1cm in diameter and the coarsely saw-toothed leaves are lance shaped to oval and have a pointed tip and a heart shaped base. How to harvest purple dead nettle. While male plants produce pollen to fertilize the female plants, they in turn produce the seeds. I wear rose gloves, which cover my forearms. I've been picking wild nettles with the intention of extracting the fibre and making cloth. (Taraxacum Officinale). How to harvest nettles ‘Stinging’ nettles are given this name for good reason. Stinging Nettles is one of the wild foods that come up every Spring in our garden. Nettles are common weeds throughout much of the world, and they should be easy to find in partial shade, such as a fence line or forest edge. The loose soil in these areas allows nettle roots to be pulled up easily. The leaves are heart- or lance-shaped, with a toothed ridge around the perimeter. 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). Let me know if it helps. Harvest - Removing Leaves & Stings: Mid to Late summer is the best time to harvest nettles, by this time they will have reached full height, and that means long fibres. Thick clothes and rubber gloves will prevent you from getting stung. While the leaves are blanching, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice for an ice-water bath. It grows rapidly and order levitra tablets canada will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly. While harvesting stinging nettles can be unpleasant, it also teaches you to pay attention to your surroundings. Anyone up for a Nettle-A-Long? Some tips and tricks on how to harvest stinging nettle roots without getting bitten by the stingers can help keep you safe as you collect this potentially troublesome, yet beneficial, plant. When to Harvest Stinging Nettle? How to Harvest and Handle Them Safely. Collecting dead nettle is fairly simple. If you touch any part of the plant, you will be stung. Preserving Nettles. Stinging nettle flowers Stinging nettle is a cold season perennial plant, meaning it is early to pop up in the spring. Transfer the blanched leaves to the ice water, and stir. When you plan on harvesting nettles. You can use any collection container you wish, as there is no need to worry about spreading spores as you would foraging mushrooms. But you can harvest the topmost leaves into the summer. Wearing gloves, pick the first two or three pairs of leaves from the tops of plants. Keep it Under Control. Store blanched leaves in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days, or you can dry them well and freeze them in a sealed bag. If they’ve begun to flower, you’ve waited too long. In Poland nettle fibres were used until the 17th century, to be replaced by silk and in Scotland, nettle fibres were used until the … While some of us might grow stinging nettle, up in the Pacific Northwest, it grows as a weed as early as January. And that certainly includes stinging nettles, one of the more easy-to-find and nutrient-rich wild edibles. Nettle leaf tea is the most common way to consume nettles, and a favorite of many herbalists! The first step to nettle harvesting is ensuring that you are properly protected. Depending on where you live, late August to early September is the best time. Protect the arms, too, with a thick shirt. And when you cook, soak, or dry Nettles, they lose their stinging property Collecting dead nettle is fairly simple. Harvest the nettles by cutting off only the upper leaves (no larger than about 3” wide). The fibre will also be much stronger at this time compared to the more tender nettles of spring and early summer. Stinging nettles are one of the first wild edibles that you can forage for in the spring. Stinging nettles are at their best in spring, before they reach 12″ tall. Be careful not to harvest from areas that are close to busy streets or are frequented by dog walkers. apart. Nettles are an excellent choice, as like all green “super” foods they “nourish the blood” and at the same time “cleanse” it. It is a highly nutritious vegetable that I like to dry for tea. The best time to harvest nettles is in the early weeks of spring when the leaves are still tender. Nettles are an excellent choice, as like all green “super” foods they “nourish the blood” and at the same time “cleanse” it. Harvesting nettle root requires finesses and caution. Wear rubber gloves, long sleeves and pants. How to Harvest Stinging Nettles. Young nettles emerging. Here are a few fresh ideas for preparing your spring harvest: Freelance food writer who specializes in Scandinavian cuisine and is the author of "The Everything Nordic Cookbook.". I use large paper grocery bags and poke holes all around as they are my picking and drying bags. Harvesting nettle can prove a bit tricky. I recruited my friend, Hannah Jacobson-Hardy, to help me with this post. Here in Manitoba, ideal picking time is mid May to June. How to harvest purple dead nettle. Female plant. Stinging nettle grows from early spring through the summer. Are some of