any ideas about how would one place stinging nettle in the landscape, keeping in mind that we want a good harvest but don't want it spreading everywhere where it will be causing pain to passersby? thanks, folks.
Surprisingly, my place which was a working farm for more than 100 years, had no stinging nettle. Every other introduced herb in the US it seems but not nettle. I planted two plants at the back of an entirely too large for me to even begin to manage perennial border and it is taking a long time for the plants to produce enough material that I could even begin to harvest from them. I think I will this year...7 years after I initially planted them. I did plant only 2 pipsqeek plants originally.
So.....place at the back of a garden or another location where you won't be actively weeding or passing by. Stinging nettle is a dioecious species - male and female plants. Only your female plants would produce seeds. Control the seed heads (ie lop off) and you should be able to better control its spread.
Stinging nettle grows as a weed everywhere where I live. The only challenge this plant has is with severe droughts where it will die. I find that large patches develop quickly with the spread of the underground roots. In the old days I use to try to get rid of the plants. Now I love nettles as a spinach like green and infusion of shoots that I have dried. The areas where I remove the nettles with heavy gloves are in my gardens where they compete with other crops.
Different conditions, different experiences. Nettle spreads here but very slowly, very much how any other perennial plant expands with maturity. Mostly appearing only in small clumps or patches.
The only places I have seen large patches is where it was growing unhampered for decades (at least) like at old farms or homesteads.
thanks, folks, good info.
nettles likes fertile soil, one of the reasons it is often found near stables.
Yes, good soil and enough moisture. In hot sunny climates (like mine), it appreciates some shade, perhaps in other climates as well. I grow Urtica dioica, the stinging nettle usually used for herbal or medicinal uses. Keep in mind there are other stinging nettles out there in the wild...Heartleaf Nettle, Urtica chamaedroides is one I'm more familiar with. The sting from that species is more painful than that of Urtica dioica.
I think urtica dioica is the one that is mainly used for medicine. I pick it with my bare hands all the time, it is healthy! My ma has arthritis and I rub it all over her back and she says it helps morethan her pain pills. I blend it in my vitamix or juice it... I got seeds from bakers creek, very small, wish me luck!