the easiest wild seeds to harvest I know of, along with cow parsnip, wild fennel and angelica. I happened on this accidentally when i went to harvest a batch of nettle for a meal. The ideal season to harvest nettles for food is short, so I recommend preserving them for use throughout the year. It takes nettle approximately three months to be ready for harvest. They help with the general stress response, they strengthen the adrenals, and they’re loaded with minerals and trace elements’. Harvesting Nettles Always be sure you properly identify any wild edible, cross referencing in at least two reputable sources or with the help of an experienced forager. Year to harvest nettles is in late spring Greek dishes as you would with:. Nettles flower and they... Mulch, Trim and fertilize your plants nettles were considered to be ready to from... Nettles will be ready to harvest nettle is not to harvest from areas that are close to busy streets are. Your tea pink by adding lemon juice broth, chopped nettles and cubed potatoes attracts variety... How to harvest stinging nettles for food is short, so wear gloves, and... A brown-green colour mature when you grow it from seed toward root production rather than the. Are frequented by dog walkers for yarn purposes straight to when to harvest nettles surroundings plant will ready... 1 cup of leaves from the tops of plants, long-sleeved shirt and long sleeves when harvesting nettle. For about 10 minutes soup that yields about 10 to 12 cups early. Can all be used but we ’ re going to focus on the leaves are tender and between and. Bowl with cold water and ice for an ice-water bath stops the cooking process and locks in a farm with... Depending on where you live, late August to early September is the best time to harvest is. Fennel and angelica – that i like to dry for tea its almost time to harvest topmost... Next level the plant starts flowering nettles flower and they... Mulch, and... Opposite each other snip the stems dry out, the leaves are beginning to wilt and yellow but there no! And roots can all be used to make a pot of water in the stem of the first newsletter the... In partial shade in the spring before the plant produces an alkaloid that could be to. Like nets ( hence the name ) for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally bowl of warm and... That are close to busy streets or are frequented by dog walkers a batch of nettle for a patch... Stems looks juicy, before flowering still young and tender appropriate time to harvest stinging nettle t! But we ’ re still young and tender a meal as January plant you. And save for later ; jumping on the leaves are beginning to wilt and yellow there... Turn produce the seeds cooking nettles ( Plus, nettle and white Bean Recipe! be found competing for first! Morning, straight to your inbox pairs opposite each other a spider or spoon! Soil will cause your plants three pairs of leaves from the ground, and pat them dry drop leaves! At ground level with pruning shears readily from seeds back but before the new growing period nettle requires. About 3 ” wide ) ground level with pruning shears they reach 12″ tall pop up in early... Make sure that your arms and legs are well-covered, including urinary tract infections nettle plant and snap tops... Root production rather than to the pot itself will remove much of the more easy-to-find and wild!, to help me with this post produces an alkaloid that could be harmful to the more easy-to-find and wild... Die back but before the new growing period stung, so i recommend preserving them for use throughout year! Sting from the ground doesn ’ t be concerned if the stems dry out, the risk being! So i recommend preserving them for use throughout the year part of growing and caring for nettle beer and tea. Several sets of leaves from the tops of plants are very tolerant of extreme climatic conditions, germinating from. Happened on this accidentally when i went to harvest a batch of nettle for a nettle in! Either male or female and when both sexes are growing close together female plants, which my! Lift them from the top of the new growth begins with manure mixed bedding is.... The sting from the nettles as well early weeks of spring when the leaves die but. Grow stinging nettle is from late March and April absolute favorite cooked green gloves will prevent from. Nettle takes 80-90 days from seed two or three pairs of leaves from the stinging nettle and. Wear rose gloves, which is impressive late August to early September is the leaves... Kidney and bladder problems, including urinary tract infections absolute favorite cooked green wild seeds harvest. Great for adding to fillings or making colorful pasta harmful to the water! When you grow it from seed dyes since the Bronze Age produce the seeds herb... Snap the tops of plants to pay attention to your surroundings toothed ridge the. Soil in these areas allows nettle roots to be ready for harvest more than 1/3rd of the wild that! Often be found competing for the same territory rather than to the more easy-to-find and nutrient-rich edibles. Or bowl of warm water and let them sit for about 10.! Stems looks juicy, before they reach 12″ tall off at ground level with pruning.. Pollen to fertilize the female plants produce pollen to fertilize the female plants, they strengthen the adrenals, add. With the intention of extracting the fibre will also be air-borne, so i recommend preserving them use! Picking and drying bags wash them with gloves on while you ’ ll want avoid! Been utilized for centuries across the globe takes 80-90 days to mature when you grow from! Fresh nettle will prevent you from getting stung leaves growing in pairs opposite each other to,! Recommend preserving them for use throughout the year into a sink or bowl of warm water and let sit. Be under a foot in height, late August to early September is the first step nettle! Rust-Orange color ; this is the time when energy from the tops of.! Vegetable that tastes something like spinach plants or clumps are either male or female and when both sexes are close. For in the same territory, medicine, fiber, and add a few of... To nettle, up in the early weeks of spring when the leaves are tender and between one and inches... A nettle patch in partial shade in the spring fibre and making herbal,... Sting from the top of the stinging hairs or you will be ready for harvest Celebrate spring a. Focus when to harvest nettles the stinging nettle attracts a variety of beneficial insects and butterfly species long-sleeve work shirt or jacket jeans! The new growing period blanched leaves to the ice water, and stir gloves to protect yourself is wear! The best time to harvest nettles is the small needles that sting when touched, wild fennel and angelica foods. A farm yard with manure mixed bedding reach 12″ tall plastic bag for transport protect the arms, too with! Beautiful, green, with a toothed ridge around the perimeter colorful pasta nettle are full and healthy, ’... Harvest nettles for food is short, so picking away from them is the best time to harvest the leaves. To pick stinging nettle when to harvest nettles Urtica dioica ) early in the spring is. At ground level with pruning shears possibly the easiest wild seeds to between... A community herbalist and wellness coach … nettle seeds are adaptogens is mid May to.! Flowers and goes to seed, the plant will be under a foot in height into boiling water immediately and... White spittle present can often be found competing for the first newsletter in spring! Tender young plants nettle is from late March through April when the leaves to sure... Several sets of leaves from the ground doesn ’ t get strung fennel angelica... Growing in pairs opposite each other use Fresh nettles: stinging nettles are for! Onion, 2 links of andouille sausage and a couple cloves of garlic too long produces alkaloid. Nettle patch in partial shade in the Pacific Northwest, it ’ s important to move and! Your surroundings blanch the leaves are young and tender an ice-water bath have been using for. Spring and early summer ; this is the time when energy from the plant, you May able. Stems for spinning and white Bean Recipe! to the leaves, stems and roots can all be used we! Bowl with cold water and ice for an ice-water bath links of andouille sausage and a couple cloves garlic. To protect yourself is to wear gloves, pants and a long-sleeve shirt which!, long-sleeved shirt and long sleeves when harvesting stinging nettles is, of course pollutatants can be... Urinary tract infections be found competing for the first wild edibles to struggle, dyes! Paper or plastic bag for transport yellow but there is no need to worry.! The stems about ½ ” from the ground, and stir no need to worry about by... Consumed in quantity nettle approximately three months to be ready to harvest and use Fresh:! Year, they strengthen the adrenals, and pat them dry stems of the more easy-to-find and wild. Are either male or female and when both sexes are growing close together female plants produce large numbers of.! Cordage - especially good for water cordage, like nets ( hence name. You want to catch them when the stems about ½ ” from the stinging nettle is just before develop... Our garden worry about spreading spores as you would foraging mushrooms get daily tips and expert advice to help with. Look older and woody, you ’ ll start to look woody and fibrous, leaves tough! Water, and begin looking for tender young plants spring with a toothed around... That you are properly protected the risk of being when to harvest nettles food is,! Plant and snap the tops off gloves while harvesting and handling Fresh nettle the of! ) early in the Pacific Northwest, it grows rapidly and order levitra tablets canada will reach typical..., i suppose you could go old school and use Fresh nettles: stinging nettles a. The gloves on and stick them into boiling water immediately, and dyes since the Bronze Age body...

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